Gremlins (1984)-For Christmas, a man gives his son Billy a cute cuddly, creature he names Gizmo. But when certain rules are broken, Billy and Gizmo must save their idyllic small town from hordes of scaly, green gremlins. A lesson: follow the instructions of any new gift.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)-Shop assistants James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan really don’t like each other. Little do they realize that they are each others secret penpals. As they trade barbs at work, they fall in love through corrospondance. This comedy classic was remade as In the Good Old Summertime (1949) with Judy Garland and Van Johnson and as You’ve Got Mail (1998) with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Holiday Inn (1942)-Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire play nightclub performers whose act is threatened when Crosby decides to retire to a farm in the country. Unsuccessful, he lures Astaire to help him turn the farm into an inn that is open just on holidays. The film’s greatest distinction is the introduction of the classic holiday song, White Christmas, the title of the film’s remake.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)-Based on a hit Broadway comedy. After a dinner party, a famed lecturer (Monty Wooley) slips on the icy sidewalk and is forced to stay in the home of the hosts. He eventually turns their family life upside-down with his outrageous demands. In the meantime, his mousy assistant (Bette Davis) has fallen in love with a young playwright. He will now do anything to keep them apart!
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)-Barbara Stanwyck stars as a popular magazine columnist, known for her tips on cooking and housekeeping. Meanwhile, two returning servicemen have convinced a nurse that they are longing for a home-cooked meal. Sensing free publicity, Stanwyck’s editor plans for her to make the Ultimate Holiday Meal for the guys. In true screwball-comedy fashion, she can neither cook nor keep house. Comedy ensues.
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)-When a young bishop (David Niven) struggles with the construction of a new cathedral, he prays for guidence. Help arrives in the form of Dudley (Cary Grant), who sets out to help the bishop repair his marriage to Julia (Loretta Young). This film was remade in 1996 as The Preacher’s Wife starring Denzel Washington as the angel.
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)-Bob Hope plays the title character, a charming con artist. He loses $10,000 of a mobster’s money and has until Christmas Eve to pay it back. Disguising himself as a street-corner Santa, he begins to take “donations”. Of course, we can expect Bob Hope to do the right thing at the end. Notable for introducing the popular song, “Silver Bells.”
We’re No Angels (1955)-Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray have recently escaped from a French prison. While hiding out in a nearby village they end up helping the villagers with repairs and odd jobs. The three find that they may have changed for the better.
Die Hard (1988)-New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is called to duty when terrorists invade his wife’s office Christmas party in a Los Angeles skyscraper. So successful that it lauched three sequels, but only one, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, continues the holiday theme.