Shropshire Star

Film Talk: Forgotten classic Christmas films to try this festive season

We all have our favourite Christmas movies, but what about those that Yuletide forgot? It’s time to dust off the cobwebs and pull out those festive flicks that don’t make the usual Christmas slate, but are certainly deserving of a place on it...

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Bright Eyes (1934)

A heartwarming tale of family values and a cast fronted by hot child star property Shirley Temple, this one had all the ingredients to be a Christmas classic.

These days, Bright Eyes tends to remain on the shelf gathering dust, yet with a cute little orphan in the spotlight and a mean-spirited gaggle of rich folks who get their comeuppance, it is every inch what a festive flick should be.

Looking for a Yuletide classic from Hollywood’s golden age to curl up with? Look no further.

Bachelor Mother (1939)

Bachelor Mother

Starring the immortal Ginger Rogers and David Niven, this Christmas-set rom-com tells the tale of Polly – a department-store worker who discovers a baby left out in the cold.

With staff at an orphanage believing the baby belongs to her, and nobody else accepting the truth either, Polly soon finds herself raising the child.

Classic stuff with a festive backdrop, this one showcases two of Hollywood’s greatest ever stars at their most charming.

We’re No Angels (1955)

A crimbo comedy of yesteryear, We’re No Angels put Humphrey Bogart front and centre as one of three convicts who have a Christmas to remember.

After escaping prison, Bogart’s Joseph and his accomplices Albert and Jules hide out in a family-owned shop. Though they originally plan to rob it, the trio soon find themselves enjoying Christmas dinner with the owners and then figuring out how to help them with their money troubles.

A 50’s Christmas classic, this forgotten gem needs to brought back and polished up for the people.

A Christmas Story (1983)

Based on Jean Shepherd’s 1966 book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, this Christmas comedy classic has sadly been consigned to the ‘forgotten’ shelf by many.

Presented in a series of vignettes linked by a narrator, A Christmas Story tells the tale of Christmas at the Parker household, and a young boy’s particular obsession with an air rifle he hopes to receive from Santa.

Starring Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley, this one is very much considered a Christmas staple in the US and Canada, and so Weekend Towers is doing its bit to make it so over here.

Gremlins (1984)


A classic to end all classics.

Despite the majority of the action taking place on Christmas Eve, this slice of cinematic gold is oft forgotten when Christmas films are considered. However, Gremlins does stand as a well-loved staple of 80s pop culture, as well it should.

Directed by Joe Dante, this one brings us a lovely bit of comedy horror for Christmas time, and is worthy of a place on anybody’s festive watch list. Just don’t feed them after midnight...

Babes in Toyland (1986)

A Christmas musical flick starring a very fresh-faced Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves, Babes in Toyland was based on the 1903 operetta of the same title by Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough.

There is, admittedly, a reason why this one has been largely forgotten; it was made for TV.

With Barrymore’s young Lisa being transported far from home to a mysterious, magical land, this one has more than a few shades of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland about it. But, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it...

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

One of the funniest of the whole bunch, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation saw Chevy Chase step into the role of Clark Griswold Jr. for the third time in a festive-themed slapstick yarn.

Alongside fellow Vacation series stalwart Beverly D’Angelo, Chase delivers a hilarious performance as the head of the Griswold family, who is just looking to enjoy a good old-fashioned Christmas. This of course doesn’t quite go to plan, and with hilarious results.

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns

One of the greatest comic-book movies of all time, and it also happened to be set at Christmas.

With his typically gothic tone driving an outing of some of DC Comics’ finest characters, director Tim Burton created a masterpiece that was certainly a Christmas flick with a difference, and one that is often forgotten in the pantheon.

Fantastic performances from Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito as Batman, Catwoman and The Penguin respectively have ensured this one has stood the test of time.

Call Me Claus (2001)

Ah Whoopi, you may well be my spirit animal...

Starring the great Ms Goldberg herself, 2001’s Call Me Claus is a festive film that has somewhat fallen by the wayside. Yet along with the stellar talent of its leading lady, it also features our own Sir Nigel Hawthorn in the role of St. Nick himself.

A typically heartwarming Yuletide flick, track this one down and it will restore your faith in the Christmas spirit.