Friday, December 14, 2007

Does it have to be about Christmas to be a Christmas Film?

Everyone is busily running around this time of year, but at some point we all need to sit down and relax. For me, that means I have time to watch some of my holiday film favorites. I know what my favs are but I thought I would ask my fellow HBPL staffers what tickled their fancy at the holidays (film-wise, of course!). I thought I might be in trouble when I asked one employee and his answer was “I think there was a Christmas scene in Goodfellows!
Fortunately I pressed on and came up with some more festive titles: The most popular was It’s a Wonderful Life. Many of the staff mentioned this is a film they try to watch every Christmas. I also like it but find it interesting that when it was released it got very mixed reviews and was viciously trashed in the New Yorker. It barely made back the cost of making it and didn’t become popular until its copyright expired and was shown every Christmas on television. Now it is a classic.

Other than It’s a Wonderful Life, I would have to say my favorite holiday films are A Christmas Carol (the Patrick Stewart version) and White Christmas. It just isn’t the holidays for me until Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen sing the title song. Another film that got a mention and that I also really like is Nightmare Before Christmas. I guess it can be either a Halloween film or a Christmas film. I tend to watch it at Halloween but some of my workmates claimed it belonged to Christmastime.

The other popular titles: Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story (“You'll shoot your eye out!!”) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These are all very Christmas-worthy (and available in our Media department).
But what constitutes a Christmas film?? For me it is the films that I have to watch every year at Christmas. When I asked my colleagues for their films, most were in the traditional vein. But a few were quite surprising. One colleague, without hesitation, stated Desk Set. Another, Serendipity; and I had more than one Home Alone’s!

So, I hope your holidays are full of joyous spirit and that you find some time to relive days past with your favorite holiday films (whatever they may be!).

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