Seems the movie industry loves producing Christmas flicks, and probably for good reason — they are box-office hits! According to Forbes, the movie Home Alone — which was set during the holidays and released during the Christmas season — eventually brought in a staggering total of $476.68 million at worldwide box offices between December 1990 and February 1991.
There’s no doubt about it — we love Christmas films! Here’s our list of four Christmas movies from years gone by… See if you can remember these holiday favorites!
Miracle on 34th Street
There have been a few remakes of this holiday favorite, but the original Miracle on 34th Street — released in 1947 — is probably the best known of them all. This Christmas classic tells the tale of a little girl named Susan (Natalie Wood) and her desire to believe that old ecentric Kris Kringle (Edmund Gween) really is Santa Claus, despite the cynicism of her mother (Maureen O’Hara), a young divorcée. Wrapped up like a Christmas present is the developing romance between O’Hara and John Payne, who never allows O’Hara to lose hope — in Christmas, in Santa, and in love. Oddly enough, this film was released in June, rather than the Christmas season, in hopes that the warm weather would encourage more people to go see the movie.
The precursor to the movie White Christmas, the musical Holiday Inn was actually the first film to feature the song White Christmas, which was made famous by crooner Bing Crosby. Bing stars in the film, along with Fred Astaire, Virginia Dale, and Marjorie Reynolds. In the movie, the “Holiday Inn” is an entertainment spot, designed to be open only on public holidays. Due to the nature of the nightclub, this romantic-triangle story takes us through many of the holidays over the course of a year — including Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and, of course, Christmas Eve — and ends with New Year’s Eve.
A Christmas Carol
Released in 1951 under the title of Scrooge in the UK, the film was renamed A Christmas Carol for its 1952 release in the United States. It’s one of many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. Alastair Sim stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted businessman who has no time for the worthless sentimentalities of Christmas, constantly declaring it to be a “humbug” — that is to say, a hoax. In a dream, Ebenezer is visited by three spirits — the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future — reminders of what Christmas really was, what it had become for him, and his future fate, if he didn’t change his ways and his attitude. In the end, Scrooge does just that. He showers gifts of food upon the family of his hardworking, downtrodden employee Bob Cratchit (Mervyn Johns) and his family, including his littlest son who is also disabled — Tiny Tim (Glyn Dearman) — who proclaims the immortal phrase: “A merry Christmas to us all! God bless us, everyone!”
It’s a Wonderful Life
Even those with the hardest of hearts find themselves shedding a tear at the end of director Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. In the 1946 movie, James Stewart stars as George Bailey — a man who has given so much of himself to help others, while in the process abandoning some of his own dreams and desires as a result. On Christmas Eve, feeling defeated and helpless, he plans to commit suicide, but is instead rescued by a spirit — an angel apprentice named Clarence (Henry Travers), who hopes to earn his wings by helping George see a reason to live. Clarence reveals to George all the good he has done for so many people, and how different those lives would have been without him. Nothing is as touching as the final scene, when George returns home to his loving and caring family and friends, and his youngest daughter exclaims as she accidently hits a bell on their Christmas tree: “Everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!”