“Love Actually!” Del Griffith! “Fra-Gee-Lay!” Counting Down The Nine GREATEST Holiday Movies!

best holiday movies

As the holiday season approaches, everyone will eat lots of food and sit down to watch classic holiday movies – and we all have our own favorites! I’ve got a list of the nine best holiday movies, including RARE behind-the-scenes photos from the set of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, and so much more!

First, get into the holiday spirit with Billy Mack’s “Christmas Is All Around”!

holiday entertainment 2015

Thanks Billy, just what I needed to get into the holiday spirit! If you know this song, then you LOVE “Love Actually” – one of the NINE best holiday movies ever!

Love actually

“Love Actually”!

“Love Actually” is a series of inter-locking stories that take place during the holiday season: some are funny, and a few are sad – with an all-star cast including Kiera Knightley, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson.

best holiday movies

So many terrific Actors in the film, and thanks to the great website IMDB, here is some terrific “Love Actually” trivia! Let’s start with this fun one:

The word “actually” is spoken twenty-two times by various characters in the film.

Love-Actually-love-actually-578223_1024_576

When casting the part of Sarah, Richard Curtis auditioned a great many British girls, but kept saying, “I want someone like Laura Linney…” The casting director eventually snapped and said:

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, get Laura Linney then!”

They brought her in and she of course got the part.

classic holiday movies

The idea for Mark’s surprise of the band singing “All You Need Is Love” at Peter and Juliet’s wedding came from Jim Henson’s funeral (which Richard Curtis attended) where all the puppeteers brought their Muppets and sung the song.

love-actually

Colin Firth’s “Avocado Elbow!”

The lake that Lúcia Moniz and Colin Firth are “swimming” in was actually only eighteen inches deep and they had to kneel down and pretend to be in deeper water. It was also over-run by mosquitoes and Colin Firth was badly bitten and his elbow swelled up to the size of an avocado, requiring medical attention.

love-actually holiday film

Billy Bob’s Fear Of Furniture!

Knowing about Billy Bob Thornton’s quite unique fear of antique furniture, Hugh Grant would sometimes flash a piece of antique (which is abundant in England) in front of Thornton just before the cameras rolled, and watch him freak out in amusement.

Love actually

The airport greeting footage at the beginning and end of the film is real. Richard Curtis had a team of cameramen film at Heathrow airport for a week, and whenever they saw something that would fit in they asked the people involved for permission to use the footage. Alex and I always wondered how excited these people must be to be in the film forever!

greatest holiday films

Thanks, Billy Mack!

“Christmas Is All Around” is now one of our favorite holiday songs thanks to Bill Nighy. With that tune in our heads, let’s see some of the other great holiday films, beginning with Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and the spirit of “Saturday Night Live”!

scrooged

Get “Scrooged” and “Griswolded”!

Our next two great holiday films are screwball comedies with iconic stars!

“Scrooged” (1983) and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) both are infused with SNL attitude – Bill Murray does an updated “Christmas Carol” as miserly TV exec Frank Cross – Murray is full of great lines and classic double takes, but the Actor also reveals his soft spot, in a film that has more of a manic energy than many holiday classics.

Check out the trailer:

Bill Murray Scrooged

Once you are “Scrooged”, you might as well go “Griswold!”

Let’s get right to this holiday hilarity with the Griswold family:

National-Lampoon-s-Christmas-Vacation-chevy-chase-fanclub-25408780-1280-7201

That’s right, welcome back to the Clark Griswold family – Chevy Chase takes his clan on another “Vacation”…yes, it’s just a holiday version of the first movie, so do they deserve a spot on the list? As Clark Griswold would say:

“Bend over and I’ll show you!”

OK, maybe a bit forward for the holiday…let’s go back to a simpler time…

holiday movie


The “White Christmas” (1954) / “Holiday Inn” (1942) Crosby Combo!

This double bill is a single entry in my top nine, because these two iconic holiday films star legendary Actors – and they are basically the same movie! In “Holiday Inn”, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire are two war buddies who sing lots of classic Irving Berlin tunes, including the Oscar winning “White Christmas”…

White-Christmas holiday

The Song Becomes The Film!

“White Christmas” was such a great song that they decided to remake “Holiday Inn” and CALL it “White Christmas”! This time, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are two GIs coming home from WWII, who fall in love with singing-and-dancing sisters and help their general with his failing Vermont inn. Again, almost the same film, but both of classic Hollywood holiday entertainment! A great double bill!

bad-santa best holiday movies


“Bad Santa”!

This ain’t your father’s holiday movie, which is why is MUST be on a top nine list! How can you NOT love a film with the classic line:

“Fuck me, Santa, Fuck Me!”

holiday entertainment

So says Lauren Graham in a movie that wears its dark heart on its sleeve…forget the sequel if you want, but this original caustic comedy is one of the best! Here is the trailer:

It’s the perfect movie to watch after all of your horrendous holiday shopping – fighting crowds, no parking, enormous bills – and it’s virtually impossible to watch without a stiff drink in your hand. But it is hilarious, profane and touching as well!

Here’s another holiday charmer:

planes-trans-automobiles-del-griffith


Happy Holidays, Del Griffith!

And now, the funniest holiday movie character ever, the legendary Del Griffith!

best holiday movies

“Planes, Trains & Automobiles”!

I know, it takes place over Thanksgiving, but it’s a holiday movie through and through, and Del Griffith deserves to be here – as it is one of the most heartwarming holiday movies ever!

