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    Love Actually
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    Christmas Carol (2009)
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    Miracle on 34th Street
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It’s a Wonderful Life

What a movie, Its a Wonderful Life! This holiday classic stars Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Frank Capra. It is an absolute must see holiday film for anyone and everyone. George Bailey (James Stewart) was born and raised in Bedford Falls. At one point, he’d hoped to travel, but he ended up unable to leave his hometown.

the movie It's a Wonderful Life

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On Christmas Eve, George prepares to jump off a bridge to end his frustrating, and soon to be chaotic, life. An angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) visits just in time to show George what life would have been like for others without all of his good deeds over the years. While his own goals fell by the wayside, the vision highlights personal accomplishments George had overlooked in frustration of lost dreams.

A Christmas Carol

The Christmas Carol movie is one of the most timeless, well-loved themes of the holiday season. The book by the same title was written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843. The story has literally touched the lives of millions and millions of people through print, as well as film.  These holiday classics tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in film:

A Christmas Carol movie

  • Christmas Carol 2009 with the Scrooge played by Jim Carrey is the most recent rendition of Ebenezer Scrooge and Dickens’ classic tale. This version is done in the same style of 3D animation as Polar Express and Beowulf. Critics gave the movie high marks for the effects, acting, and close adherence to the original story and language.
  • Scrooged depicts another twist on this precious theme. TV Executive Frank Cross (who was indeed both frank and cross with employees, as well as family and even the true love of his life, Claire.)
  • A Christmas Carol (UK), now a classic version of the film from 1951. This version stars Alastair Sim. This movie was produced in the UK and became a Christmas Eve in the US as well. Definitely a must-see as the closest version to the original story written by Charles Dickens.

The wealthy businessman is visited by a deceased colleague in the form of a ghost who shows Ebenezer scenes from the past, present, and future. The scenes reveal the darkside of Ebenezer Scrooge as the old miser comes to see how his own struggles, decisions, and actions severely impact the lives of those around him. The storyline of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one that should be read and watched every holiday season to keep the message of love, patience, generosity, and kindness close at hand. Each of these films is inspiring, while also funny and uplifting leaving viewers feeling full of benevolence and holiday spirit.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story centers around Ralphie Parker’s Christmas dream—to receive an official Red Ryder 200 shot range model air rifle. The movie follows Ralphie through run-ins with his little brother Randy to getting attacked by the school bully Scut Farkus and toadie Grover Dill.

Christmas Story Movie

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Ralphie has to contend with his mother’s fear that Ralphie will shoot himself (namely, in the eye) when and if he receives his dream Christmas present. This holiday film is a favorite for families, kids, young, and older audiences alike.

Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown Christmas, one of CBS’s most successful specials since it debuted in 1965. The story begins with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts as they attend rehearsals for the school play…but something is missing. To set the mood for the play, Charlie Brown feels they need a Christmas tree. Lucy sends him to fetch an aluminum tree.

Charlie Brown Christmas movie

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However, when Linus and Charlie Brown get to the tree market, Charlie Brown instantly wants a tiny tree–the only live one available. Linus doesn’t feel sure this is the right tree, but Charlie Brown is certain that if they decorate it, the tree will be perfect for the play. When they get back, everyone teases and laughs at Charlie Brown. He starts to doubt whether he really knows what Christmas is about, and finds the answer from a few unlikely sources. Children and adults alike have loved A Charlie Brown Christmas for decades!

If you like animated holiday movies, but you want to watch something outside of the regular Classic, see Nightmare Before Christmas—it’s a unique film by Tim Burton that includes characters from two holidays. Other newer films include the newer Grinch Stole Christmas (not animated but done stylistically in a way that resembles animated movies), A Christmas Carol 2009, and Polar Express.

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) who is shocked to learn that the fellow who is to play the role of Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is drunk. He complains to the event director Doris (Maureen O’Hara), and she convinces Kris to take the man’s place.

Miracle on 34th St movie

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Kris does such an exceptional job that he is hired to be the Santa during the holiday season at the central Macy’s on 34th Street in New York City. He earns the love of customers by directing them to the best toys for children, including stores that directly competed with Macy’s for holiday sales. He has many fans but like the real Santa, Kris had many doubters. Eventually he loses his temper with one of them, causing a fiasco that will take time and faith to resolve.

Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a comical adaptation of A Christmas Carol that even has a role for author Charles Dickens (played by Gonzo the Great), as the narrator. This version of the story is set on Christmas Eve in 19th century London. Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) is a money-lender whose main concern is money, not holiday spirit.

