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The Guy Corner NYC’s Top 5 Holiday Movies

 A Christmas Story, Christmas, Classics, Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Grinch, Home Alone, It's A Wonderful Life, movies, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, National Lampoon's Vacation, Santa Claus, Seuss

There are so many Christmas movies out there and many of them are classics. I figured I would share my top 5 with you. If you ask me, Christmas time is when you spend with family so what better way to do that but snuggle up with some hot chocolate or eggnog while you watch the classics with your kids.

1. A Christmas Story

Nine years after the Yuletide slasher flick Black Christmas, Porky’s director Bob Clark once again took on the holiday… genre, switching from gasps to laughs with A Christmas Story. Adapted from a memoir by humorist Jean Shepherd (who narrates), the film centers on Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a young boy living in 1940s Indiana, desperately yearning for a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Despite protests from his mother (Melinda Dillon) that he’ll shoot his eye out, Ralphie persists, unsuccessfully trying to enlist the assistance of both his teacher and Santa Claus. All the while, Ralphie finds himself dealing with the constant taunts of a pair of bullies and trying to not get in the middle of a feud between his mother and father (Darren McGavin) regarding a sexy lamp.

2. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Chevy Chase, star of National Lampoon’s Vacation and its sequel, is back as the paterfamilias of the Griswold family (including Beverly D’Angelo as his missus) to skewer the Yuletide season. Chevy mugs, trips, falls, mashes his fingers and stubs his toes as he prepares to invite numerous dysfunctional relatives to his household to celebrate Christmas. Amidst the more outrageous sight gags (including the electrocution of a cat as the Christmas tree is lit) the film betrays a sentimental streak, with old wounds healing and long-estranged relatives reuniting in the Griswold living room. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was still capable of attracting an audience five years after its release — it was one of the top-rated seasonal TV specials of 1994, outrating even the first network telecast of It’s a Wonderful Life.

3. Home Alone

Home Alone is the highly successful and beloved family comedy about a young boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who… is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they’ve left him “home alone,” he learns to fend for himself and, eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) who are planning to rob every house in Kevin’s suburban Chicago neighborhood. Though the film’s slapstick ending may be somewhat violent, Culkin’s charming presence helped the film become one of the most successful ever at the time of its release.

4. It’s A Wonderful Life

This is director Frank Capra’s classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt… guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey’s dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George out. But first, Clarence is given a crash course on George’s life, and the multitude of selfless acts he has performed: rescuing his younger brother from drowning, losing the hearing in his left ear in the process; enduring a beating rather than allow a grieving druggist (H.B. Warner) to deliver poison by mistake to an ailing child; foregoing college and a long-planned trip to Europe to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from letting its Depression-era customers down; and, most important, preventing town despot Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over Bedford Mills and reducing its inhabitants to penury.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Chuck Jones’ animated version of the classic Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired on television… in 1966 and has since become a holiday family favorite. Voiced by Boris Karloff (who also narrates), the Grinch lives on top of a hill overlooking Whoville with his dog, Max. Each year at Christmas time, the Grinch’s hatred grows stronger toward those insufferably cheerful Whos down in Whoville. Content to exchange presents, eat large banquets, and sing songs in the town square, the Whos live in a blissful ignorance of the Grinch’s contempt. One year, he gets the idea to stop Christmas from coming by dressing up as Santa Claus. He cobbles together an outfit and makes his dog drag him around on a sleigh while sneaking into the Whos’ homes and stealing their presents, food, and decorations. After he has stolen every last thing, the Whos wake up on Christmas morning to sing in the town square, causing the Grinch to question the basis of his nefarious plan. Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of kid cereal mascot Tony the Tiger) provides the vocals for the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” This story was remade into a live-action movie in 2000 by director Ron Howard starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.

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About Ray Gruenfelder

Creator and Founder of The Guy Corner NYC, the Guys lifestyle blog (Tech, Sports, Food, Drinks & much more). A married father of 2, this page is dedicated to "Guy Stuff". I am also Co-Founder of NYC Wine Guys, a wine blog from 2 guys from Queens, NY.

Posted on December 7, 2015 7:15 am, in For The Guys, Kiddie Corner, Mr. Home Body, The Family Guy, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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