There are thousands of Christmas movies out there and everyone seems to have a favorite.
It’s one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit by dusting off your favorite Christmas films and watching Rudolph, Charlie Brown, Ralphie, Clark Griswold, Ebenezer Scrooge, and other classic characters as they celebrate the yuletide season.
Among the top holiday classics includes that one that we see every year on TV for 24 hours straight. It does not have Jack Bauer, but it does have Ralphie and his family along with at leg lamp. “A Christmas Story” had been around since 1983 and has become a must see every year for many families. The director of that movie Bob Clark took his Final Taxi earlier this year. ( Look for the Bob Clark podcast on Finaltaxi.com) “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”
Another favorite is the James Stewart and Donna Reed movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. This is my wife’s favorite Christmas movie but I can watch it anytime of the year. It tells that each of our lives are important and without one of us the whole world can change.
Other Christmas favorites include Miracle On 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Bells Of St. Marys , Ill Be Home For Christmas , Scrooged, Earnest Saves Christmas , White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to name just a few.
TV shows get into the season as well. What is Christmas without a few Rankin-Bass animagic cartoons? Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer is a must see classic every year as well as Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I love the Charlie Brown’s Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. How many TV series have done Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol? I remember the Flintstones, The Simpsons, Mr. Magoo and even BlackAdder meeting the three spirits of Christmas.
All this talk about Christmas movies is to tell you that my all time favorite Christmas movie is called Scrooge.
Scrooge was a 1970 musical film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic 1843 story, A Christmas Carol. It was filmed in London, directed by Ronald Neame, and starred Albert Finney in the title role. The film’s musical score was composed by Leslie Bricusse and Ian Fraser. With eleven musical arrangements interspersed throughout, the award-winning motion picture is a faithful musical retelling of the original, with one exception. That one departure from the novel takes place during the visit of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. In a nightmarish scene, Scrooge falls, screaming, through his own open grave, through a seemingly bottomless shaft, and into the very bowels of hell, where Marley tells him of his appointment as Lucifer’s personal clerk. The frightened Scrooge’s massive chain arrives on the backs of several burly, hooded “demons” who wrap it around him, fairly crushing him to the floor, amid his futile cries to Marley for help. This scene is so intense that it is often edited or censored from television airings. I was a very small child when I saw it and it scared me silly.
One musical number received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. The piece was called Thank You Very Much. During it Scrooge is unaware that he is seeing his own funeral in the future. He finds everyone singing and dancing on his coffin. The ring leader and main singer is Tom Jenkins, played by actor Anton Rodgers .
Anton Rodgers has taken his Final Taxi at the age of 74 on December 1 2007.
Anton was known for his television performances, specifically his long-running roles in the television sitcoms Fresh Fields and May to December. However, he has also had a long career as an actor on both stage and film. Onstage he ranged from contemporary comedy and satirical farce to Restoration comedy, Ibsen, Shaw and Wilde, and Peter Nichols. He appeared in films such as The Fourth Protocol (1987), The Day of the Jackal (1973), and Son of the Pink Panther (1993). He was also in the Frank Oz film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) where he played Inspector Andre along side Steve Martin and Michael Cane.
He was married to the actress Elizabeth Garvie, whom he met while filming the 1982 drama series, Something in Disguise.
Thank you very much, Anton Rodgers.
I am sure there are several other Christmas movies or TV shows that I have missed. What is you favorite holiday film? What movie or show gets you in the Christmas mood?