The Christmas season has spawned a culture all of its own: festive foods, Christmas pop music and even Christmas jumpers. And, of course, this extends to movies too, with a huge array of famous films to choose from that celebrate the spirit of Christmas, or take an alternative approach to it. Here are five to watch out for in the listings for your TV packages over the coming festive season.
- Elf (2003)
Will Ferrell’s modern-day Christmas fairytale is only ten years old, but it has already firmly established itself as a true classic. Ferrell plays a North Pole elf lost in the US and seeking to find his true identity. Like all of the best Christmas movies, it provides plenty of laughs (even after repeated viewings), as well as some deeper reflections on the nature of family and friendship.
- It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
If Elf is a modern-day Christmas classic, then It’s A Wonderful Life is the all-time champion. Frank Capra’s tribute to love and goodwill to all men has touched one generation after another and is still going strong. James Stewart is on fantastic form as the suicidal businessman who comes to realise just how valuable his life is, and you just might want to hug all of your friends and family after it’s over.
- Die Hard (1988)
Always a popular choice on alternative Christmas movie lists, the only festive part of Die Hard is the time of year at which it’s set. While it may be short on seasonal cheer and sightings of Father Christmas, it’s still a cracking watch some 25 years later: great characters, memorable dialogue and Bruce Willis on fine action movie form. Just try your best to forget the sequels that followed.
- Home Alone (1990)
Fun for all the family here: Macaulay Culkin is the little boy left behind by his family who must protect his property from the Wet Bandits, a pair of bumbling burglars. Everyone from kids to grandparents will enjoy Home Alone, and there are some great winter wonderland shots to enjoy too, if it doesn’t happen to be a white Christmas wherever you are in the world.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Charles Dickens knew a thing or two about telling a good story and this classic tale of Christmas goodwill and the importance of helping our fellow men and women is given a modern (well, relatively modern) boost thanks to the presence of the Muppets. The story is timeless and there’s a real Christmassy feel to the whole production, making it a great choice when you’re slumped on the sofa with a glass of mulled wine in hand.
Check your local television listings and you should find these classic movies appearing on most TV packages over the Christmas season. If you can’t find showings for some of them, perhaps it’s time to consider treating yourself to one of the newest packages for digital TV as a last-minute Christmas present. And don’t forget to make sure that you have a plentiful supply of food and drink to help you through your Christmas movie marathon, too.
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