Your Christmas Movies

The Arts

A recent online discussion about nestling in front of the TV during a grey cold Christmas raised the question of comfort movies – stuff you’ve seen a zillion times before but would rather watch instead of, say, ‘Transformers 2′, and this gem of a dance sequence came up. It was just a low-budget British kids’ film, but it captured Christmas more for me than anything else. I love the later part, when it gets kinda jazzy. All suggestions welcome!

6 comments on “Your Christmas Movies”

  1. Steve says:

    It’s not Christmas without watching “Scrooge”, 1951. Only version of “A Christmas Carol” worth a damn as I might have mentioned before.
    Sometimes it’s hard to find over here – it’s not broadcast as regularly as it once was.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    Of course Alistair Sims and some version of the Nutcracker ballet. One year I was really sick at Christmas and my family had to do dinner, bringing me some small bits on a tray. While I lay there on the chesterfield (does anyone else call it that?) I watched “The Magic Box”, a BBC film made, I was surprised to learn later, from a book by John Masefield. It was well done for the time, but a remake of it would be good. The book was a really slow read, but the film moved briskly, was quite exciting in places and very Christmasy. Excellent to watch with warm drink in hand and fuzzy slippers on feet.

  3. Ah, “Tom Thumb”. That’s a pleasant film, but then again, I’ll take anything with Russ Tamblyn in it.

    No specific Christmas film in France, really. I expect the closest to it would be those perenial sixties French comedies, which used to be shown on the holidays, before TV decided any film more than twenty years old was reserved for museums.

    They used to show one of the “Don Camillo” movies with Fernandel, where the ongoing dialogue with Jesus and some Xmas shenanigans provided a reason to show it on Christmas eve. But it’s in black and white, and so unfit for public consumption nowadays.

    There was a fine adaptation of Daudet’s “Les trois messes basses”, set at Christmas in Provence, but it hasn’t been shown in ages. Besides, people tend to dine together on Christams Eve, and too few people are watching for TV channels to trot out choice programmes on that day. They’d rather keep them as ammunitions for the ratings war.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    They filmed the Don Camillo stories? I have the collection (in print) but would love to see them in film. Must see if they’re available. We’re not meaning absolutely Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but “during the Christmas season”, possibly Boxing Day when everyone is only semi conscious anyway.
    Oh, but many of you don’t have Boxing Day as a holiday. There’s a town in the Interior (of B.C.) which has a civic holiday Jan 2nd. They call it Wrestling Day.

  5. Yes, they did a series of six Franco-Italian coproductions in the sixties, with Fernandel as Don Camillo and Gino Cervi as Peppone, both hamming it up wonderfully. I believe Fernandel died while shooting a 7th one, in colour while the previous ones had been in black and white. They are gentle good fun, and boast rather good directors (off the top of my head I remember only Luigi Commencini and Julien Divivier). There was a later remake with Terence Hill, which, shall we say, wasn’t quite as successful.

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