Holiday parties and activities may be filling up your family’s schedule this December, but sometimes the best memories are made when the whole group decides to stay in and watch your favorite holiday movies together. Grab your hot cocoa, your warm socks, and your favorite cuddle buddy—human or furry companion—because we are giving you a master list of your favorite holiday films and where you can stream them this season.
White Christmas (1954)
This holiday favorite features the classic song-and-dance routines of a golden era. Two former soldiers (Bing Crosby; Danny Kaye) turned famous performers find out that their beloved General is now the struggling owner of a quaint country inn and they immediately go to work to put on a holiday show to save him from financial undoing. Along the way, they meet two lovely sisters (Rosemary Clooney; Vera-Ellen) who join their cause, and things get complicated when romance starts to blossom. Your family will love the amazing dancing and musical numbers, as well as the corny jokes and humorous cat-and-mouse game for love.
– Danny Kaye was famous for making his castmates laugh, causing re-takes of many of the scenes.
– After goofing around on set one day, the director decided to include Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye’s performance of “Sisters” wherein you can see Bing attempt to hold back his laughter.
Love Actually (2003)
This light-hearted story follows the lives of eight couples as they navigate the peaks and valleys of love throughout the holidays in London, England. Hugh Grant stars as the English Prime Minister, while Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, and Kiera Knightley complete the cast and provide their perspectives on romance and heartache. Not only is the film fun and humorous, but it also has moments of thoughtfulness and deep introspection.
– The word “actually” is spoken 22 times by various characters throughout the film.
– Andrew Lincoln wrote the romantic cards by hand which his character Mark presents to Kiera Knightley’s character Juliet on her doorstep.
– Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays the little boy Sam, is related to Hugh Grant in real life and is his second cousin once removed.
Putting a dark twist on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, this comic version features Bill Murray as a wealthy executive who has abandoned his friends and family for wealth and notoriety. When his late mentor appears to him as a ghost and warns him to turn his life around, Frank Cross goes on a raucous adventure through time to win back his lost love (played by Karen Allen) and rectify his relationship with his brother. Adults will enjoy the clever humor and sarcasm the cast exhibits throughout the movie, and while the film may not be suited for children due to some spooky scenes and adult language, teens will love joining in on the fun.
– When Carol Kane who plays the Ghost of Christmas Present grabbed Bill Murray’s bottom lip, she injured him, and filming was put on hiatus for several days while he recovered.
– When Bill Murray makes a comment about the terrible quality of the music on the street, the audience might notice that the performers are Miles Davis, Paul Shaffer, David Sanborn, and Larry Carlton, widely renowned jazz artists of their time.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
A modern-day take on the 1947 classic, this film follows a precocious little girl (Mara Wilson) who must overcome her upbringing and believe in Santa Clause despite her mother’s cynicism. Mr. Bedford (Dylan McDermott) attempts to help Mrs. Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) overcome her negative views on Christmas and becomes the defending attorney trying to prove the existence and validity of a local Santa Clause (Richard Attenborough). This family-friendly story is uplifting and will remind viewers why believing in Santa Clause can be good for the soul.
– Bryan Bedford’s name is the same as the town named Bedford Falls, featured in the Christmas classic from 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life.
– Macy’s department store denied any association with the film or use of their name for this remake. The film uses the name “Cole’s” instead.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Jim Henson’s Muppets tell the classic Charles Dickens tale of a bitter, wealthy man (Michael Caine) and his interaction with three ghosts who show him the mistakes of his past, the folly of his present, and the impending darkness of his future. Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat narrate the tale as a comedic duo while Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit while Miss Piggy offers some hilarious one-liners.
– A “Mickelwhite” storefront is featured on the set of the film. When he is not using his stage name, Michael Caine is known as Maurice Micklewhite.
– Because the film came out at the same time as Home Alone 2: Lost in New York it didn’t do as well at the box office as was projected.
Home Alone (1990)
A little boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left at home while his family vacations in Paris. Two inept burglars (Joe Pesci; Daniel Stern) with their eye on his parents’ place close in but are surprised when the resourceful survivalist sets up a series of elaborate traps to protect his home and keep them at bay. Meanwhile, Kevin’s mother (Catherine O’Hara) is frantically trying to get back to him, with some unexpected help (John Candy) along the way.
– Joe Pesci made sure to avoid Macaulay Culkin while filming so that the young actor would perceive him as intimidating and mean.
– For his character of the traveling polka band leader, John Candy was given freedom to improvise his lines.
– The bed-wetting cousin named Fuller is played by Macaulay Culkin’s younger brother, Kieran Culkin.
Bad Santa (2003)
A wayward mall Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) meets his match when he forms an unlikely friendship with a troubled kid. He begins questioning his plans to rob various department stores with his partner (Tony Cox) on Christmas Eve and must evade the suspicions of an overly dedicated security boss.
This movie is both naughty and hilarious but is best enjoyed by adults after the kids have gone to bed.
– Billy Bob Thornton admitted that he was legitimately intoxicated for most of the filming of this movie.
– Joel and Ethan Coen helped revise the screenplay, which features the most obscenities used in a Christmas film.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The grumpy green outcast of Whoville (Jim Carrey) bonds with a curious young girl named Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), who nominates him for a town prize and goes about learning his mysterious history and the reason for his cantankerous attitude towards Christmas. This ultimately doesn’t stop him from attempting to ruin the holiday for everyone in the city but teaches him a valuable lesson about friendship and love.
– Anthony Hopkins recorded his narration of the film in a single day.
Jim Carrey’s prosthetic makeup took over 8 hours to apply. To show his appreciation, director Ron Howard went through the process himself and surprised Carrey, who hardly recognized him
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A department store executive (Maureen O’Hara) hires an aging actor who claims to be the real Santa Clause. When he is deemed certifiably insane, her neighbor and friend Fred Gailey must step in as his attorney to prevent him from being institutionalized. Meanwhile, the woman’s young daughter (Natalie Wood) begins to believe that this Santa might be the real deal.
– Natalie Wood thought that Edmund Gwenn was the real Santa Clause all the way through filming until she saw him out of costume at the wrap party.
– The Macy’s Day Parade scenes were filmed during the actual 1946 event, giving the crew only one chance to get the shots they needed for the movie.
The Year Without Santa Clause (1974)
Santa becomes fed up and decides to skip town on Christmas Eve, leaving Mrs. Clause and the elves to figure out what to do and how to convince him to return.
– The painting featured in Santa’s room is also featured in Santa Clause Is Coming to Town in 1970.
– There is a character tribute to Charlie Chaplin in the scene featuring the song, “Snow Right Here In Dixie.”
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (2014)
After a young dad (Joel McHale) is forced to spend the holidays with his strange family, he realizes he has forgotten his son’s gifts. He enlists the help of his unconventional father (Robin Williams) to go on a hectic road trip before Christmas morning.
– This film was the first to be released following the death of Robin Williams.
– Robin Williams was only featured in one other Christmas movie, Noel, in 2004.
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