While it seems that many of the best Christmas movies were filmed in the 1940’s, we still seem to have a pretty long list of modern holiday classics. Here are a few of them:
Jingle All the Way: Made in 1996 and starring the unlikely comic combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, and Phil Hartman. It’s the story of a workaholic father who forgets to buy his son the “hit toy” of the season and then scrambles to make it right by Christmas Eve. Of course the lesson he learns is: “Family is the most important gift of all”.
Home Alone: Released in 1990 and starring Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci. It’s every mother’s nightmare and every tween’s dream to be left “home alone”. Throw in 2 bumbling crooks and you’ve got a comedy classic.
Christmas with the Kranks: Based on the novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis was released in 2004. Although I preferred the book to the movie it is still highly entertaining even with the over-the-top Tim Allen comedic gags. And the supporting efforts by Dan Akroyd and Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle are reason enough to watch the film.
A Christmas Story: Made in 1983 but set in the 1940’s and starring no one notable. It is the source of several immediately recognizable quotes including:
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
“Fragile” (pronounced fra-jee-lay)
I personally find Ralphie extremely whiny and annoying but it’s one of my husband’s favorite holiday movies and has become a Christmas afternoon tradition.
Polar Express: Starring Tom Hanks and released in 2004. A young boy takes a magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve and learns about the power of friendship and the true meaning of Christmas (if you just believe). It’s worth watching for the “Hot Chocolate” number alone but stick around for the culmination of the heartwarming journey.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Both the animated TV version from 1966 narrated by Boris Karloff and the “live action” version from 2000 with Jim Carrey starring as the Grinch. The 1966 version is a childhood favorite and the song itself sung by Thurl Ravenscroft is iconic. Don’t miss this one! We had the pleasure of seeing the 2000 version on the big screen this season and “Oh my goodness, it was GREAT!” See my recent “Laughter is the Best Medicine” blog post.