Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Can we agree to disagree? It's my Top 5 Christmas movie scenes.

What's the holiday season without a list...well, a list or several of them?

I confess to loving both Christmas-themed movies and television shows. Call it nostalgic, sappy, cliché, or idealistic...I really don't care what image it produces to make such a confession. There are several shows and movies that immediately spring to mind when I think of this festive season.

Of course, I'm from a generation that saw A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman chase The Wizard of Oz from being the annual premier kick- off entertainment to the holiday season. But then again, the season then didn't actually start until after Thanksgiving either...

While I still have some very fond memories of the now, ahem, vintage television shows of my youth (wow that hurt), the Christmas-themed movie has moved to the forefront of my pop culture association with all that's merry, jolly and ho-ho-ho.

Keeping things on the lighter side as we often try to do, I would like to share my Top 5 favorite Christmas movie scenes. Nothing heavy from It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle of 34th Street...both great films...just not my preferred genre. I'm still a big ol' kid at heart and tend to drift to the sophomoric humor found in these five movies. I'm not saying each is necessarily the best scene from the films...just my favorite/most memorable and why:

#5 Scrooged (1988)- Classic Bill Murray! I'm not sure anyone else could have pulled off the role of Francis Xavier Cross with the success Murray did in this Dickens' knock-off. There are a number of classic lines and scenes (I've never liked a girl enough to give her 12 sharp knives.), but my pick is the scene where Eliot Loudermilk, played to perfection by Bob Goldthwait, finally has Cross cornered for the kill only to be bamboozled by his prey's sudden change of heart. Hello, rabbit!
I love that Looney Tunes reference.

#4 Home Alone (1990)- I have to admit, I didn't care for this movie much when it was released. But then again, I was also quite full of myself back in 1990 too...I'm just saying. Glad that's over and reality reestablished because this is a heck of a funny movie!
My favorite scene(s) are definitely in the battle. Between Joe Pesci's facial expressions and Daniel Stern's physical comedy, the battle scene plays out like a modernized version of The Three Stooges...minus a dude of course.
Never gets old to me.

#3 Elf (2003)-Will Ferrell is a comic genius. I've actually laughed until I've cried in more than one of his movies. This Christmas film became an instant classic with so many memorable lines there are website dedicated to them. When I think of this movies, it's a toss up between the 'Santa's coming!' and the 'He's an angry elf' scenes as to my favorite.
Since I need to pick one, I'm going with the scene where Buddy is completely oblivious to insulting the famous writer Miles Finch whom he mistakes for a wayward elf.
I just wonder how many takes that scene required before everyone could play it straight...

#2 A Christmas Story (1983)- Yes, I know. We've all been bombarded to the point of saturation with this Christmas staple (thanks TBS). But come on! There are so many iconic moments in this movie that picking a favorite scene is akin to picking a favorite flavor at Baskin Robbins. The lamp, you'll shoot your eye out, the pink bunny costume, triple dog dare you, the Bumpuses' dogs, Fwa-ra-ra-ra-ra, furnace battles...the list is endless!
The most memorable line for me though is while Ralphie's being interrogated about where he heard the queen-mother of dirty words he let slip out earlier, we hear in narration... "I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master." Priceless!
The follow up scene where Schwartz gets the blame by telephone then the thrashing of his life by his mother is also cinema gold.

#1 Christmas Vacation (1989) - An annual tradition at my home. The quintessential Christmas movie. It delicately makes fun of all we've allowed Christmas to become while trying to maintain a ruse of what we think it should be.
I've watched this movie so many times I can nearly quote the script verbatim, yet it never fails to make me laugh. There's a little Clark Griswold in all of us that tries so darn hard to make the holiday season perfect each and every year.
With so many scenes that stand out in this movie (there are t-shirt lines dedicated to many of them), I had to just close my eyes and let the first thing come to mind...SQUIRREL!!!
I bust a gut every time when Eddie's wife declares he don't eat them anymore because of his cholesterol. I'm laughing now...

So, it may not be your top scenes or even your top 5 movies with Christmas themes, but isn't differences what makes the world go around? Okay, it's actually gravity...but you get my point!

Share with us your favorite Christmas movie scene or line. Let's get this place really spinning!


David said...

All great scenes... I love Home Alone and still flinch in some of the more painful parts. HA II also has some great scenes.

One of my favorite movies that is set at Christmas time is DOA with Dennis Quiad. The other, Jingle All the Way with the Governator.

Merry Christmas Tony.

Tracy said...

Yes we can agree to disagree.

Only "Scrooged" would be on my top Christmas movie list as well. I'm also particularly fond of "The preacher's wife" with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston; it's got some great tune and I liked the original of this movie ("The Bishop's Wife" with Cary Grant) and watched that growing up. I also grew up on the Charlie Brown Christmas movie and adore that one.

Jenn4him said...

I love Elf, but I only admit that here. Enjoy your dancer's first Christmas. She is lovely. As for your Vikings, my Colts are nothing to brag about this year, so I am following the leader of my home who has declared that not watching professional sports is saving his sanity this year. Merry Christmas,Jenn