Though many have tried, few have accurately translated Christmas into enjoyable and relatable entertainment. There are vast amounts of Christmas Films and Television Specials out there, but not all of them are entertaining and not all of them are relevant in our contemporary society. So if you’re tired of watching militarism disguised as a motion picture (White Christmas) if you’re annoyed and incensed at a bunch of morons blacking-up and singing “who was it set the darkie free?” (Holiday Inn) or if you’re sick of watching a suicide attempt being thwarted (It’s A Wonderful Life) then maybe it’s time to watch something a little less prejudice, a little less depressing, and a little more up-to-date this season. So let’s count down the most Christmassy Film and Television, these are in my opinion the most relevant Christmas movies and TV specials today…
Jingle All The Way
If you’re the kind of person who gets your Christmas shopping out of the way early, then this flick probably isn’t representative of you, but if you’re the type who leaves this festive duty to the last minute, then Jingle All The Way translates this to celluloid quite accurately. Ignoring the bootleg Santa gang and the jet-pack finale, the film shows the modern day commercialisation of Christmas and the rush to get your hands on that “must-have” toy for the kids…
Travelling during the Christmas season is hectic to say the least. The first act of Home Alone portrays this with great accuracy, from the packing and preparation, organising the transport, sleeping in, the head-count, all the way to the frantic rush at the airport…
Even though it doesn’t always snow on Christmas Day, for most of us the cold is still synonymous with the festive season. The cosy contrast of a frosty outdoors and a warm, snug indoors, the sense of childhood adventure, nowhere is this feeling of enjoyment and playfulness better conveyed than Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman…
Depending on the type of person you are, you either love or hate the Office Christmas Party. If you’re the type of person who can’t stand your colleagues, or if you hate fake-festive-fun work’s do’s, then maybe a little hostage taking would liven things up…
Tales From The Crypt (1972) “All Through The Night”
Remember that anticipation you felt as a child the night before Christmas? Whether you believed in Santa Clause or not, you couldn’t wait for the next day to arrive. But what if this impatience intersected with a crazed lunatic on the loose? It’s probably best to get your head down and wait for Christmas Day…
How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
No, not that crappy Jim Carrey, Ron Howard travesty, the classic 1966 version voiced and narrated by the late great Boris Karloff is without a doubt the best. The tale of a miserable creature who realises that Christmas can come “without ribbons… without tags… without packages, boxes or bags” is just a wonderfully heart-warming animation. For all those who think that Christmas is about buying the most expensive gift or buying the most poncey food and drink take note of what The Grinch says; “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”…
A Christmas Carol (1984)
Charles Dickens’ classic story of a cold-hearted, penny-pinching old man becoming the very personification of Christmas pre-dates all the rest from The Grinch to Scrooged, but which is the best adaptation? For me it’s a toss-up between Alistair Sims and George C. Scott in terms of performance, for sheer 3D spectacularness it has to be the animated version by Robert Zemeckis, but the 1984 version is probably the best overall adaptation of the classic novel by Charles Dickens. Christmas time is a time for giving…
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Having the relatives round from the invited to the uninvited, competing with the neighbours decorations, dealing with crappy gifts and tight-arse bosses, this National Lampoon offering starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo is arguable the best of the Vacation Quadrilogy and even as a standalone Christmassy Movie it takes some beating. Everything that can go wrong probably will, but as long as you have your family there for Christmas everything will be alright in the end…
Scrooged is without a doubt the greatest alternative take on the Ebenezer Scrooge character, but the most relevant thing about this movie is the fact that Frank Cross is a TV Executive. One of the things that makes Christmas great is the television schedule, but some years the programmers drop the ball and are way off the mark with their choice of shows, and this is shown brilliantly in this movie…
Bernard And The Genie
Christmas Spirit, Love, Friendship, Snow & Everything In-between
For originality, charm, and excitement, Bernard And The Genie has to be the most Christmassy movie, albeit a TV movie. Starring Lenny Henry, Alan Cumming, and Rowan Atkinson, you seldom see this little gem on TV (not to mention DVD, Blu-ray, or streaming services) but if you do own a copy or if the BBC finally decide to air it this Christmas, then you’re in for a treat! No other film has ever captured the mood of Christmastide and made a completely funny, moving, and memorable piece of entertainment in the process…
Categories: Countdown List, Movies, Television
I LUV BERNARD AND THE GENIE!!!! WHY OH WHY CANT THE BBC PUT IT ON AGAIN? PLUS NO DVD RELEASE?!? WTF?!!!
Exactly, Bernard And The Genie is one of the greatest Christmas Specials of all time.
You can read my article about it HERE
Wait, aren’t you the one who said celebrations are pointless? So why do these films get you into “the Christmas mood”. Just saying.
Everything we do, say, and think is pointless; life is ultimately pointless. If I didn’t pick some stuff that makes me less depressed I’d have killed myself by now.
But forget that, why the fuck are you reading an article about Christmas in September? Just to pick holes and argue over daft shit?
Sorry about that
Forget about it 🙂