It's coming to that time of year when it's actually OK to indulge in a little sentimentalism and what better way than to curl up with your loved ones or indeed by yourself, if you're shy at shedding a tear, and indulge in some of the seasons greatest films.
So what's the main ingredient for a superb Christmas movie?
It does not lie in the technical; great cast anything like that – although course highly important. It lies in the way the whole embodiment of Christmas resonates with our own spirits.
Movies that capture this essence are the ones that stay with us through the year; embedded in our psyche, their message resounds and Touches our own generosity of spirit.
Here are three such movies that do just this.
A Christmas Carol (1951) – Obviously done to death over the years, and not that surprising since Dickens' story is simply a work of art. This version starring Alastair Sim has recently been 'colourized' but for true authenticity, this one is best viewed in black and white. Its Sim's portrait of Scrooge that makes this version stand out – He captures Scrooge's giddiness perfectly when he realizes that he has a chance to make amends.
It's a Wonderful life (1946) – Directed by Frank Capra and Starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey a down trodden and depressed businessman on the verge of suicide on Christmas Eve. The film has a simple message of Karma in which George, who regards himself as a failure is shown his true worth by his guardian angel Clarence Odbody.
The film was regarded as a box office flop when it was first released and despite 5 Oscar nominations failed to make any impact. The American film institute voted It's a wonderful life as the most inspirational American Film of all time and is testimony to the true honesty in which it delicately captures the Christmas and human spirit.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – Again though this film has been remade twice, it's the original version that has the x-factor. Edmund Gwenn who plays Kris Kringle – an old man who bears a striking resemblance to Santa, and as such is employed as a last-minute stand in for Santa at Macy's toy department store. The viewer is rewarded in the end by having faith in Gwenn's character, who survives the social cynicism and doubt and who faith shines through and wins the day.
The post war years seem to be a golden age for movies that capture the true Christmas meaning. Maybe it has something to do with celebrating the victory of the human spirit over adversity. But whatever it is these three films have it in spades.
I'm a big movie fan and needless to say I spend a reasonable amount of time and money on enjoying my favorite pastime movie watching. I find that renting films a considerable money saver for someone with my movie addiction.