12.28.2006

Looking for a Good Movie to Watch?

I know that Christmas might technically over, but I’m not having Christmas with my family until tomorrow night, so for me it isn’t. Based on that, and the fact that I find myself with some extra time over the holidays, I am pleased to present you with Luke’s Top 10 Movies to Watch over the Holidays. Enjoy.

10. Holiday Inn (1942): Bing Crosby runs an inn that is open only for the holidays and tries to prevent Fred Astaire from stealing his girl. Contrary to popular belief, Bing’s Christmas classic jingle, “White Christmas” comes from this movie.

9. A Christmas Story (1983) has been somewhat of a cult classic in recent years, and features young Ralphie’s quest to obtain a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Humorous and quaint, TBS does both the film and the entire world a great disservice by showing it for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day.

8. The Empire Strikes Back (1980): Okay, I know that technically, The Empire Strikes Back is not a Christmas movie, but it still fits in this list for several reasons: (1) There is a lot of snow in it, (2) the wampa ice creatures kind of look like polar bears, (3) Boba Fett embodies the true spirit of Christmas when he gives Jabba the Hutt what he’s always wanted: Han Solo all wrapped up in carbonite, and (4) what time of year is not a good time to watch the Best Of All Star Wars Movies?

7. A Christmas Carol (1951): The best of all the versions I’ve seen of Dickens’ classic tale (with the possible exception of the Disney version). The ghost of Jacob Marley may be pretty laughable now, but I bet he scared kids to death in 1951.

6. Elf (2003) is probably the funniest Christmas movie of all time. I’m not a big Will Ferrell fan, but he is outstanding as Buddy the Elf. Also, Zooey Deschanel's version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is probably the best ever.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947): I actually hadn’t seen the original version until this year, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. It certainly deserves its status as a Christmas classic.

4. The Shop Around the Corner (1940): This movie is not as well known as You’ve Got Mail, which was based on it, but it is a lot better. James Stewart, Frank Morgan, William Tracy and Felix Bressart all put in good performances, and it would be even better if Stewart’s love interest in the movie (Margaret Sullivan) didn’t look quite so much like a chipmunk.

3. Home Alone (1990): Macaulay Culkin may have been the best child actor of all time, and this is his best movie. What helps this movie the most is that for years it was played on Thanksgiving night, and really signified the beginning of the Christmas season.

2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969): I consider myself to be somewhat of a James Bond expert, and this is my favorite Bond movie, and George Lazenby is my favorite Bond actor. The movie is set up in the Alps (among other places) and really does have a Christmas-y feel to it, complete with ice skating and carols, snow, and Christmas presents.

The opening scene might be my favorite of the movie, with some pretty cool camera work and Lazenby breaking the fourth wall by looking at the camera and saying, “This never happened to the other fellow.” Diana Rigg also does a great job playing the only Bond girl who succeeded in getting James to walk down the aisle.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) has been the stereotypical Christmas movie for years, always appearing on network TV, which is kind of a shame, as it makes people take it for granted and not appreciate how good it really is. Of all the movies on this list, It’s a Wonderful Life is the only one which would also rank high my list of Best Movies of All-Time.

Arguably the movie for which James Stewart is best known for, It’s a Wonderful Life was also the first movie he appeared in after his decorated service in World War II, and apparently, he wasn’t sure if he still had it or not. Just watch the scene in Martini’s bar where a distraught George Bailey is praying, and you can see that he was still at the top of his game.

So there you have it: Luke’s Top 10 Movies to Watch over the Holidays. What do you think? Am I right on target, or way off base? Either way, I hope you enjoyed the list, and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

4 comments:

Angela 12/28/06, 8:52 PM  

Hey Luke!

I love The Shop Around the Corner as well!

It was fun seeing you and Caroline in AL. Have a fun Christmas with your family.

-Angela

Jared Dockery 12/29/06, 1:28 PM  

Thanks for giving Jimmy props. I think if anything his WW2 experience made him better as an actor, giving him more depth.

Messianic Gentile 12/31/06, 9:44 PM  

Luke,

Thanks for the response to my Judas/War Protest post. And Happy Holidays...

I am trying to raise jet pack deficiency awareness this year, since it is 2007 and we still don't have them.

I invite you and your readers to stop by and lend your support.

PS. I like Scrooged (missed it this year) and Christmas Vacation. My picks for Xmas.

Thanks, and many blessings...

Kenny Simpson 1/3/07, 8:39 AM  

Elf and Home Alone are two of my favorite.

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