My favorite classic christmas movies

I have expanded this list from 30 to an infinite number of entries of films that are recommended to watch every year around christmas time to get in the right yuletide spirit. All of them are great classic movies with stories that are either centered around christmas or just have the true spirit of christmas. Most of them I remember from way back since my childhood, and some I have found later in life. Some are available on DVD, while others astoundingly enough are still unavailable on DVD. Unless you want to pay extreme prices for second hand copies on Amazon.com or E-bay, which most likely will be copies knocked over directly from VHS tapes. The studios should really make all these great films available on new restored copies on BluRay and DVD. I really think there would be an audience for them. Judging by how many people have viewed my list, they are still very popular. These classics are loved and will be watched forever, when much of the garbage that are released these days will be forgotten. I have just included a few new movies from the last century, which I think have the right atmosphere and in time probably will reach status as classics. There are also a few animated short films on the list, but I have left out the very short 5-7 minutes christmas cartoons, since I have made a special list for those. So...check out my "Classic Christmas Cartoon" list too.
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1.
Scrooge (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. (113 mins.)
Director: Ronald Neame
“ Many great movies have been made from Charles Dickens loveable story, but this musical version is the best ever. The music is great with a lot of catching songs, Albert Finney is an extraordinarie Scrooge, and it has all the best of british acting and music hall traditions. ” - pervangtoft
 
2.
The Bishop's Wife (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage. (109 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster
“ Good humoured and warm movie with Cary Grant at his best and a superior suporting cast lead by a very funny David Niven. ” - pervangtoft
 
3.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ This one always brings tears to my eyes, no matter how hard I fight it ” - pervangtoft
 
4.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. (96 mins.)
Director: George Seaton
 
5.
The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building. (126 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
“ Nobody croons like good old Bing ! ” - pervangtoft
 
6.
Going My Way (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy... (126 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
“ Just as good as The Bells of St. Mary, maybe even better ? ” - pervangtoft
 
7.
Holiday Affair (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The Christmas-season romance of a young widow and a sales clerk who (thanks to her) is unemployed. (87 mins.)
Director: Don Hartman
“ Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh and Wendell Corey this cast have the promise of a perfectly good noir flick, but actually it`s a very good christmas movie. I only discovered it a few years ago, probably because I`ve never seen it on TV, and it is only released on DVD in region1. ” - pervangtoft
 
8.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas. (102 mins.)
Director: Peter Godfrey
“ Barbara Stanwyck and Sydney Greenstreet another unorthodox casting for a holiday movie. ” - pervangtoft
 
9.
Desk Set (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a television network's research department. (103 mins.)
Director: Walter Lang
“ One of Hepburn & Tracys finest movies. Intelligent, witty and great acting. ” - pervangtoft
 
10.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely. (112 mins.)
 
11.
Holiday Inn (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer. (100 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
“ First time Bing sings Irving Berlins White Christmas on the screen. ” - pervangtoft
 
12.
The Snowman (1982 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
On Christmas Eve, a young boy builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause. (26 mins.)
 
13.
Since You Went Away (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone. (177 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
 
14.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. (113 mins.)
“ Wonderful moment when Judy Garland sings "Have yourself a merry little Christmas". ” - pervangtoft
 
15.
Santa Claus (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A peasant woodcutter becomes Santa Claus and later foils an evil toy manufacturer's scheme to take over Christmas. (107 mins.)
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
 
16.
Black Christmas (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
“ Okay, this is different, but I think it`s refreshing with a little christmas horror too ! ” - pervangtoft
 
17.
Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together. (84 mins.)
 
