This December is flying by! I have my tree up and most of my decorations, although it's been raining, so I have not been able to put up the outdoor lights yet. To celebrate the season, here's a list of my top ten favorite Christmas movies.
1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - just a perfect movie, regardless of the season. The whole cast shines, and I bawl every single time I see this movie. The Phoenix Big Theaters are showing this one all next weekend, and I'm planning on going. I haven't seen this on the big screen and I can't wait.
2. We're No Angels (1955) - Hamlette introduce me to this film a few years ago and it became an instant favorite. I'd never seen it previously because it starred Humphey Bogart and my mom was not a fan, so we tended to not watch anything he was in. This movie is very sweet, and very funny. Another one where the whole cast is perfect.
3. Donovan's Reef (1963) - This movie is definitely a product of its time, but I still love it. Mostly I just love Lee Marvin and John Wayne together, and not as enemies. Their traditional birthday brawl cracks me up. Lee Marvin's train cracks me up. I love the Hawaiian on-location scenery. I love Jack Warden, and I love how funny this movie is.
4. Holiday Inn (1942) - I love Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby in this, love the Irving Berlin music, with, of course, the classic "White Christmas" song.
5. Babes in Toyland (1934) - one of the movies I grew up with. One of my favorite Laurel and Hardy full length films. Really love Bo Peep and Tom-Tom. They're so cute together. And I love the wooden soldiers and how they save the day. The bogeymen were quite scary when I was young. Still find them a bit creepy! We used to make pee wees and smack them around. They never came back though, like Laurel's does. Hmph.
6. The Bishop's Wife (1947) - Is there anything more wonderful and Christmas-y then Cary Grant's angel decorating that Christmas tree? Always one of my favorite Christmas images, and every Christmas, I can't wait to see this movie, just to get to that moment. This is also one of my favorite Cary Grant movies.
7. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - I saw this movie for the first time last year, and really loved it. Loved Maureen O'Hara and John Payne, and loved how the trial turned out.
8. White Christmas (1954) - I love this one mostly for the ending, which makes me cry every time. Great cast here, too.
9. The Polar Express (2004) - this one is on the list more from familiarity than anything else. Have seen this one a jillion and one time because my nephew loves it, and it's grown on me. It's got some great parts, and some weird parts, but ends really well. Watching my nephew sing along with the little girl in one part makes this movie special to me.
10. Joyeux Noel (2005) - the WWI drama of the true story of the truce on Christmas. A wonderful movie, so touching and beautiful, even more so because it is depicting real events. One of the few WWI movies that doesn't leave me plunged into despair at the end.
And no Christmas movie list would be complete without a bonus mention of my favorite non-Christmas movie set during Christmas: Die Hard. One of the best action movies ever, and the Christmas setting is integral to the plot and to some of the best parts of the film. I tend to watch it at least once every Christmas season. "Oh the weather outside is frightful... da-de-da, de-da delightful."