Holiday Quiz / Top 10 Christmas Movies

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Can you name the top 10 Christmas movies (according to Riley Webster of the Script Lab) from a description?

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Year, Director, Star(s)MovieDescription
Honorable Mention
(11) 2005
David Steiman
Bill Goldberg
Douglas Smith
Black comedy horror film. This may very well be the worst movie ever made, but damned if it isn't also one of the funniest. In the opening scene, James Caan, Chris Kattan, and Fran Drescher are eating a Christmas feast, when Santa (played by WWF star Bill Goldberg), comes down the chimney and starts stabbing, burning, and generally massacring every one of them. The film is dreadful...but it's truly one of the funniest 'bad' movies ever made.
(10) 1947
George Seaton
Maureen O'Hara
John Payne
Christmas film. It's placement on this list at all is really only because the lead performance by Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle captures the spirit of Santa Claus absolutely perfectly, and that makes up for the film's endless plot, character, and dialogue problems. (The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay.)
(9) 1990
Chris Columbus
Macaulay Culkin
Joe Pesci
Christmas family comedy film. For a time, this was the biggest money-maker of not only any Christmas film, but any film comedy period. Its popularity was puzzling to critics. For a Christmas film, there's not a lot of warm n' fuzzies, and the plot goes completely off the rails in the last half hour, becoming a live-action Looney Tunes episode with a shocking amount of violence for a kid's flick. And yet, that last act is what made it so popular.
(8) 1966 Chuck Jones
Boris Karloff
2000 Ron Howard
Jim Carrey
The original tale was tight, focused, short, and delightful. The original (TV) cartoon, narrated by Boris Karloff, and running 25 minutes, is much the same. It became an instant Christmas staple. Ron Howard was in charge of making the live-action, feature length remake, and Jim Carrey starred buried under mountains of make-up. Is it a great film? Absolutely not. It's a slightly undervalued movie, and quite fun in its own silly, bizarre way.
(7) 1994
John Pasquin
Tim Allen
Eric Lloyd
Wendy Crewson
American fantasy family comedy film. Allen unwittingly murders Santa (one of the many dark, hilarious jokes of the film), and assumes the responsibilities of the Big Guy. The movie has a lot of fun with kids' expectations of Santa, as well as looking more deeply than you'd think into the father/son relationship in a fractured home. The movie may not be full of philosophical depth, but it certainly tried harder than most (including the crap sequels).
(6) 2003
Jon Favreau
Will Ferrell
James Caan
American Christmas comedy film. The movie follows Buddy, a human raised among Santa's elves, who travels to New York to befriend his estranged father (played by James Caan, in an inspired bit of casting I must say). His adventures in a strange new land are consistently funny.
(5) 1951
Brian Desmond Hurst
Alastair Sim
1992 Brian Henson
Kermit the Frog
2009 Robert Zemeckis
Jim Carrey
This story has probably been adapted ten million times, many of which are actually really good. The 50's version is a classic, with Sim giving a terrific, cold, calculated performance as Mr. Scrooge. Zemekis' animated version didn't find critical love, the innovative camera work and fantastic effects more than made up for a rather clunky screenplay. And more than any other adaptation, the Muppets is thoroughly enjoyable. Michael Caine handles the redemption aspect perfectly. It's creepy as hell for a kid's movie (espeicaly the Ghost of Christmas Future), but it's a really well-done version.
(Type in the name of any one of the three films.)
(4) 1988
John McTiernan
Bruce Willis
Alan Rickman
American action film. Set on Christmas Eve, it has some trees, but the real reason it's a Christmas movie is the music. Unlike most action scores, it is filled with jingling Christmas bells, the occasional holiday carol, and tinged throughout with Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy'. Unlike the sequels, which made John McClane more of a superhero, it shows us a 'working class', every-man kind of hero, who smokes, swears, and forgets to wear his shoes. Willis plays him perfectly.
(3) 1983
Bob Clark
Melinda Dillon
Darren McGavin
Peter Billingsley
American Christmas comedy film. Who knew that one of the best holiday films of all time would be a black comedy from the director of Porky's? The movie bombed when it was first released, but over the years has grown a massive cult following, one that's possibly more rabid than for any other Christmas feature (there's entire stores and museums dedicated to the film, and it isn't exactly hard to find a sexy Leg Lamp come the winter season)
(2) 2004
Robert Zemeckis
Tom Hanks
Motion capture computer-animated Christmas fantasy film. A woefully underrated fable, its a beautifully animated adventure about a young boy who goes on a mystical journey to the North Pole on the Pol-Ex. Many people hated the mo-cap work; it was years ahead of its time (Avatar ripped off a lot of the technology Zemekis had been already using since this movie). Despite it's somewhat creepy nature, the movie looks and sounds absolutely terrific. Is the story a little basic? Sure, as any 'quest' movie must be. But it fills one with invigorating Christmas joy, and if it's a little intense and creepy -- so what? The best children's films are. Adding to the grand visual experience is Alan Silvestri's best musical score and a whole lot of warm fuzzy feelings.
(1) 1946
Frank Capra
James Stewart
Donna Reed
Lionel Barrymore
American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama. Frank Capra's glorious film has become a cultural landmark, something that almost everyone of any age can, has, and will enjoy, for as long as movies are watched. Despite being a box office disappointment upon its mid-40's release, this film's salvation is an interesting tale -- the film slipped under the copyright cracks and entered the public domain, which meant television stations didn't had to pay a dime to broadcast it. So, in the spirit of the season, most stations went with the free option, which meant millions of people every year watched it, and soon it became not only a Holiday tradition, but one of the most beloved films of all time, almost by accident. But it deserves every ounce of its praise.

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