Love Auntie Mame. It always made an appearance in our Christmas movie watching, and of course, "We Need A Little Christmas" was always the very first song played in our annual day-after-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating extravaganza. Thank you for more sort-of Christmas viewing suggestions!
I'm Dreaming of a Non-Holiday Holiday Movie Fest
The holiday season means different things to different people. To my sister and I growing up, it meant it was time to pull out the Christmas special VHS, which contained [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CX-X_O6bh4|A Chipmunk Christmas], [http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x172ncq_the-smurfs-christmas-special-t…|The Smurfs' Christmas Special], and, my personal favorite, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh4kIiH3Sm8|He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special]. We didn't love them for their holiday messages, because frankly, they all fail to have a cohesive or believable plot. I think we loved them just because they were part of the season and also because my mom forgot to pause recording on the commercials, which meant re-watching holiday ads that got weirder and more dated with each viewing. Anybody else remember [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUaRt637Nfk|ice-skating Ronald McDonald]? It just goes to show that movies made for Christmas can sometimes, you know, suck.
As more and more people each year identify [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1295597|Die Hard] as their favorite holiday movie, I asked my fellow co-workers and Pulp contributors to share their favorite non-holiday holiday movies. Please enjoy this list of movies in which Christmas happens but isn't why the film exists in the first place.
Evelyn recommends [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS-ErOKpO4E&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yout… Offerman's Yule Log], the lowest-key of seasonal viewing experiences, featuring no action, no dialogue, and just the crackle of a fire and the enjoyment of a fine Scotch to admire.
Sara suggests [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1199658|The Thin Man] - come for the martinis and mystery, stay for Nick shooting balloons off the Christmas tree with his new airgun and Nora's Christmas threat:
Amy, our classic film buff, suggests [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1194536|The Apartment], [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1223420|Meet Me in St. Louis], and [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1194651|The Lemon Drop Kid], in which a small time crook played by Bob Hope attempts to pay off an angry mobster with a bell-ringing Santa donation racket. This film also featured the [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoekfgmbe-o|debut of the holiday standard "Silver Bells."]
Anne has some recommendations that celebrate the 80s and early 90s at their cinematic best. First up is [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1306758|Gremlins,] which you should definitely watch if you are tired of Christmas carols:
And then there's [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1363556|Batman Returns,] featuring this [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLnPWTQ8lSs|moment,] which has Christmas lights, Santa references, and gifts being hurled through the air. Tim Burton must have had a thing for incorporating Christmas settings ([http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1205640|Edward Scissorhands] and [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1317788|The Nightmare Before Christmas]) into his movies.
Eli voted for [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1218760|The Ref], which is probably the second-most popular home invasion-themed holiday movie in which a burglar is a main character. Because the first has to be [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1348485|Home Alone], right?
Oh wait, I almost forgot about this guy:
Erin came up with a whole mess of movies in which Christmas makes a passing appearance, including [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1312830|In Bruges], [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1241427|Go], [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1259181|Little Women], and [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1251403|Bridget Jones's Diary] - mmm, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbv_hz3WzhU|turkey curry], my favorite.
But my favorite of her suggestions has to be [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1368584|Trading Places], complete with Dan Ackroyd's filthy Santa suit.
Andrew's picks included [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1322218|L.A. Confidential], because what says "holiday spirit" better than a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVTCmaAw2Gw|prison beatdown scene], and [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1338317|Holiday Inn], because Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby singing and dancing to Christmas tunes to impress a girl really does say "holiday spirit".
So from all of us on the Pulp team here at AADL, we wish you very happy movie-watching, from our couches to yours!
Sara Wedell is a Production Librarian at AADL and would like to note that [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1265416|Auntie Mame] also features a very sweet and touching Christmas scene amid the zaniness and camp that makes up the rest of the film.