An SBC Voices Forum: What Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

Back when I lived in Virginia, we could barely get network TV in our rural area, and cable had not found its way that far into the country. So, we watched VHS tapes – generally tapes that my mom recorded in Florida and sent our way. One of those was a Christmas tape, and it had my three favorite Christmas movies.

1) It’s a Wonderful Life – delightfully sentimental and sappy. No Christmas season is complete without it.

2) A Christmas Story – this was before the movie was driven into general consciousness by the 24 hour Ralphie-a-thon on TBS every year. There is barely a moment in that movie that is not brilliant. I lived some of it growing up in the Midwest.

Be careful not to shoot your eye out. And yes, your tongue will stick to the frozen pole.

3) A Christmas Carol. I believe in healthy debate, but this is not open for discussion. There is only one version of this Dickens classic worth watching (actually, the old one with Mr. Magoo as Scrooge wasn’t bad) and that is the George C. Scott version. That man was born to play Patton and Ebenezer Scrooge. I will not tolerate dissent on this topic. If you wish to watch inferior versions, I cannot stop you, but this version (was it 1983?) is the best of them all. Don’t argue with me!

When our kids were younger, it was a family tradition. We watched these movies together to get the Christmas season started.

So, what are your favorite Yuletide classics? Miracle on 34th Street? White Christmas? Scrooged? Are you low-class enough to love Tim Allen’s Santa Clause(s)? Are you a fan of the Grinch?

By the way, though it is not a movie, the Andy Griffith Christmas Show is the the single most brilliant half hour of television ever.

I won’t be around to discuss, but I will have my phone and can delete comments that dissent from my authoritative opinion about A Christmas Carol.

 

For those of you who have never had this glorious experience, the YouTubes has the full Christmas episode of Andy Griffith.

  • If you invest 26 minutes it will turn your Grinchy heart all festive.
  • You will never hear a better version of Away in a Manger that Andy and Ellie sing. (Why didn’t Andy marry Ellie? She was WAY better than Helen!)
  • Barney is the worst Santa ever. He’s still great.
  • If ol’ Ben singing through the bars in the window doesn’t put a tear in your eye, your heart is hard beyond help.


Here it is. You might want to get a tissue before you watch this.

Comments

  1. William Thornton says

    1. Sappy to the extreme.
    2. Hate it.
    3. OK

    Andy Griffith: outstanding! proving once again what a brilliant SBCV moderator Dave is.

    • Dave Miller says

      Sappy, but wonderfully so.
      You hate Ralphie? Heretic!
      To call A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott “OK” almost requires that I cut off all interactions with you.

      I’m thinking of doing an SBC Voices version of “A Christmas Carol.” You are in line for the part of Ebenezer Scrooge! Or perhaps The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

    • Bill Mac says

      Sorry, the bleh was for Miracle on 34th street, not A Christmas Carol. I like the George C. Scott version but being a scifi nerd, I kind of like the Patrick Stewart version.

      • Dave Miller says

        I couldn’t get over the fact that Captain Picard was pretending to be Scrooge. Messed with my brain.

  2. says

    A Christmas Story is probably #1. Scrooged is pretty good, too… as well as certain parts of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

    Mostly I prefer the 30-minute specials such as Garfield’s Christmas Special…and then my all time favorite:

    Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas featuring the California Rasins

    • Dave Miller says

      Funny story: My dad, who has little tolerance for “dirty movies”, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on the TV (the edited, censored version) and thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen.

      So, he had some friends over and wanted them to see it. He went out and rented the theatrical version (unedited, uncensored) and was horrified as he realized all that had been cut from the version he enjoyed.

      • says

        I’m so hopeful, in my imagination, that the next DVD release of Christmas Vacation will include the “edited for TV” option. We watched that film a lot in my house, then one day I rented the full version.

        Oh my.

      • says

        It’s not exactly a Christmas movie (except the for the fact that the action happens at Christmastime), but I had a similar experience with the initial Die Hard. Saw it on TV, enjoyed it (I prefer the first two Die Hard movies, as there at least the excuse for all of the craziness is that he’s trying to protect his wife). I found the DVD one day at one of those ‘buy DVDs for cheap’ carrels, bought it, and then proceeded to find out just how much profanity had been edited out of the TV version.

