December 2011 - Classic Christmas Movies:
It's a Wonderful Life
- December 3 and 24 on NBC
Voted the #1 Most Inspiring Film Of All Time by AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers, It's A Wonderful Life has had just that. With the endearing message that "no one is a failure who has friends," Frank Capra's heartwarming masterpiece continues to endure, and after 60 years this beloved classic still remains as powerful and moving as the day it was made
Miracle on 34th Street
- December 6, 15, and 24 on TCM
Miracle on 34th Street is an irresistible fable that has, for many, become synonymous with celebrating Christmas. The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentleman with twinkling eyes, an ample belly, and a snowy beard (Edmund Gwenn) is hired as Macy's department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle, and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit - except for his boss, Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), who's raising her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) to not believe in Santa. But when Kris is declared insane and put on trial, everyone's faith is put to the test as old and young alike face the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
This timeless tale of faith, love and imagination remains one of the most popular and best-loved holiday films of all time.
Meet Me in St. Louis
- December 6, and 24 on TCM
In a role that was one of her favorites, a 22-year-old Judy Garland headlines this warm turn-of-the-century delight presented on DVD. Set in 1903, this captivating musical is a slice of Americana about the Smith family's experiences during the year of the St. Louis World's Fair. Directed by Vincente Minnelli (whom Garland married soon after filming, later becoming parents to daughter Liza), Judy Garland has perhaps never been more winning as she pines for "The Boy Next Door," comforts seven-year-old Margaret O'Brien (awarded a special Oscar® as 1944's outstanding child actress) with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and whisks along to the clang-clang-clang of "The Trolley Song."
- December 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, and 23 on AMC
White Christmas is a treasury of Irving Berlin classics, among them "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "Sisters," "Blue Skies," and the beloved holiday song, "White Christmas." Two talented song-and-dance men (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show business. One winter, they join forces with a sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) and trek to Vermont for a white Christmas. Of course, there's the requisite fun with the ladies, but the real adventure starts when Crosby & Kaye discover that the inn is run by their old army general who's now in financial trouble. And the result is the stuff dreams are made of.
The Bishop's Wife
- December 4, 16, and 24 on TCM
Heavenly bells are ringing, jubilant choirs are singing and Christmas joy is blanketing the world like freshly fallen snow. But the Yuletide spirit has yet to warm Bishop Henry Brougham's Victorian home. Struggling to raise funds for a new cathedral, the preoccupied young clergyman has neglected his loving wife Julia, and now only divine intervention can save their marriage! But the powerful and handsome angel sent from above has a mind of his own...and teaching mortal Henry an immortal lesson in romance isn't all he's got planned!
Starring Oscar winners Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, this delightful romantic comedy is wondrous, witty and truly divine!
Scrooge / A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim)
- December 12 on TCM
Alastair Sim's tour-de-force performance as the ultimate miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, has almost single-handedly made this beloved version of Charles Dickens' story into one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Some of Britain's best filmmakers united behind Sim, who was joined by a delightful cast of accomplished and acclaimed English actors; creating what many today believe to be the best and most faithful production of Dickens' immortal tale.
Cranky and curmudgeonly Scrooge learns the error of his unkind ways and is taught the true meaning of the holidays when he is visited by the ghost of his late business partner and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future.
- December 25 on FMC
A Family Comedy Without The Family
When Kevin's family left for vacation, they forgot one minor detail: Kevin!
Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) has become the man of the house, overnight! Accidentally left behind when his family rushes off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy decorating the house for the holidays. But he's not decking the halls with tinsel and holly. Two bumbling burglars are trying to break in, and Kevin's rigging a bewildering battery of booby traps to welcome them!
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
- December 7, 10, 12, 22, 23, and 25 on ABC Family
(*beware: Language on DVD version - which is editted for TV)
Yule Crack Up!This holiday season Clark Griswold vows his clan will enjoy "the most fun-filled old-fashioned family Christmas ever." Before you can sing "Fa-la-la-la-lah," he decks the halls with howls of folly in the perennial favorite National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Seeing is believing. There are 25,000 lights on the roof. An exploding turkey on the dining room table. A SWAT team taking seige outside. A festive supporting cast and a John Hughes script full of wit, heart and sheer goofiness. Yule love it!
A Christmas Story
- December 6 on TCM
- December 24 and 25 on TBS
The Christmas spirit isn't served up with more heartfelt warmth or observant hilarity than in this beloved adaptation of Jean Shepherd's holiday story. In 1940s Indiana, nine-year-old Ralphie dreams of his ideal Christmas gift: a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. But when his gruff dad and doting mom regularly respond with "You'll shoot your eye out!" Ralphie mounts a full-scale, hint-dropping, Santa-begging campaign. In this tale you'll be caught up in all kinds of childhood calamities from snowsuit paralysis to the yellow-eyed Scotty Farkus affair to the dreaded tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole gambit. We triple-dog-dare you to unwrap a more comical Yuletide classic!
The Santa Clause
- December 1, 9, 10, 21, 22, 24, and 25 on ABC Family
- December 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 on Hallmark Channel
Rooftop clatter leads to merry adventure after Santa falls down on the job, and Scott Calvin's son Charlie convinces dad to try on the red suit. Eight reindeer pilot the pair to the North Pole, where they soon discover that by donning the famous suit, dad must now accept all of Santa's duties! Over the next year, a surprised, not-so-jolly Scott grows a Santa-sized tummy and beard, causing friends, family and business associates to wonder if he's lost his marbles. All except Charlie, who thinks his dad is perfectly suited for his new job!
- December 15 and 23 on AMC
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sing and dance their way into your heart in the sensational musical comedy Holiday Inn. Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady (Marjorie Reynolds). 'Tis the season for one of the most enjoyable films of all time!
*I have yet to see The Bells of St. Marys listed this year.
It's good to see familiar faces of characters we know and love... and have cherished year after year....
Check the Christmas TV Schedule for more details!
*Descriptions above: from each movie's dvd cover.