Six Oddball Christmas Holiday Flicks
Tired of tramping the malls? In-laws getting on your nerves? Had too much eggnog and ready for some time on the couch? You’re in luck: There’s no shortage of holiday-themed movies to store, pop into your DVD player or stumble across while channel-surfing late-night cable.
And if you find yourself silently thinking, “Oh, no! Not again!” when commercials for Frosty, Rudolph or the Grinch start to air, you’re probably not alone. Perhaps you’re even in the mood to be scared out of your wits by a sorority stalker who makes Scrooge look positively merry! Whatever lights your tree, there’s something for every age group in these offerings.
3 Godfathers (1948)
In this third film adaptation of a 1913 novel and a rare bad-guy role, John Wayne is part of a bank-robbing trio. Fleeing through the Arizona desert, they stumble upon a woman in an abandoned wagon who has just given birth. Before she dies, she extracts a promise that they will care for her son and see him to safety, and an unlikely journey begins.
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
As a deep-in-debt bookie looking to raise the dough by setting up a fake charity for old ladies, Bob Hope’s comedic talents shine in this take on a Damon Runyon story. Will he pay off the gangster by Christmas? What do you think? Holiday carol “Silver Bells” made its debut in this film.
The Apartment (1960)
Holiday trappings and carols can’t mask the fact that Bud Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is abused at work and unlucky in love, leaving him understandably low on Christmas spirit. Yet after unwilling roles in the misadventures of his peers, ranging from adultery to suicide attempts, Bud takes a vital step toward reclaiming his dignity, as well as romance — ending on a note of hope with the new year.
Black Christmas (1974)
Consider this tale an antidote to too much seasonal sweetness, as a psychopathic killer hides in the attic of a sorority house, where he terrifies and torments left-behind sisters with everything from obscene phone calls to murder. Didn’t they know there’s no place like home for the holidays?
About a decade before he directed 1983's sweet & nostalgic A Christmas Story, Bob Clark helmed another terrific Yuletide-set film of a drastically different nature: the influential 1974 slasher movie Black Christmas. Scream Factory TV is airing it 12 times on Christmas Eve 2023.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
It seems impossible, but Santa Claus has decided to retire … and the search for a successor leads him to cabbie Ernest P. Worrall (Jim Varney), a failed children’s program host, and a runaway teen, among a host of other memorable characters. When the jolly old elf lands in jail and his famous sack of gifts goes missing, it’s a race to restore things to normal before the clock chimes on Christmas Eve.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Aliens visiting Earth in December could be forgiven for assuming that the true meaning of Christmas is frantic, last-minute shopping, especially after seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desperate dash to snag a “Turbo Man” toy for his young son. Of course he should have paid more attention to the advancing calendar — but what parent hasn’t committed the same offense at least once?
Wondering where Die Hard lands in this? It doesn’t! It’s not a Christmas movie, or is it???? Let us know in the comments or any other films that belong on this list.