18.
A Christmas Carol (1984 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An old bitter miser who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve. (100 mins.)
Director: Clive Donner
 
19.
Christmas Holiday (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the wealthy man she married is an incorrigible wastrel. (93 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
 
20.
The Great Rupert (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A little squirrel with lots of charm accidentally helps two poor, down-but-NOT-out families overcome their obstacles. (87 mins.)
Director: Irving Pichel
 
21.
We're No Angels (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Three Devil's Island escapees hide out in the home of a kindly merchant and repay his kindness by helping him and his family out of several crises. (106 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
22.
Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The tyrannical patriarch of a dysfunctional but wealthy family summons his adult children for a Christmas reunion, but prior to the holiday his throat is slashed apparently by one of them. (100 mins.)
“ My favorite christmas whodunnit. ” - pervangtoft
 
23.
Scrooged (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. (101 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
24.
Love Actually (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. (135 mins.)
Director: Richard Curtis
“ Yes this one is very new but with a lot of good british actors and a great holiday theme, it is surely destined to become a classic among romantic yuletide films. ” - pervangtoft
 
25.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal. (99 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
26.
Come to the Stable (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two nuns from a French convent arrive in a small New England town with a plan to build a children's hospital... (94 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster
“ This one has never made it to DVD as far as I know at least not in region2 maybe in region1 ? ” - pervangtoft
 
27.
Scrooge (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Scrooge, the ultimate Victorian miser, hasn't a good word for Christmas, though his impoverished clerk... (78 mins.)
Director: Henry Edwards
 
28.
It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners. (116 mins.)
Director: Roy Del Ruth
“ Another one we aren`t allowed to buy on DVD in Europe ” - pervangtoft
 
29.
Remember the Night (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A shoplifter and her prosecuter fall in love, creating tensions in their family lives. (94 mins.)
Director: Mitchell Leisen
“ Real fine feel-good christmas movie with the couple from the noir classic Double Indemnity. ” - pervangtoft
 
30.
The Holly and the Ivy (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A heartwarming tale of an English minister and his family reunited at Christmas time. Their story includes a remembrance of their WWII trials (83 mins.)
“ Extremely rare british christmas movie based on a theatrical production with a superior cast. ” - pervangtoft
 
31.
Christmas Eve (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
To save her fortune from a designing nephew, Matilda Reid must locate her three long-lost adopted sons in time for a Christmas Eve reunion. (90 mins.)
Director: Edwin L. Marin
“ Another one who hasn`t been released on DVD and can only be viewed thanks to TCM and Youtube. ” - pervangtoft
 
32.
The Cheaters (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An eccentric wealthy family facing bankruptcy schemes to steal an inheritance, but an alcoholic ex-actor they take in for Christmas charity complicates their plan. (87 mins.)
Director: Joseph Kane
 
33.
I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A soldier suffering from combat fatigue meets a young woman on Christmas furlough from prison and their mutual loneliness blossoms into romance. (85 mins.)
 
34.
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced... (91 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lanfield
 
35.
The Miracle of the Bells (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Granting her final request, a Hollywood press agent brings the dead body of an actress, who died after making her first and only film... (120 mins.)
Director: Irving Pichel
“ Frankie boy as a priest ? Okay, maybe a little far fetched. ” - pervangtoft
 
36.
The Gathering (1977 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Dying father pulls his torn family together for a last Christmas. (94 mins.)
Director: Randal Kleiser
 
37.
The Christmas Wife (1988 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A widower not wanting to face his first Christmas alone responds to an ad for "social introductions". (73 mins.)
 
38.
Fitzwilly (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When Miss Vicki's father dies, she becomes the world's greatest philanthropist. Unfortunately, she is flat broke... (102 mins.)
Director: Delbert Mann
 
39.
All Mine to Give (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An immigrant family in 1850's Wisconsin prospers until tragedy strikes. (103 mins.)
Director: Allen Reisner
 
40.
Father Christmas (1991 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Father Christmas on vacation and on the job. (25 mins.)
Director: Dave Unwin
Stars: Mel Smith
“ Funny and very british look at father christmas. ” - pervangtoft
 
