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Favorite holiday films with Audrey Kupferberg 12/8/21

Broncho Billy's Christmas Spirit, advertisement (1914)
Public Domain
/
IMDb (International Movie Database)
Newspaper ad for "Broncho Billy's Christmas Spirit" (1914)

Holiday movies. You've got to love them. Or hate them. Where do you stand? What's your favorite (or least favorite) holiday flick of all time? We welcome back cinema expert Audrey Kupferberg to take your calls. 800-348-2551. Ray Graf hosts.

Audrey Kupferberg is a film and video archivist and appraiser. She is lecturer emeritus and the former director of Film Studies at the University at Albany and co-authored several entertainment biographies with her late husband and creative partner, Rob Edelman.

Audrey Kupferberg's Top Ten Holiday Movies

Several picks are post-WWII and demonstrate the American public’s need for normalcy, senti- mentality, loving family and friends, and happiness in all-American lifestyles, whether they be big city or small-town life. Some of my choices include fantasy elements. Certainly, the holidays are a time for imagination and make-believe. When films make the unreal become (kinda) real in a sweet and happy way, that is magic. Tiny Tim will walk.

  1. LOVE ACTUALLY  2003 All about love and humanity, and Hugh Grant does the cutest dance!
  2. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE  1946  Sometimes the message of a fantasy movie can influence the viewer’s life.  Fran Capra, Jimmy Stewart…
  3. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER  1940  I feel as though I am INSIDE this movie by my mentor Samson Raphaelson and directed by the great Ernst Lubitsch.
  4. A CHRISTMAS STORY 1983  A lamp that looks like a lady’s leg, a Red Ryder bb gun, and a dangerously-placed tongue!
  5. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS  1965 What needs to be said???
  6. THE BISHOP’S WIFE  1947  Cary Grant, David Niven, and lovely Loretta Young in a romcom about love and miracles!
  7. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT  1945  Barbara Stanwyck as a career gal who almost loses her job but winds up with the love of her life!
  8. SCROOGE  1951 w Alistair Sim  My favorite version of the Dickens tale.
  9. WHITE CHRISTMAS  1954 Irving Berlin’s music, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and it’s in Technicolor!
  10. A tie: ELF 2003 and LAST HOLIDAY 2006 Will Ferrell in a wonderful fantasy tale of a human boy raised by Santa. Queen Latifah in a romcom remake of an Alec Guinness British feature from 1950 about a person who is told they are at death’s door.

Other favorites:

  • THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER 1942
  • I’LL BE SEEING YOU 1945
  • REMEMBER THE NIGHT 1940 (even though it is too panful to watch!!)
  • POCKET FULL OF MIRACLES 1961
  • A VERY FUNNY CHRISTMAS (MR STINK AND GANGSTA GRANNY) 2012-14
  • HOLIDAY INN 1942
  • ONE SPECIAL NIGHT 1999
  • SCROOGED 1988
  • GRUMPY OLD MEN 1993
  • HOME ALONE 1990
  • THE POLAR EXPRESS 2004
  • THE HOLLY AND THE IVY 1952

Audrey's LEAST Favorite Holiday Films

  • A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS  2017
  • A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR CHRISTMAS  2011
  • IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE  1947
  • Almost any Santa horror film/Santa slasher film genre
  • JACK FROST  1997 and its sequel JACK FROST 2: REVENGE OF THE MUTANTKILLER SNOWMAN  2000
Audrey Kupferberg
WAMC
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Audrey Kupferberg

Another story that has been made into many Christmas films is Hans Christian Anderson’s THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. The first screen version was in 1902/3 from the UK’s Williamson company. The great Jean Renoir directed a version in 1928. A classic color cartoon version is from 1937 by Charles Mintz Productions.

Audrey Kupferberg is a film and video archivist and appraiser. She is lecturer emeritus and the former director of Film Studies at the University at Albany and co-authored several entertainment biographies with her late husband and creative partner, Rob Edelman.