Before we get to the countdown, I want to mention a couple that I know will raise some complaints. While I like the 1st two Vacation films, I absolutely hate Christmas Vacation. It is a piece of shit movie. Dan, Jason, Elizabeth, Joe: I know you like this mess of a film, but I was disappointed when I saw it in the Canton Cinema 6 in 1989 & I'm less impressed now. The other one that often ruffles feathers is It's a Wonderful Life. I saw it for the 1st time when I was in college but only made it through the 1st half. I've seen it since, but I hated it then too. Furthermore, it is responsible for my years of hatred toward James Stewart. When I finally saw Vertigo, I nearly shat myself realizing that he's actually really good. if you must see a Jimmy Stewart film this holiday season, let it be something other than this useless Frank Capra drivel. There is 1 other film I considered, but I can't remember the name of it. It's some old short from the 1938 that retells the birth of Christ @ some diner in the desert of New Mexico. It brings together my 3rd favorite December holiday w/ 1 of my favorite film genres: film noir. I wish I could remember what it's called because it's pretty fucked up. Feel free to discuss your personal favs in the comments section. And, while this goes w/o saying, don't forget to cast your vote for M.I.L.F. of the Year in the post below this one. While i'm on that subject, Joe said there was some hack on VH1 talking about the MILF of the year w/o crediting me @ all & then he talked about the Douchebag of the Year w/o crediting Jason... Joe didn't know who it was, but my money is on Dane Cook.
And now, w/o further ado, I give you my top 10 holiday films of all time:
10) One Magic Christmas: A pretty cheesy 80s film, but like all the best 80s films, it features Harry Dean Stanton. Of course in this movie, he plays an angel who saves the life of Mary Steenburgen's character's husband who dies @ the beginning in a car accident. Not fantastic, but certainly worth a viewing.
9) White Christmas: Brought to us by Michael Curtiz, the director of Captain Blood & Casablanca, this fun classic brings Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney & Danny Kaye together for a little holiday romp... full of singing & dancing.
8) The Santa Clause: I watched this again last night w/ the kids & it's a lot better than I remembered. Tim Allen, while no Fess Parker, is everything anyone could ask for in a Disney leading man. The sequel features Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost, but I've only heard horrible things about the 3rd in the series.
7) Die Hard: Of course, the most recent one is the Die Hard film to have won all the Oscars, but this one started it all... and introduced the world to John McClane.
6) Santa Clause Conquers the Martians: I saw this one 1st on MST3K, but I've since seen it w/o the robot commentary. Obviously, the commentary is important, but it stands alone as 1 of the weirdest holiday movies ever made... even weirder than the 1 whose name I couldn't remember. 5) Bad Santa: Billy Bob Thorton basically just plays himself in this one, but then he was able to capitalize on this persona again in his 2005 remake of The Bad News Bears... a grumpy drunk who hangs out w/ kids... just like me coaching soccer after the Dylan concert.
4) A Christmas Carol: While the Muppets' version is the one I saw most recently, I'm going to have to go w/ the George C. Scott version. It's the 1st one I ever saw & it still stands up well after 25 years. I'd also like to recommend the 1951 version w/ Alister Simm, but Scott's 1984 Scrooge is by far the best.
3) Trading Places: Though often overlooked when people compile lists of holiday films, this one came out a year before George C. Scott's Christmas Carol. It may still be Eddie Murphy's best film, plus there is actually some decent social commentary... maybe the only SNL film to ever include such a thing
2) A Christmas Story: The year that brought us trading Places also brought us this classic about a boy, a b.b. gun & the only lamp that's ever turned me on. I imagine some would place this as their #1, & I'm tempted to do so also, but while films from my elementary years are making up 3s 4, 3, & 2, I can't let nostalgia blur my vision.
1) Miracle on 34th Street: Coming in at #1, we have this timeless classic w/ Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara & Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. If you haven't seen this in years, give it another go... if you've only seen it colorized, be sure to check it out in the B&W original print. It's fantastic.