Frank Capra classic tops list of our favourite Christmas movies

It’s A Wonderful Film! Frank Capra classic tops list of our favourite Christmas movies…75 years on from its release

  • It’s A Wonderful Life is ‘the best Chrismtas movie of all time’ in a new shortlist
  • The list was decided on by more than 3,000 Radio Times readers who voted
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol came in second and Will Ferrell’s Elf was in third
  • They have been warming our hearts at Christmas for years now. And it seems the age-old classics remain our go-to movie picks as we settle in front of the TV with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine.

    Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life from 1946 and 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol were joined by White Christmas from 1954 on the annual ‘best Christmas movie of all time’ poll of Radio Times readers. 

    It's A Wonderful Life stars James Stewart (pictured) as George Bailey, a man contemplating suicide at Christmas before being visited by his guardian angel

    It’s A Wonderful Life stars James Stewart (pictured) as George Bailey, a man contemplating suicide at Christmas before being visited by his guardian angel








    Die Hard, often questioned as a Christmas film, placed fourth while Elf and Home Alone rounded off the top five.

    The list was decided on by more than 3,000 Radio Times readers who were asked to vote for their favourites from a shortlist compiled by the publication.

    This included classics such as Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas, as well as newer films like Happiest Season and Netflix originals Klaus and The Christmas Chronicles.








    The Muppet Christmas Carol (pictured), the 1992 film starring Michael Caine as Scrooge, narrowly beat Will Ferrell's 2003 flick, Elf

    The Muppet Christmas Carol (pictured), the 1992 film starring Michael Caine as Scrooge, narrowly beat Will Ferrell’s 2003 flick, Elf

    It’s A Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man contemplating suicide at Christmas before being visited by his guardian angel. It has managed to still warm hearts 75 years after it was first released.

    The Muppet Christmas Carol, the 1992 film starring Michael Caine as Scrooge, narrowly beat Will Ferrell’s 2003 flick, Elf.

    ‘[What] our poll proves is that you can’t put a best before date on a Christmas classic,’ said RadioTimes.com’s editorial director Tim Glanfield.

    ‘With It’s A Wonderful Life’s central message of hope and gratitude for what we have, it’ll be no surprise if audiences are still enjoying this most celebrated of films at Christmas in 75 years from now.’ 








    Our top 20 favourite festive films

    1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

    2. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

    3. Elf (2003)

    4. Die Hard (1988)

    5. Home Alone (1990)

    6. Love Actually (2003)

    7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

    8. White Christmas (1954)

    9. Scrooge (1951)

    10. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

    11. The Polar Express (2004)

    12. The Snowman (1982)

    13. The Holiday (2006)

    14. Arthur Christmas (2011)

    15. Scrooged (1988)

    16. Nativity! (2009)

    17. The Santa Clause (1994)

    18. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

    19. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

    20. The Christmas Chronicles (2018). 

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