  3. Lynwood Allen says

    Re: Andy Griffin

    I still want a Brisco Darling T-shirt. Ernest T Bass worked out multiplication problems and tapped out the answers like a horse. He went crazy when he had to do 9 X 6.

  4. says

    Not a big Christmas Story fan.

    Christmas Carol: George C. Scott is excellent, although I think Patrick Stewart’s is excellent as well. If you remember that the deleted scene at the end is him saying “Computer, end program…” as he turns off the Holodeck to get back to work. (Yes, I picture it as Patrick Stewart playing Picard playing Scrooge, because I’m nuts.)

    My all-time favorite, though, is the Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine as Scrooge. And Statler and Waldorf as Marley.

  5. Dale Pugh says

    1. Love Jimmy Stewart. Sick of this movie.
    2. No thanks. Don’t like it at all.
    3. Love “A Christmas Carol”, and Scott does a good job. I kind of prefer the musical version, though.

    It isn’t Christmas in our house without “White Christmas.” We sit around singing all of the songs as the movie plays. Even though it isn’t a Christmas movie, we also enjoy watching “The Sound of Music” at this time of the year.

    If my wife makes me watch one more Hallmark Channel Christmas movie I think I’m going to vomit…….

  6. Allen Calkins says

    I forgot about White Christmas & Holiday Inn.
    Those are fun movies I certainly prefer over It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story.
    BTW, Its a Wonderful Life was a box office bomb. Miracle on 34th St was an Academy Award winner…if that matters at all.
    I also prefer ‘Scrooged’ over ‘A Christmas Carol’.
    Sappy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies will be shown 24/7 in the darkest pit of hell.

  7. volfan007 says

    Dave,

    I totally agree with every word of this post….every, single word.

    I love the movies and the Andy Griffith episode you pointed out.

    Merry Christmas,

    David

    • volfan007 says

      One thing, Dave. I like the old version of “A Christmas Carol.” That’s the best version to me…the 1938 version with Reginald Owen.

      David

  8. Andrew Green says

    I will take a different road and say I love to watch Home Alone I and II every Christmas. My wife loves White Christmas and we both watch its a Wonderful Life. George kind of reminds me why I went into ministry in a sappy sort of way

  9. Adam G. in NC says

    - Ernest Saves Christmas #1
    – The DISNEY Christmas Carol was the only one I’ve ever watched all the way through.
    – Andy Griffith…this episode reminds me of Christmas as a kid. WRAL-TV played it every Christmas Eve at 6:00 (right after supper at grandma’s). I think they still play it.

  10. Jeremy Parks says

    Saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” in college. Wasn’t impressed. Seems to me the film makers could have done it around Flag Day and the story would have rung true no matter what. Doesn’t seem to focus much on Christmas.

    Never saw “A Christmas Story.”

    Scott as Scrooge? Meh. I saw bits and pieces of it. I prefer theatrical productions of the story.

    Miracle on 34th? White Christmas? Ernest? Never saw any of them. As for Die Hard and its follow-ups (as well as a ton of others), just because they happened at Christmas doesn’t make them Christmas movies.

    And don’t get me started on the Andy Griffith stuff. Most fans are really just watching for nostalgia. The Christmas program is great not because it is quality, but because it harkens back to a different time.

    So there.

  11. says

    1) I love It’s a Wonderful Life.
    2) We have a tradition of kicking off the season by watching A Christmas Story while putting up the Christmas tree. It never gets old.
    3) George C Scott is one of the best versions out there although I’m kind of partial to the Patrick Stewart one. I have to admit really enjoying Bill Murray’s Scrooged, though. Call me product of the 80’s.

    I have to include the following to the list of favorites:
    – White Christmas
    – Holiday Inn
    – Home Alone 1 & 2
    – A Charlie Brown Christmas
    – Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    – The Nativity Story
    – The Santa Clause (1, 2, 3)
    – The Polar Express
    – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever