Movies for ChristmasA List of Movies and Their Descriptions
Donna Hurst Tatsuki
tatsuki [at] kobeuc.ac.jp
This is a list of movies which might be interesting around Christmas. ESL teachers may want to use selected scenes in the classroom or recommend these movies to their students.
- A Christmas Carol (1951). Alistair Sim will always be Scrooge to me. Based on Dicken's tale about the meanest miser in London and his dramatic repentance. Dir. Brian Desmond Hurst.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). This was the animation debut for Snoopy and the gang. For anyone afraid of losing the Christmas spirit, this video is a must. Charlie Brown finds a ragged little Christmas Tree to love among all the artificial claptrap and Snoopy is lured to the commercial aspects of Christmas decorating. Dir. Bill Melendez
- Dr. Seuss: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas ( 1974). A warm children's tale for the holiday season. Dir. Chuck Jones.
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and 1994). A young girl's spirit of Christmas is renewed through contact with a department store Santa who claims to be Kris Kringle. Dir. (1947) George Seaton, (1994) Les Mayford.
- Scrooge (1970). A musical version of Dicken's classic with Albert Finney in the title role. Dir. Ronald Neame.
- A Christmas Story (1983). A hilarious and heartwarming story of a Christmas in the 1940's. Dir. Bob Clark.
- A Christmas Without Snow (1980). John Houseman as a dictatorial choir director who encounters problems while rehearsing Handel's Messiah is really worth watching. Dir. John Korty.
- A Christmas to Remember (1979). A grandfather (Jason Robards) who has never recovered from the death of his son resents the visit of his grandson. His meaness makes the boy run away. Dir. George Englund.
- Christmas Lilies of the Field (1984). Sequel to 1963 film with Billy Dee Williams playing Sidney Poitier's award-winning role. Dir. Ralph Nelson.
- A Child's Christmas in Wales (1987). Based on Dylan Thomas' holiday classic. Dir. Don McBrearty.
- Santa Claus-- The Movie (1985). An evil toy maker threatens the spirit of Christmas. Dir. Jeannot Szvarc.
- Home Alone I and II (1990/1993). Comedies that remind us of the value of families. Dir. Chris Colombus.
- The Christmas Wife (1988). A heart-warming story of a widower who goes to a lonely heart agency to find companionship for the holidays. Dir. David Jones.
- Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986). Dolly Parton rediscovers the real meaning of Christmas. Dir. Henry Winkler.
Christmas Related (some only slightly)
- The Gift of Love (1978). Inspired by O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi". Dir. Don Chaffey.
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear(1984). Mickey Rooney dies but comes back tospend one last Christmas with his grandson. Dir. Peter H. Hunt.
- White Christmas (1954). For Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney fans this movie is a must. Dir. Michael Curtiz.
- The Nightmare before Christmas (1993). Based on the Tim Burton story. Dir. Henry Sellick.
- Scrooged (1988). Modern day twist to the Dickens classic with Bill Murray in the title role. Dir. Richard Donner.
- Mixed Nuts (1994). Steve Martin and a bunch of other loonies face eviction at Christmas.
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Comedy about an advise columnist (Barbara Stanwyck) who arranges a phony family Christmas for the sake of publicity. Dir. Peter Godfrey.
- The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle or Christmas Miracle in Coalfield USA (1977). Sappy story about a group of miners trapped in an underground explosion. Dir. Jud Taylor.
- The Christmas Tree/When Wolves Cry (1983). Melodrama about a terminally ill 10 year old boy. Dir. Terence Young.
- National Lampoon Christmas Vacation (1989). Frantic farce with Chevy Chase. Dir. Jeremiah Chechik.
- When Harry Met Sally (1989). Romance comedy that comes to a close at Christmas and NewYears. Dir. Rob Reiner.
- Mame (1974). Musical with Lucille Ball and Robert Preston includes some popular Christmas tunes. Dir. Gene Saks.
- Die Hard I and II (1988 and 1990). Action, blood...ok, so they only happen at Christmas time!
- Lethal Weapon I (1987). Well, the opening music is a Christmas carol. Dir. Richard Donner.
- Earnest Saves Christmas (1988). Idiotic. Dir. John Cherry III.
- Christmas Evil (1983). Black comedy about a toy factory employee who slowly goes insane. Dir. Lewis Jackson.
- Home for the Holidays (1972). A chilling whodunit with Sally Field. Dir. John Llewellyn Moxey.
- Black Christmas (1975). Deaths in a sorority house over the holiday season features Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder. Dir. Bob Clark.
- Silent Partner (1978). Suspense thriller with Christopher Plummer portraying a psychotic criminal who disguises himself as Santa Claus. Dir. Daryl Duke.
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. II, No. 12, December 1996