Planes Trains & Automobiles

It’s the classic story of a guy just trying to get home to his family in times for the holidays. “Here’s an idea. When you tell a story, have a point!” And who can forget Del Griffith pulling his socks off on the plane, waving them around and exclaiming “the dogs are barking!”

planes-trains-and-automobiles-poster[1]

And of course, as you can see above:

“those aren’t pillows!”

I rest my case. Just one of the sweetest holiday films ever…see more great trivia here:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/11/23/greatest-thanksgiving-movie-ever-planes-trains-automobiles-del-griffith-rules/

I love Del Griffith – and you know who else I love?

1720_ElfExcited_23

Hey, Buddy!

Buddy the Elf of course! Will Ferrell’s best film by a mile – check out the trailer:

Will Ferrell is innocent and perfect as Buddy – the elf who heads to New York City to find his real father – a very unfriendly James Caan. Add Ed Asner as a slightly grumpy Santa PLUS Zooey Deschanel as the “innocent love” interest and you have an instant holiday classic!

Speaking of holiday classics:

a christmas story

Congratulations To Director Bob Clark!

Time to celebrate the seriously under-rated Director Bob Clark, who directed the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story” – literally one of the most quoted holiday movies ever! Need an example?


“You’ll shoot your eye out with that thing!”

A-Christmas-Story-a-christmas-story-5084200-640-480

It makes me want to have chinese food on Dec. 25th just to honor him. This is arguably the best Christmas movie of all time – the encounter with the frozen tether ball pole is just one reason…

best holiday movies

And who can forget Dad’s new lamp – look at this terrific TBS ad for the movie that captures the fun of that scene…

a christmas story best movies

It is a holiday classic, directed by Canadian Bob Clark, an under-appreciated Director…check out the trailer:

A Christmas Story little boy

So funny, so heartwarming! That said, Bob Clark also directed the little-known classic horror film “Black Christmas”, where a sorority is terrorized by a manic over the holidays. He perfected the killer’s POV shot years before “Halloween” got credit for revitalizing it. The thriller stars Kier Dullea (2001) and Margo Kidder (Superman)…dark, dark, dark, but what a Bob Clark holiday double bill – just make sure to send the kids to bed before you start this second feature!

Black Christmas Poster

Added trivia: Clark also created and directed “Porky’s”…talk about an eclectic career – read all about it here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/08/08/porkys-peepholes-christmas-horror-fra-gee-lay-director-bob-clarks-enduring-legacy/

And now, the last film – the ninth film being honored on this list – because it’s the “Citizen Kane” of holiday films:

P22321.jpg


“It’s A Wonderful Life”!

The greatest holiday movie of all! Jimmy Stewart, the Tom Hanks of his generation, beautifully portrays a disillusioned husband and father who sees his life amount to nothing – or so he thinks.

best christmas movie ever

This Frank Capra classic is a dark look at one man’s disappointment with his life – of course all coming to a head on Christmas eve – and the film reveals a ton of universal truths about what we should or should not expect from life – remember this line: “we serve stiff drinks for men who want to get drunk fast!” I mean, this movie gets DARK…

it's a wonderful life


Rare “Bedford Falls” Photos!

LIFE Magazine has revealed 13 rare behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the 1946 Frank Capra classic. The pictures focus on one aspect of the holiday favorite that many probably take for granted: the snowy milieu of Bedford Falls!

ITS-A-WONDERFUL-LIFE-RARE-PHOTO-570-2

So as you can see, they used snow machines to create the beautiful serenity of the town:

ITS-A-WONDERFUL-LIFE-RARE-PHOTO-570

Looks like Jimmy Stewart had a few snowballs tossed back in his direction during filming!

It's a wonmderful life jimmy stewart snowball fight

I will admit that, in some ways, Pottersville always looked a lot more fun than Bedford Falls – like a mini-Vegas! But no matter what life through at George Bailey, he always had a secret weapon…

holiday entertainment

That’s right – Zuzu’s pedals!

best holiday movies

Send me a note and let me know what you watched this holiday season!



Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, James Caan, London, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Movies About Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    And the marathon begins…..

  2. Love Actually, of course! Holiday Inn, how can you beat that?

  3. A couple I could do without perhaps, but I have a lot of love for ‘Bad Santa’.
    (How can you be afraid of antique furniture?)
    Best wishes, Pete.

Trackbacks

  1. David Bowie Duets With Bing Crosby! The Secrets Behind The Greatest Holiday Song Of All Time! – johnrieber
  2. 3 Reasons “Die Hard” Is The Greatest Christmas Movie EVER! – johnrieber
  3. a christmas story best movies - johnrieber.com/...... Christmas World-Shopping,News,Events
  4. Hugh Grant Speaks! The Actor’s Thoughts On Meryl Streep! Bridget Jones! Divine Brown! – johnrieber
  5. Bing Crosby Meets David Bowie! The Secrets Behind The Greatest Christmas Song! “The Little Drummer Boy / “Peace On Earth!” – johnrieber
  6. Yes, “Die Hard” Is A Christmas Movie! Here Is The “Ho Ho Ho” Die Hard Trivia You Need This Holiday Season! – johnrieber
  7. David Bowie’s Holiday Duet With Bing Crosby! “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth!” The Inside Secrets Of This Holiday Classic! – johnrieber
  8. Yes, “Die Hard” Is A Christmas Movie! Here Is The Great “Die Hard” Trivia You Need This Holiday Season! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog Site of Gabriele R.

Post, news, diary... All the world around me, ALL THE WORDS AROUND YOU

Captain's Quarters

Exploring sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult novels.

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

Enjoyable Movement & Active Budget Adventures

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Pages, Places, & Plates

Reviews of books, eateries, experiences, and travel.

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of books and things

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

fancypaper

Little Things Make Us Happy

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

%d bloggers like this: