Top 10 Live-Action Christmas Movies

I decided that I would put together a list of great Christmas movies, but I quickly realized that I have some serious deficiencies in my knowledge of Christmas movies.  So, I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite Christmas movies.  I did not include animated films or specials except for The Polar Express (which did not make my top 10 anyway).  After the top ten, I included a list of other Christmas movies that I have seen (most of which I actually like), and finally I included a list of Christmas movies that I have not seen, but probably should see.  This Christmas season, I will make an effort to see several of the movies that I have somehow missed in my life, and see if they deserve to crack the top 10.

10. Muppet Family Christmas- The Muppets just seem to go with Christmas.

9. The Nativity Story- This movie makes it because it is important to remember the reason for the season, and it was not a bad attempt to tell the story.

8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation- Perhaps the most underrated of the live action Christmas movies with the most enjoyable appearance by the Griswold family since the original.  I really enjoyed it.

7. Elf- Underrated as a Christmas movie and a Wil Farrell film, this is a very enjoyable Christmas tale.

6. The Grinch- This film could easily have been a disappointment.  It would have been hard to improve upon the original animated version of the Dr. Suess classic.  However, Jim Carey is great as the Grinch, and he carries the film very well.

5. White Christmas- This deserves to be in the top 10 if only for the title song which is the best Christmas song of all time even though it is not the first time it was sung on film.

4. Miracle on 34th Street- A nice Christmas classic about believing in Santa Claus.  Greatness.

3. A Christmas Carol- There are a host of versions of the great Dickens tale out there, and most of them are very good.  The story keeps it at the top of my list.

2. A Christmas Story- Honestly, I enjoy watching this film more than any on the list.  I watch it every year a couple of times on TNT, and it is one of my favorite comedies regardless of the fact that it is a Holiday movie.  I have most of the dialogue memorized.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life- To have put A Christmas Story above this movie would have just been wrong.  This movie has become an American icon of the Christmas season, and it deserves to hold the top spot.

 

The movies below are other Christmas films that I have seen, and may have enjoyed.  The ones toward the bottom I liked less.

The Polar Express

Scrooge

Scrooged

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Sound of Music

Ernest Saves Christmas

Bad Santa

The Santa Claus

Santa Clause 2

Babes in Toyland

The Christmas Shoes

Home Alone

Jingle All the Way

The Ref

Very Brady Christmas 

Christmas with the Kranks

Jack Frost

 

The following is a list of films that I have not seen but probably need to see (except for Black Christmas).

Holiday Inn

Preacher’s Wife

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Christmas in Connecticut

Black Christmas

Mary Christmas

Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

Home for the Holidays

A Holiday to Remember

The Bells of St. Mary’s

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

The Bishop’s Wife

The Christmas Box

Meet Me in St. Louis

Surviving Christmas

The Man Who Saved Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Rooney is Proud of America, and I am Sick of Him.

Like most good Americans, I am sick of Andy Rooney, and find myself continually wondering whose blood he sucked-out last night in order to buy one more minute of life on this Earth.  Of course, the obvious answer is that he lives off the ‘life force’ which he sucks from his viewers on a weekly basis. 

Normally, I would just avoid him all together, but my wife and I watch the Amazing Race every week (usually on tape due to my own professional football watching commitments).  Because 60 Minutes is preceded by a nationally televised football game, it almost always starts late, and as a result, I have scheduled series recordings for Amazing Race and Cold Case, so that I always get the entire Amazing Race program for the week.  Each week, I fast forward through the rest of 60 Minutes, looking for the beginning of the Amazing Race. 

Usually, the only effect Andy Rooney has on me is to have to look at his face as I fast forward to the end of the program.  This week, however, as I saw him going by, I noticed the caption of Obama behind him, and was intrigued.  I stopped the DVR and looked at my wife, and said, “Surely, he is not praising America for electing Obama.”  I rewound to the beginning of the segment and I sat mouth agape and watching him spew some of the worst drivel that I’ve ever seen on television.  Usually, his rants are so inane that they are easily dismissed and forgotten, but in this one he actually told the viewers how proud he was to live in an America where the people, 80% of whom are white, could vote-in a black man to be their president.

This is mind-boggling.  The implications of his statements in this segment are far reaching.  Does that mean that if America, where 80% of the people are white, had not chosen to make Obama president that it would have been an indication of our inherent continued racism?  I honestly believe this old man would have scolded America if Obama had not been elected.

Any presidential race should be less about color and personality than it is about ideology.  Rooney does not have enough faith in the American people to think that they could vote for a candidate based on political ideas.  Honestly, I do not have that much faith in the American people (at least the 16% who decide elections) either, but not because I think American is full of closet racists.  Unfortunately, I believe those 16% who are not motivated to vote based on political ideology probably did vote for Obama, not because he was black or a liberal, but because he was telegenic and speaks well as opposed to McCain.  [The hard-core liberal will have to forgive me here.  I know that they voted for Obama out of ideology, and I respect the fact that they are at least voting for a candidate that supports their political point of view.  There are simply not enough hard-core liberals or hard-core conservatives in America to win the Presidency.]

My point here is that I simply resent the implication in Rooney’s statement that those who voted against Obama did so because he was a black man.  I wonder if Rooney would have felt the same way if it had been Condoleezza Rice who had been the black candidate running for the Republican ticket.  I doubt it, but I would have voted for her in a second.  And, just think, American could have doubly assuaged its guilt by electing her president.