Entertainment

10 Christmas movies you can't help but enjoy (with trailers)

TEAR-JERKER: James Stewart stars in the classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
TEAR-JERKER: James Stewart stars in the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Contributed

IN CASE the music and decorations haven't given it away, Christmas time is now upon us.

That means turkey roasts, the giving and receiving of gifts and of course a Christmas film.

We asked our Facebook readers what was the one Christmas movie they could not live without.

The response varied from the popular - Home Alone - to the obscure - A Mom for Christmas, starring Olivia Newton John.

So whether you're already in Christmas mode or a grinch trying to ward off Santa's helpers, here are 10 films to stir up that Christmas spirit.

It's a Wonderful Life

Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, this sentimental story has grown in popularity since its initial release in 1946.

It's Christmas Eve and Bailey is on the verge of ending his life when he is visited by an angel who shows him what life would have been like if he never existed.

Frank Capra's magical, life-affirming tale won't leave a dry eye in the house.

White Christmas

Paramount's follow-up to the 1942 hit Holiday Inn stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as a successful song-and-dance team who entertain the troops.

The two become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former general.

While not Crosby's best film, it features many musical numbers including the famous title song.

Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin stars as eight-year-old Kevin McCallister who is accidentally left at home while his family flies to France for Christmas.

Two would-be burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) attempt to break into his house and Kevin is forced to protect his home with some inventive, makeshift booby traps.

The comedy classic is high on laughs thanks to the comedic performances of Pesci and Stern as they are constantly outwitted by Culkin.

The Santa Clause

Tim Allen stars in this family friendly film about a man who accidentally kills Santa on Christmas Eve.

He then finds himself magically recruited to take his place and learns the true meaning of Christmas along the way.

Die Hard

This is the film that defined the action movie template for all action movies to come.

It stars Bruce Willis in his most famous role - NYPD cop John McClane.

It's Christmas Eve and German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) has taken hostage, employees on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building who are all celebrating Christmas.

Unluckily for the terrorists, McClane's wife is one of those in attendance and he will stop at nothing to rescue her.

And we really mean nothing. Action packed to the very end.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

How do you improve on the classic Dickens tale? Add the Muppets.

Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit whose son Tiny Tim is ill while Michael Caine stars as the Christmas-hating Ebenezer Scrooge.

The uncaring Scrooge is visited by three Christmas ghosts who show him the past, present and future and teach him to be more compassionate.

Miracle on 34th Street

The story has been retold many times but the 1947 original film remains the best.

When a nice old man (Edmund Gwenn) is hired to be a department store Santa Claus he is fired after he claims to be the real thing. But some people begin to believe he may indeed be the real Santa Claus, including a lawyer who decides to defend him in court.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's 1993 animated film is a thoroughly enjoyable tale about Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who lives in Halloweentown.

Bored with his job and feeling there is something missing from life he stumbles into Christmastown.

Learning about Christmas, Jack tries to get the residents of Halloweentown to put on Christmas instead of Halloween with disastrous results.

Elf

Your enjoyment of this film will rest largely on whether you're a fan of Will Ferrell.

He stars as Buddy, a regular-sized man raised as an elf by Santa Claus. When Buddy finds out he is not a real elf, he decides to head back to his place of birth, New York City, in search of his biological family.

Gremlins

"Don't expose him to bright light. Don't ever get him wet. And don't ever, ever feed him after midnight."

A young boy inadvertently breaks these rules concerning his new Christmas pet and unleashes a horde of mischievous monsters.

The film is both a homage to classic Christmas films and to the horror genre. It's funny, silly and just a little bit scary.

Others to consider: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Bad Santa, A Christmas Carol and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Topics:  christmas editors picks facebook general-seniors-news



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