My lists of 12 Christmas movies that don’t feature Tiny Tim, Linus, Bing Crosby, the Grinch, or Clarence the Angel, or a Leg Lamp, Twelve More Great Christmas Movies Without Santa, Tiny Tim, or a Message from Ovaltine, and Worst Christmas Movies are among my favorite and most-read. Try some neglected gems that are fun to share with family during the holidays:
“A House Without a Christmas Tree” Jason Robards stars in this story about a widower who finds Christmas memories too painful and his daughter, who wins a Christmas tree at school.
“A Song for the Season” Gerald McRaney plays a man who is not happy to be moving back in with his father (Andy Gfiffith) for his new job as principal of a troubled school. Things begin to change when he meets the beautiful music teacher (Naomi Judd).
Remember the Night is a bittersweet film about a prosecutor (Fred MacMurray) who brings a woman accused of shoplifting (Barbara Stanwyck) home with him for Christmas so that she won’t get an overly lenient sentence from the judge swayed by the holiday spirit, a very different mood from the stars’ other feature, “Double Indemnity” and notable, too, as the first screenplay from Preston Sturges.
“Gift of the Magi” O. Henry’s classic tale of the poor young couple who sacrifice their most precious belongings to give to each other stars Marla Sokoloff and Mark Webber.
“Merry Sitcom” This collection of 60’s sitcom Christmas classics includes episodes from “Bewitched,” “That Girl,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Donna Reed Show.” For fans of 50’s television, “Holiday TV Classics” has episodes from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” and many, many more.
“Blackadder’s A Christmas Carol” turns the classic story inside out with hilarious results as Rowan Atkinson plays a kind-hearted shopkeeper who is inspired by spirits to give meanness a try.
“Bells of St. Mary’s” has the return of Bing Crosby as Father O’Malley, this time at odds with Ingrid Bergman as a spirited nun. The children’s depiction of the Nativity is delightfully improvised.
“Holiday Affair” Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh star in a sweet holiday story about a widow with a young son who finds love again.