What are some of the essential movies to see leading up to the big holiday? We're glad you asked. Grab a hot chocolate, a candy cane and your remote and settle in to watch one of these movies every night before Christmas.
One of Oliver & Hardy's most popular films involves the skinny one dressing up like Little Bo Peep and
tricking the evil Barnaby into marrying him to keep Mother Peep from being evicted. Barnaby exacts revenge
on Toyland with the Bogeymen, and the wooden soldiers come in to save the day.
A company Christmas party goes from "Ho ho ho" to "Uh oh!" as Bruce Willis's attempted reunion with his
estranged wife is sabotaged by terrorists who take over the building and corral the partygoers as hostages.
In the week between Christmas and New Year's, Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy play a rich guy and a bum who become pawns in a petty bet. When the wealthy Duke Brothers manipulate and screw over Akroyd and Murphy, they decide to get even...and rich in the process.
Did You Know? Richard Pryor was once considered for the Eddie Murphy role.
Who wouldn't want an angel in your corner who looked like Cary Grant? In this Christmas classic, Grant's an
angel tasked with helping a town bishop learn that material things aren't what's most important in life...just in time for his Christmas Eve sermon.
Did You Know? It was remade in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife, starring Denzel Washington.
In what might be the best Peanuts special ever, a disheartened Charlie and friends set out to find what the
real meaning of Christmas is, besides all the cool presents and stuff. Now everyone calls limp little
Christmas trees "Charlie Brown trees."
FYI: CBS has aired this special even more times than The Wizard of Oz.
Dr. Seuss's twist on Scrooge turns the miser into a grouchy green cave dweller who learns you can't keep a happy Who down.
Best Quote: "Then he slunk to the ice box. He took the Whos' feast. He took the who
pudding, he took the roast beast. He emptied the ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took the
last can of who hash."
Bing Crosby gets to belt 'em out while playing Christmas ornaments in this erstwhile musical about a
crooner who opens a roadhouse called the Holiday Inn, planning to operate it only on the 15 holidays of the
year so he can loaf the other 340. Now that's a business plan.
Did You Know? This film inspired the song "White Christmas," which won Best Song that
Danny Boyle's little-seen gem tells the story of a good-hearted boy who finds a bag of English
pounds right before the UK is to switch to Euros. What to do with the dough, which will be no good in mere days, brings
out the best—and worst—in the people in his life.
Did You Know? The story takes place at Christmastime, but the film was released in the summer due to scheduling conflicts.
Dysfunctional family Christmases are taken to all-new levels when a cat burgler (Denis Leary) takes a
bickering couple hostage and ends up serving as a ref to resolve the quarreling between them and their son
and in-laws and avoid being nabbed by the cops.
Best Quote: "Do you know what this family needs? A mute!"
Song-and-dance men Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye quit the army and head to a Vermont lodge to play a Christmas
show, only to find their former general runs the place...hijinks ensue! Who's better to ring in the season than Bing?
Did You Know? The original intent was to reunite Crosby with his Holiday Inn costar, Fred Astaire, who declined the role as he'd "retired."
Feeling nostalgic? Who says you can't have fun when you're alone for the holidays? When Kevin gets left behind for the family vacation, he parties with makeshift mannequins, binges on junk food and shows two bumbling burglars who's boss.
Most Memorable Scene: Kevin slaps on a generous amount of aftershave and lets out his signature scream.
A macabre mood isn't usually juxtaposed with upbeat songs, but in Tim Burton's world, anything goes. Jack the Pumpkin King kidnaps Santa and takes over on Christmas Eve. We can't imagine why his gifts of shrunken heads weren't well received!
Did You Know? Danny Elfman did the singing for Jack.
Tim Allen is forced to take the place of Santa when he inadvertently kills him on Christmas Eve. He gains weight by craving milk and cookies, grows a beard instantaneously (since shaving has no effect) and can tell whether someone is naughty or nice.
Did You Know? Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were also considered for the role of Santa Claus.
This vaguely subversive and sort of creepy film seems all bright and shiny on the surface, but what kind of
cheer does it spread when Santa's committed to the loony bin? It takes a miracle in the form of a lawyer to
spring Kris Kringle.
Best Quote: "Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind. "
This Frank Capra twist on the A Christmas Carol theme always tops holiday classics lists, starring Jimmy Stewart as a frustrated businessman whom an angel shows what life would have been like if he never existed.
Most Memorable Moment: In the end George skips through the snow proclaiming his love for everyone.