“A Christmas Story” is the epitome of a timeless holiday classic. It tells the uproarious story of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), a young boy whose life is riddled with misfortune and absurdity as Christmas is fast approaching. The film is incredibly genuine as every little mishap is perfectly executed. A risquÃ© leg lamp and a shot out eye characterize the nature of this truly enduring holiday film.
Like fine wine, “It’s a Wonderful Life” only improves with age as the heartwarming and emotional story of George Bailey (James Stewart) embraces the true spirit of Christmas. A compassionate man is driven to the point of suicide before Clarence the angel (Henry Travers) shows him what his quaint Bedford Falls would be without him. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a black and white treasure.
“National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” follows the desperate but always chipper Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his family as they unenthusiastically welcome their relatives. The lovable head of the family accidentally locks himself in the attic amongst other preposterous calamities, including his failed attempt at decorating his home with an obnoxious amount of lights. The film is a comedic success and reminds us of an exaggerated version of how relatives can act around the holidays.
The screwball comedy “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” pairs the uptight Neal Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy), a boisterous shower ring salesman. The two are brought together improbably at multiple points throughout the film, resulting in Del incessantly bothering Neal. The film lives up to its moniker as the odd pair attempts to reach their respective families. However, the film is a genuine heart-warmer by its finish.
Cute and lovable creatures are sold by a mysterious street vendor in “Gremlins” with the strict warning not feed them after midnight. In classic Hollywood style this is not obeyed, which sets the plot of “Gremlins” in motion. A quirky horror flick with a holiday backdrop makes for an interesting twist on traditional Christmas movies. “Gremlins” is a fun and experimental film with the perfect mix of Christmas and horror.
In “The Santa Clause” Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) leads an average life before in a dark turn of events, Santa Claus is killed falling of his roof, leaving Calvin responsible with filling the red suit. A clever concept drives the film, as Calvin must learn all of the tricks of the trade that encompass being St. Nick. An ever-growing beard and weight gain are unavoidable for Calvin in this charming movie.
Stop motion animation is at its finest in “The Nightmare before Christmas” as Tim Burton creates a unique and brilliantly created world that is inhabited by lively and three dimensional characters. Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) is essentially the king of Halloweentown until he stumbles upon Christmas Town and he finds that he prefers it over the former. In an attempt to better himself he cleverly constructs a plot to lead Christmas from now on.
The Oscar-winning Christmas film “Miracle on 34th Street” tells the dramatic and pleasant story of the non-believing little girl Doris Walker (Natalie Wood) and her mother (Maureen O’Hara) and the real life Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn). The man is so convincing as Santa Claus that even a doubting Doris soon believes that he is the real Santa and defends him when he is institutionalized for being insane. A young lawyer (John Payne) comes to his aid in the courtroom and shields the sweet old man.