41.
The Polar Express (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas. (100 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
42.
Christmas Story (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The touching story of how Santa Claus came to be Santa. (83 mins.)
Director: Juha Wuolijoki
“ This is a very remarkable Finnish movie that I got to know a few years ago, and it is a great santa movie with a little different approach than the traditional american santa claus movies. Please do yourself a favor and watch it around christmas time with some kleenex within reach. ” - pervangtoft
 
43.
Christmas in July (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves... (67 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
“ Okay this one doesn`t take place around christmas, but it has that special holiday feeling and atmosphere like most of Preston Sturges movies have. ” - pervangtoft
 
44.
Meet John Doe (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins. (122 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Not strictly a christmas movie either, but the plot is centered around new years eve, and Frank Capra is a master of that special type of story that I just love to watch around christmas. ” - pervangtoft
 
45.
A Christmas Carol (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. (86 mins.)
 
46.
A Christmas Story (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. (94 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
 
47.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept. (76 mins.)
Director: Henry Selick
 
48.
Holiday (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother. (95 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
49.
White Christmas (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ Not nearly as good as Hollywood Inn, but still some great moments from Bing Crosby and the sometimes funny Danny Kaye. ” - pervangtoft
 
50.
Babes in Toyland (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage... (77 mins.)
“ No christmas without Laurel & Hardy ” - pervangtoft
 
51.
The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Patricia O'Grady is the daughter of Irish Vaudeville performer, Rosie O'Grady, and is being raised along... (104 mins.)
Director: David Butler
 
52.
Bundle of Joy (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Kitschy musical remake of "Bachelor Mother". Debbie Reynolds plays an over-eager clerk in a large department... (98 mins.)
Director: Norman Taurog
 
53.
Trading Places (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. (116 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
54.
The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944. (115 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
55.
Susan Slept Here (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
On Christmas Eve, a struggling Hollywood scriptwriter receives a very unexpected present: juvenile delinquent Susan Landis. (98 mins.)
Director: Frank Tashlin
 
56.
Peter's Friends (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Six former college friends, with two new friends, gather for a New Year's Eve weekend reunion at a large English countryside manor after ten years to reminisce about the good times now long gone. (101 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
 
57.
A Christmas Without Snow (1980 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A divorced woman moves to a new city with her child, trying to build her life again. She joins the choir... (95 mins.)
Director: John Korty
 
58.
Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats... (99 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
59.
Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Phil Corey's band arrives at the Idaho ski resort its pianist Ted Scott is smitten with a Norwegian refugee he has sponsored, Karen Benson. When soloist Vivian Dawn quits, Karen stages an ice show as a substitute. (86 mins.)
 
60.
Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Flavia's been told that her Aunt Susan's fiancé, Steve, has been on a trip around the world, but in truth he's finished his prison term... (74 mins.)
Director: Roy Rowland
 
61.
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin. (105 mins.)
Director: Roy Rowland
 
62.
I Remember Mama (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The ups and downs of a Norwegian immigrant family, circa 1910. (134 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
63.
Crooks Anonymous (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Forsdyke, a pathological petty thief subjects himself to a strict correction course run by a wealthy... (88 mins.)
Director: Ken Annakin
“ Very funny british film with a gang of...santa clauses ! ” - pervangtoft
 
64.
Home Alone (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. (103 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
65.
Kathy O' (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A publicity man tries to hide a child film star's brattiness from a magazine writer, who happens to be his ex-wife. (99 mins.)
Director: Jack Sher
 
66.
Silent Night, Lonely Night (1969 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Over the Christmas holidays in a small New England college town, a man and a woman share a brief interlude... (98 mins.)
Director: Daniel Petrie
 
67.
A Christmas Tale (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas. (150 mins.)
 
68.
Christmas Eve (1986 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Story of a well-to-do elderly woman, who befriends the homeless and volunteers her time with children... (93 mins.)
Director: Stuart Cooper
 
69.
A Christmas Carol (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner... (69 mins.)
Director: Edwin L. Marin