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What are the best classic Christmas movies ever? It’s a Wonderful life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story

With little over a week to go, now is the perfect time to turn to some classic festive films to get yourself in the mood for the big day.

What are the best classic Christmas movies ever?

For many, Christmas is a time for tradition and familiarity. And this often means re-watching the same festive films every year.

There is an almost endless list of Christmas movies and everyone has their own personal favourites. However movie review website Rotten Tomatoes has drawn together thousands of expert ratings to compile a list of the highest rated Christmas movies of all time.

As you will see, most of those in the top ten are classic movies dating back more than 70 years. However there are also a sprinkling of more modern options for Christmastime watching.

Here’s Rotten Tomatoes’ top ten highest-rated Christmas films

1. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

2. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

3. Miracle of 34th Street (1947)

4. Tangerine (2015)

5. Klaus (2019)

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

7. Little Women (2019)

8. Die Hard (1988)

9. Carol (2015)

10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Just outside of the top ten were the likes of A Christmas Story (1983), Elf (2003) and Arthur Christmas (2011).

Questions may be raised about the inclusion of some of the films listed as ‘Christmas movies’, like the classic thriller Die Hard. However the film is most definitely set around the holiday and Bruce Willis’ protagonist is seeking to get home to his family on Christmas Eve.

Why is Meet Me in St. Louis the top Christmas film?

The Rotten Tomatoes list is based on the site’s ‘Tomatometer’ score, which draws together dozens of expert reviews for each film.

In this year’s rundown the 1944 musical ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’ came out on top, scoring an astonishing 100% in the all-important Tomatometer ranking. In addition to that, it earnt a highly respectable 87% rating in the audience score category, based on more than 25,000 ratings.

Film critic M. Oakley Christoph of the Hartford Courant said: “It’s a delight, pure and simple spelling a restful, pleasant evening in the theater. Nostalgic, colorful, alive and human.”

The romantic musical comedy features starring performances from Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien in a festive story that will delight all ages. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, the musical was nominated for four Academy Awards on its release in 1944: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography, Color; Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture; and Best Music, Song.

In 1994 it was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry, who judged it to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


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