Is There a Definitive Christmas Film?

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

With Christmas Day only four days away, we here at the Rabbit Film Section have been listing and reviewing some of our favourite Yuletide films. But, the question is, is there one film which truly defines Christmas?

Of course, this question is dependent on the viewer watching the film and their opinion of their favourite Christmas film. But, we must ignore that for now and focus on the films themselves.

Its-A-Wonderful-Life

Perhaps, it is best to approach this question via the countries in which these Christmas films are screened. So, in America, perhaps their definitive Christmas film is ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, directed by Frank Capra and starring screen legends, James Stewart and Donna Reed. This a film, which, on its original release in 1946, was not originally a hit, in the box office or by the critics.

But, fast forward a couple of decades, and in the age of television, American studios decided to screen the film at Christmas, from then on, it has become a firm American Christmas film. Which deals with the Universal themes of love, life, identity, The American Dream and one man’s journey to discover his place in the world.

snowman-illustration-high-res-snowman-enterprises-ltd-1982-2004-lst104009-1

Whereas, here in the UK, I believe that the definitive Christmas Film is rather hard to pinpoint. You have the clever comedy, ‘Love Actually’, which is often screen on our televisions in the lead up to Christmas.

But, maybe for us Brits, our definitive Christmas Film is ‘The Snowman’ – written by Raymond Briggs, who also created the wonderfully grumpy, ‘Father Christmas’. In this telling tale of one boys journey to discover Christmas, he learns a little bit more; he learns of the fragility of life and death.

Of course, there are many more Christmas Films which haven’t even been mentioned, each unique and brilliant in their own way.

What do you think, is there a definitive Christmas film?

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