My top 5 Christmas movies

Well the best Christmas movies I think there are anyway, I am talking the gems that I watch every year without fail…

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This has been such a firm favourite in my family for the last few years. I would estimate I have seen this movie somewhere around 20 times and I still laugh at the same parts, a great movie for getting into the Christmas spirit, having a good laugh and definitely one of my all time favourites!

Most memorable line: “Hey Griswold, where d’ya think you’re going to put a tree that big?” . “Bend over and I’ll show you.”

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It’s a Wonderful Life

George Bailey (played by the wonderful James Stewart) is not having a good Christmas – he is in major financial distress and is contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve until his guardian angel Clarence intervenes to show him what life would be like if he had never existed.

The line – ‘Look daddy, every time a bell a rings, an angel gets his wings’ still gets me every time and leaves a lump in my throat.

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Elf

I ended up watching Elf twice in two days over Christmas last year as it just gets better every time. I havent seen Will Ferrell be so funny in a movie since I watched Old School and this is just chock full of hilarious one liners and facial expressions from start to finish not to mention the legendary dance scene.

“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?”

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Scrooged

Anything with Bill Murray in it is worth a watch in my book and Scrooged is a contemporary twist on the classic – when I say contemporary I mean 1988 of course and boy is this 1988. For anyone who grew up watching movies from the 80s this is bad hair and fashion at its worst and a joy to watch.

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Home Alone

Can you believe it’s 22 years since this movie and Macaulay Culkin made their debut? Every kid has contemplated what they would do if they were left ‘home alone’ and being the youngest with older brothers, I could sympathise with Kevin’s character in this but the fun really starts when he starts defending his house against a brilliant Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

“Keep the change you filthy animal”

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Some other movies worth mentioning, although not strictly Christmas movies, but I associate them with Christmas as they will be on TV at some stage and I will lie on the couch eating mince pies and tins of sweets watching them as I do every year – ET, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Love Actually  and for those of you who might be anti Christmas, Bad Santa is a good choice alongside The Grinch.

What will you be watching this Christmas?

Where are Charlie, Veruca, Mike, Violet and Augustus now?

I started watching this for the hundredth time over the weekend, one of the all time greats and got to wondering what ever became of all the mini stars – are they still in showbiz? Or was this the peak of their acting prowess. Well after a bit of research I can reveal that among Charlie, Veruca, Mike, Violet and Augustus we have a vet, two accountants and two actors…..

Peter Ostrum (born November 1957) who played Charlie Bucket now practices as an American large animal veterinarian. His only film role was Charlie Bucket and he never continued with acting afterwards. A native of Cleveland, Ostrum practices and lives in Lowville, New York with his wife and two children. He has been called “the most famous man in Lowville”, where the local video store has twice worn out its VHS copy of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Julie Dawn Cole (born October 26, 1957) who played Veruca Salt has remained in acting since her famous role and has appeared in numerous English television, film and stage performances over 40 years. She says that whenever her daughter did anything brattish when she was younger she would say ‘Is there a problem, Veruca? Can I help you?’ That always snapped her out of it.”

 

 

Paris Themmen (born June 25, 1959) who played Mike Teevee in the 1971 film has dabbled in various careers, including commercial casting, film production, Disney Imagineering, retail, real estate, and finance. Acting appearances as an adult include “Virtuoso”, a 2000, sixth season episode of the TV series Star Trek: Voyager, and as a contestant billed as a “former child star” in two 2008 episodes of the American game show Duel.

 

 

Denise Nickerson (born April 1, 1957) who played Violet Beauregarde in the movie turned 21 in 1978, and opted to quit acting at that time. Since then, she has appeared on television sporadically and currently works as an accountant at an engineering plant in Colorado. She does keep in touch with her co-stars however.

 

Michael Böllner (born 14 September 1958) who played Augustus Gloop said he enjoyed acting in the film, even though he could not speak English beforehand and had to have his lines coached by a crew member. He did a few more films in Germany after Willy Wonka  but soon quit because his father said he should finish school. He is now a tax accountant in Munich.

So there you go!