53: Christmas Classics & Clunkers—Steven Greydanus

It’s that time of year again when we review the notable “holiday” movies for their adherence to the real meaning of Christmas, production quality, and merits and demerits. Who better than the founder of Decent Films, Steven Greydanus?

Steve is not only the father of seven and a permanent deacon with the Archdiocese of Newark, he is a prolific movie critic and newly minted member of the elite New York Film Critics’ Circle.

Ever since the first A Christmas Carol silent film came out in 1901 (!), Christmas and movies have gone together like Bob Cracthit and Tiny Tim. Since then, there have been over 30 adaptations of the Dickens original to the big or small screen.

In this episode, here is a sample of the Christmas themed movies Steven and I talk about in this episode:

 

Elf, starring Will Farrell, produced by my friend Todd Komarnicki, who appeared in Episode 25  of the show

Die Hard  starring Bruce Willis. Is it really a Christmas movie? Discuss. And we do!

A Midnight Clear C starring Gary Sinese. Biblical allusion galore in this tragically little known war movie set at Christmas.

Joyeux Noel,  co-production about the true story of a Christmas Eve impromptu cease-fire between the Germans and the Allies.

It’s a Wonderful Life,  starring James Stewart. For my money the greatest film ever made. If you disagree, we can’t be friends. Want the story behind the story? Read this. It’s what got the attention of my upcoming guest Mary Owen, daughter of actress Donna Reed, the incandescent Mary Bailey, wife of George.

Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper. The other Frank Capra movie about a good man tempted to suicide on Christmas Eve. Bizarrely forgotten classic, as I point out here.

We also talked about the bad ones, like Ron Howard’s super-lousy How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a few other rancid things disguised as movies. Since this is a respectable joint—I ain’t linking to ‘em.

Join the Conversation:

Question of the week: How can watching movies together at Christmastime bring your family closer together?

 

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