In the run-up to Christmas we're looking at the best seasonal movies decade by decade.
Some of these Christmas movies you'll know well while others you may not have seen or heard of. In either case, we'll be giving you tons of suggestions for what to watch over the coming weeks.
You'll definitely know our picks below in any case. If we do say so ourselves, it's a damn good selection box of films.
The whole question of whether 'Die Hard' should be included among Christmas movies or not has been done to death at this stage. Sure we only had a rant about it earlier this week. Its setting, inclusion of Christmas carols in the soundtrack, and message about the value of family are just some of the traits that warrant its appearance here. For those of you who don't know, the seminal action movie stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, an NYPD cop. He is the only one that can save his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) and other guests at a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in LA when a German terrorist called Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) takes it over.
There are actually so many things to enjoy about 'Trading Places' that we don't know quite where to start. First, there's the fact that it features Eddie Murphy in his heyday in one of his funniest performances. Then you have that brilliant switch-over plot where Murphy's street con artist character swaps positions with Dan Aykroyd's snobby investor, with fantastically chaotic results. There are the Duke brothers Randolph and Mortimer who you love to hate, and the always fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis having a great aul time. Plus let's not forget some iconic comedy scenes including the one on the train and the trading floor finale. Merry New Year everyone!
Our picks of 60s-70s Christmas movies ended up having three TV movies because there wasn't a lot to choose from. We're including this one here because c'mon - it's a classic! Based on the children's picture book by Raymond Briggs, the 26 minute-long feature relates how a snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve. The young boy who built the snowman is amazed and amused by all the things his new friend can do. In the movie's most magical moment, the snowman and the boy take flight to that stunning number 'Walking in the Air.' In the re-release version, the late, great David Bowie provides an introduction.
Remember when we said in our 40s-50s Christmas movies list that we'd probably end up including some 'A Christmas Carol' adaptation in each of our decade-by-decade lists? Well it's fast looking like that will indeed be the case. This take stars the always charismatic Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical and selfish television executive who is visited by a succession of ghosts on Christmas Eve. Will they manage to reignite his Christmas spirit? So hard to know...
'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'
'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' would definitely be up there alongside 'National Lampoon's Vacation' and 'Animal House' as the best in the National Lampoon comedy film series. Written by the wonderfully talented John Hughes, it sees the Griswold family's plans to have "the most fun-filled old-fashioned family Christmas ever" go horribly wrong when disaster after disaster strikes. Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Diane Ladd and Randy Quaid star.
Honourable mentions: 'Gremlins', 'A Christmas Story', 'Santa Claus: The Movie'