What defines a Christmas movie? In my opinion any movie that involves Christmas, even if loosely so. I don’t think a movie needs to revolve around it to count as a Christmas movie. That’s why I’ll be watching these movies in the countdown to Christmas. If you celebrate, what will you be watching?
My Reputation (1946) Drama/Romance
I watch this movie about three times per year. It takes place during winter and has a lovely Christmas scene during which Barbara Stanwyck plays piano and sings with her family. Classic Stanwyck, she must choose between a man she loves who doesn’t fit into her social circles and the “friends” she feels more and more distance from after her husband’s death. Plus her kids don’t want her to remarry yet.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) Comedy
Clever, fast-paced comedy at its best, this multi-star movie takes wit to a new level. Set at Christmas time, a novelist slips and falls outside of an unfortunate family’s home, and he stays there until his doctor gives him the okay to travel again. He holds full conferences in their house without their permission, accepts a number of outrageous (live) gifts sent to him, orders people about, and insults everyone in sight. But the Christmas tree is beautiful and the spirit can be felt throughout! This stars Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Monty Woolly, and more.
The Lion in Winter (1968) Drama/History
Not a happy movie so much as an intense one, this involves a king who has imprisoned his queen but brings her back temporarily to spend the winter with him and their sons. He must choose an heir to his throne, a difficult choice among three sons who have very different strengths. This movie is all plotting, planning, scheming, and manipulating with a bit of medieval Christmas backdrop. The all-star cast includes Katherine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, a very young Anthony Hopkins, and a very young Timothy Dalton. An absolutely brilliant movie.