Christmas is a magical time of year regardless of how many festive films you watch, but they certainly do add to that Yuletide spirit! With so many out there, however, the question remains – what should I watch? To help you choose your Christmas Eve flick, we’ve picked out six of the best festive movies of all time, from classic 1940s Hollywood to modern family hits.
Holiday Inn (1942)
Boasting a cast including Bing Crosby (in his first performance of the classic song “White Christmas”) and legendary dancer Fred Astaire, this musical film was always going to be a hit. Starring Marjorie Reynolds as the object of both men’s affection, Holiday Inn is the ultimate Christmas musical, complete with romance, catchy tunes, toe-tappingly good dancing and holiday cheer.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
While perhaps not the cheeriest festive flick, this iconic, critically-acclaimed movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed certainly touched the hearts of its audience. After stepping in to prevent George Bailey (Stewart) from committing suicide the night before Christmas, his guardian angel (Henry Travers) shows Bailey what the world would be like if he had never existed, thus showing him how many lives have benefited from his presence.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The ultimate feel-good family film, Miracle on 34th Street is – almost – enough to make even us adults believe in Santa. It tells the story of a young girl (played by Natalie Wood) who was raised not to believe in such nonsense, but who begins to suspect that maybe Saint Nick truly does exist after meeting a very convincing department store Santa named Kris Kringle. Definitely one to watch with the grandkids.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
In this fantasy-filled adaptation of Dr Seuss’ classic story of the same name, the Christmas-hating Grinch (Jim Carrey) terrorises the residents of Whoville who love nothing more than the festive season. However, after becoming reluctant friends with six-year-old Cindy Lou Who after saving her life, his perspective on Christmas – and the town – begins to change.
Love Actually (2003)
This hilarious movie follows a group of Londoners as they try to navigate their way through muddled relationships, awkward crushes and taboo romances – all at the most chaotic time of year. One for the adults, the occasionally cheesy yet ultimately sweet flick has one of the best ensemble casts we’ve ever seen, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman.
Will Ferrell takes the reins in this family comedy as an elf who learns he is actually a human, and decides to travel from the North Pole to New York City to seek out his real father, spreading Christmas cheer along the way. In the 13 years since its release, the beloved movie has been turned into a Broadway Musical and even a stop-motion Christmas special.
Tell us in the comments below, what’s your favourite Christmas movie of all time?