The holidays are here and the library's Christmas and holiday films are flying off the shelves. Every year I go on a personal marathon of Christmas film watching. I set aside my Netflix que, put my TV watching on hold, with the exception of the Doctor Who Christmas Specials, and settle back to watch some of my favorite Christmas films. Below are the ones I must see or I feel like my holiday season is incomplete.
10. (tie) Scrooged - This version of a Christmas Carol stars Bill Murray as a television executive producing a Christmas special at any cost. He is visited by three very troublesome ghosts who show him his past present and future.
10. (tie) Click - The story of a driven may who receives a remote that allows him to fast forward through the boring parts of his life. The problem is that most of them involve his family. The moment of awareness comes to him over the Chanukah season.
9. An American Christmas Carol - Sadly, the library does not own this title as it goes in and out of print frequently. As the title implies this is another version of a Christmas Carol staring Henry Winkler as the owner of one of the first companies to sell on credit. If you get a chance watch this one.
8. (tie) Meet John Doe -- Starring Gary Cooper as an down on his luck baseball pitcher with a bum arm. He is drafted by a newspaper to pretend to be the man from a made up letter to editor who is so fed up with the government and the economy that he's threatened to commit suicide New Years Eve in protest. Directed by Frank Capra
8. (Tie) It's a Wonderful Life. -- Frank Capra's wonderful film about a man (Jimmy Stewart) who finds out that his life truly is wonderful and that if he'd never been born many people would be a lot worse off.
7. Die Hard -- Bruce Willis's die hard action movie about a group of criminals who take over a building during the company's Christmas Eve Party and finds himself the only person who can stop them.
6. Christmas Story -- The classic story of a young boy's desire for the ultimate Christmas gift: a Red Rider BB gun. What person watching could forget the classic "major award" won by the boy's father, and the painful flag pole scene.
5. The Lion in Winter -- A tale of love, betrayal, and intrigue among the Royal family of King Henry II over their Christmas together.
4. Desk Set -- Properly this film covers a full year, from one Christmas to next. The story takes place at a movie studio where the research library staff appears to be in danger of losing their jobs to a new giant computer. Staring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, this film is one of my favorites.
3. Magoo's Christmas Carol. -- The title says it all- a version of A Christmas Carol as performed by Mr. Magoo. I'm not sure why I must watch this version. I think because it was the first version of A Christmas Carol I ever saw. It holds a special place in my heart.
2. A Christmas Carol -- There are lots of version of this film; all having the same title. My favorite is the one starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. You all know the story of the miser who learns the "true meaning of Christmas." For me George C. Scott is Scrooge.
1. Scrooge -- Starring Albert Finney as Scrooge this 1970 musical version of A Christmas Carol is my absolute must watch holiday movie. I love the singing, dancing and for days after watching I find myself singing "Thank you very much" to myself. Today, after at least 35 viewings, if not more, I don't find myself watching the movie as much as I do singing along with it.
There are lots of other movies I could name that I also try to watch. These are my top ten. Between Thanksgiving and New Years I try to make sure that I find the time watch these no matter what is going on in my life. If I left your favorite off the list know that there is still a good chance I will see it. Each member of my family has their own lists and I watch theirs as well. My wife must watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and my son must watch Elf. I would love to hear your choices as well. Please feel free to do so in the comments section below.