Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Greatest Christmas Movies Ever: A List

By Nicholas Stix

6. The Polar Express (2004)

5. A Christmas Carol (1951)

4. A Christmas Story (1983)

3. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

I had to strain myself, and even consult other people’s lists, to find The Polar Express and The Shop Around the Corner, or I’d have been left with four pictures.

What that means is that the Christmas picture is an inferior genre. When I try and come up with “best” lists of Westerns, I have to make tough choices within an embarrassment of riches. Ditto for musicals.

Most of the movies on “Best Christmas Movies” lists aren’t holiday pictures at all, but action movies that just happened to open on or around Christmas Day. Die Hard a Christmas movie? Batman Returns?

It’s no wonder that the top three pictures of the genre all opened during the 1940s, or that two of them starred Jimmy Stewart. That was the movies’ greatest decade, and Stewart had the greatest career of any movie star, with six pictures on my Top 100 list, and many other great movies:

Rear Window
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Philadelphia Story
It’s a Wonderful Life

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