Muppets Christmas movie

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Scrooge is so cruel and selfish, in fact, that he refuses to grant Christmas Day off to his dependable right hand man and employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog). Bob finally convinces Ebenezer to give him the day off by pointing out that it would be a waste of coal to keep the office open on a day when no customers will visit. Fred (Steven Mackintosh), a nephew of Scrooge, arrives to invite his uncle to Christmas dinner. Two other men (Bunsen and Beaker) come to Ebenezer’s office gathering donations in the spirit of the holiday. Scrooge rejects Fred’s invitation. He explains to Bunsen and Beaker that looking after the poor isn’t prudent, as their deaths will decrease the surplus population—which Scrooge sees as a good thing.

From here, surly Ebenezer receives other visitors who try to soften his cold heart. Is Scrooge too mean and cold to ever understand the true meaning of Christmas?

Scrooged

Scrooged is a modern version of the traditional holiday story with the Christmas Carol theme from the classic novella by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge takes form as an insensitive, self-absorbed modern television executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray). Life has rewarded him with a top paying job, hard earned through cold, cruel treatment of his family, employees, and the love of his life, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen) whom he gave up for his first television gig in Frisbee the Dog.

Scrooged the movie

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Frank has alienated all of those who should be near and dear, including Claire, his brother James (John Murray), and his ever dependable, patient assistant Grace Cooley (Alfre Woodard). Grace is probably the person closest to Frank, yet he works her to the bone, constantly coercing her into breaking plans with family and even doctor visits for her son Calvin who is mute. On Christmas Eve, Frank fires an employee Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait) for criticizing an offensive television commercial.

Frank is assigned the task of coordinating the live Christmas Eve show A Christmas Carol, and the story events weave themselves intricately into Frank’s life, beginning with a visit from his career mentor and media legend Lew Hayward (John Forsythe). The story takes a romantic spin as we follow the love story between Frank and Claire. (For a super romantic film, try Love Actually–talk about holiday romance!) Lew warns Frank about upcoming visits from three Ghosts…and one by one, the ghosts indeed appear to replay for Frank scenes from his life that impacted others in ways that shock and sadden him.

UK Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol the movie was released in the UK in 1951 starring Alastair Sim,  Kathleen Harrison, Jack Warner, and others. There was at least one earlier version made in 1938. (Many more recent versions have been made including Christmas Carol 2009 with Scrooge as Jim Carrey.)

A Christmas Carol UK movie

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The film was titled Scrooge starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Iin the UK and became an instant hit. In the US, the movie was re-released and titled A Christmas Carol. Its premier was intended to take place at the New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, but it was determined that the film was too gloomy, so it opened at the Guild Theatre instead in November, 1951. It received mixed reviews and generally was not a great box office success.

The movie nevertheless became a yearly Christmas Eve tradition by the 1960s due to the New York local station WCBS-TV Channel 2. The film was shown in two or three times back to back during the late night hours of Christmas Eve. Finally, in the 1970’s the movie became popular in the US when it was shown on local PBS and NET stations.

US Christmas Carol 2009

Christmas Carol 2009 stars Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Steve Valentine in a new version of Dickens’ classic story. This rendition of A Christmas Carol displays the remarkable 3D special effects that Robert Zemeckis used in Polar Express.  Plus, Carrey makes the self-centered Scrooge more unforgettable than ever.

Christmas Carol Jim Carrey

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As in other versions of the classic story, Ebenezer Scrooge, a rich, miserly businessman is visited by a dead colleague’s ghost. The spirit takes Scrooge to observe events in the past, present, and future. These scenes show Scrooge the extent that his own conflicts and choices harm people around him. Definitely a movie on the list of Christmas movies and favorites.

White Christmas

White Christmas stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. It was a hit upon its 1954 debut and is still a popular decades later. The story is about two Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), World War II Army buddies. It begins on Christmas Eve, 1944, in Europe where they are serving.

White Christmas the movie

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After the war, the two form an entertainment duo. The act hits it big, becoming popular on the radio, in clubs, and finally on Broadway. Later the two become producers and develop a popular musical, Playing Around. A few years after the show plays on Broadway, it is performed in Florida during holiday season. There, Bob and Phil meet two young ladies, Betty and Judy, and help the women escape an unfair landlord along with the local sheriff. They end up traveling to Vermont for the holidays where they discover that the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, is run by, Major General Tom Waverly, their former commanding officer.

Wallace and Davis are grieved to learn that the inn is on the verge of bankruptcy due to lack of snow and customers. They devise a plan to help both the Major and the young ladies. This heartwarming story continues to unfold, bringing amusing, touching, and lifting the spirits of audiences every holiday season year after year.