Ten Essential Holiday Movies

By Broadside Staff Writer Ross Bonaime

10. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
In this 1964 B-movie, the real questions about Santa are answered. Not how he gets into homes without chimneys or how he travels across the world in a single night, but what would happen if Santa went to Mars and met aliens. This unintentionally hilarious film is featured with more robots, UFOs and child abductions than you would usually expect in your Christmas films.

9. A Muppet Christmas Carol
Sure, the Charles Dickens story is a great holiday classic, but it was always missing Gonzo and Fozzie Bear. Multi-Oscar winner Michael Caine plays the iconic Ebeneezer Scrooge as Kermit the Frog and the rest of the Muppet gang attempt to make the cold-hearted humbug find the true meaning of Christmas in only a way that Jim Henson could.

8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
After the Griswold family survived their trips to Wally World and Europe, it is hard to believe that their most difficult trek would be through the holidays with their families. This irreverent holiday tale shows that sometimes the last thing you want for Christmas is your family.

7. The Santa Clause
Before Tim Allen became synonymous with holiday movies, he made this great Disney favorite. For a tale about a man who accidentally kills Santa Claus on Christmas and takes over his identity, it is quite heart-warming, unlike the two sequels that are just bone-chilling.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Most holiday films do not encompass more than one holiday, but this Tim Burton-produced (not directed) Halloween-Christmas movie does just that. Jack Skellington and all of Halloweentown showed that Christmas could be enjoyed by anyone who has their heart into it.

5. Elf
An innocent-faced Will Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf in this hilarious comedy. After ending up in Santa’s sack of toys as a baby, Buddy is raised on the North Pole and must trek to New York City to find his long-lost father. Elf has quickly been regarded as a new classic amongst holiday films, and rightfully so.

4. Love Actually
Now while not a film directly about Christmas, this comedy takes place over the holidays and the relationships between various people living in England. Love Actually sets the mood of the season by showing the warmth, compassion and love that can be found around that special time of the year.

3. A Christmas Story
Anyone who has ever turned on TBS within a month of Christmas has seen this much-beloved story of the Parker family and poor little Ralphie who just wants his Red Ryder BB gun. Ralphie’s determination to get the toy that everyone tells him will make him “shoot your eye out” will be familiar to anyone who has just wanted that one present so badly.

2. Home Alone 1 and 2
Every kid that has grown up during the ’90s has at some time or another wanted to be Kevin McCallister. They have wanted to toboggan down their stairs (which, when I tried as a child, left a dent in the floor, unlike Kevin), set up traps for some unexpected visitors, or just have free reign over the house. Kevin’s antics of being alone for not one, but two holidays, and being invaded by the Wet Bandits, later known as the Sticky Bandits, has not only become one of the highest grossing films of all time, but is also now a no-brainer in the line up of classic Christmas movies.

1. It’s A Wonderful Life
It is amazing to hear that Frank Capra’s timeless film, which is now synonymous with Christmas, was a flop when released in 1947. But now, the story of George Bailey, played by the famous everyman Jimmy Stewart, is one of those perfect feel-good films that shows that every little person matters in this overwhelming world of ours. It is the type of film that will make you feel like you could lasso the moon, believe that everytime a bell rings an angel gets its wings and make you feel like the richest man in town.

No votes yet
Student Media Group: