Poll results: Christmas movie, TV special winners

posted at 10:12 am on December 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

By Zuzu’s petals, this turned out to be a close-run poll — at least in the movie category.  Thanks to a larger-than-expected turnout from the Bedford Falls region, the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life edged Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story to win the Hot Air poll for best Christmas movie of all time.  George Bailey ended up winning by just 45 angels’ wings over Ralphie.  As promised, here’s a Christmas Day clip from one of Hollywood’s best:

Honestly, though, the vote was so close that I feel like I should offer a clip from the oh-so-close silver medalist — and besides, someone would probablytriple-dog-dare me to do so at some point anyway:

The vote for best Christmas TV special wasn’t even close. A Charlie Brown Christmas won nearly half of all the votes in the poll.  I already included a clip of the show in today’s Christmas post, but here’s a longer clip of the same portion:

A few years ago, a documentarian produced a short making-of film of Charles Schulz’ groundbreaking TV special that’s worth a look.  It explains the resistance of CBS execs to the explicit Biblical references, as well as the lack of a laugh track and the use of actual child actors rather than adults mimicking childrens’ voices.  Schulz insisted: “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”

Merry Christmas to all!

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

II. THE TREE
1. ANY SPECIES OF TREE IS KOSHER FOR USE AS A XMAS TREE, PROVIDED THAT IT HAS NEEDLES AND NOT LEAVES. IN OUR LANDS IT IS CUSTOMARY TO USE A FIR TREE. IT SHOULD BE REASONABLY FRESH, BUT NOT TOO FRESH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE “A XMAS TREE WITH NO FALLEN NEEDLES IS LIKE A SUKKAH WITH NO BUZZING BEES.”

2. THE TREE SHOULD BE CHOPPED DOWN SPECIFICALLY FOR USE AS A XMAS TREE; IF IT HAD BEEN CUT FOR LUMBER IT IS INVALID. IF THE TREE WAS CUT FOR GENERAL DECORATIVE PURPOSES, BUT NOT SPECIFICALLY AS A XMAS TREE, SOME AUTHORITIES ALLOW IT WHILE OTHERS ARE STRICT. A STOLEN TREE IS NOT VALID FOR THE MITZVAH. FORTUNATE IS ONE WHO IS ABLE TO CHOP HIS OWN TREE HIMSELF.

If Xmas was a Jewish holiday…

http://holidays.juda.com/xmas-gamora.shtml

aunursa on December 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Watched It’s a Wonderful Life last night…

OmahaConservative on December 25, 2012 at 10:18 AM

It explains the resistance of CBS execs to the explicit Biblical references, as well as the lack of a laugh track and the use of actual child actors rather than adults mimicking childrens’ voices. Schulz insisted: “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”

From what I understand, TV executives were concerned that audiences would not like the citation from Scripture in a cartoon. The conventional wisdom at the time did not generally allow for something as holy as the Bible being placed into something as trivial as a kid’s cartoon. It was a matter of reverence. Of course, today the objections would be keeping the Bible off TV due to secularism. But I don’t think that was where the controversy lay back in 1965.

HeIsSailing on December 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM

aunursa on December 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Roses are red, violets are bluish.

If it were not for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish. :-)

Merry Christmas to all!!!

coldwarrior on December 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM

They are all winners.

docflash on December 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Thanks to a larger-than-expected turnout from the Bedford Falls region,

Is it true the movie was filmed in Keene, or just based on it?

dogsoldier on December 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Excellent choices… old school is the best!!

Khun Joe on December 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Merry Christmas Ed to you and your family!

Merry Christmas HA Family!!!

cmsinaz on December 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I’m gonna put on Die Hard.

ironked on December 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Got the yule log channel on, drinking coffee :)

cmsinaz on December 25, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Die Hard FTW!!!!

ladyingray on December 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Watched It’s a Wonderful Life last night…

OmahaConservative on December 25, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Me too. My favorite part is when George hits the cop, runs off and the cop opens fire on him.

Chuck Schick on December 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

My favorite Christmas movie is “Stalag 17.”

Rixon on December 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Got the yule log channel on, drinking coffee :)

cmsinaz on December 25, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Chennel 17 in Philly is the Yule log channel today. Hit the mute button to silence the Muzak music, and it’s like having my own little fireplace in a third-story walk-up apartment.

Wethal on December 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Sound of Music Monday night, It’s a Wonderful Life Tuesday night.

Two movies from by gone years filled with Faith, Family, Values, and Moral Character.

And what we have now is Tarrantino style blood and guts, TRASH!

Not sure if we’ll ever get back to the heart of what made this nation so great… alas…

katy on December 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Prefer Die Hard. IAWL is Too. Sappy.
I’m allergic to sappy.
What? *grin*

annoyinglittletwerp on December 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I’m going out of the box…

A Midnight Clear.

Limerick on December 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Wethal on December 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

nice :)

cmsinaz on December 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Die Hard FTW!!!!

ladyingray on December 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Watched one and two that Saturday.

IaWL was based on Senecca Falls, I read, but downtown Keene still looks like Bedford Falls….

dogsoldier on December 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM

katy on December 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

+1

cmsinaz on December 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I am really happy ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ won. I have looked daily for it to show but so far haven’t seen it so far.

Again, Merry Christmas to all here at HA.
L

letget on December 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM

It’s a tainted poll! Die Hard was included after most people voted.

Darksean on December 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Charlie Brown’s Christmas is my all time favorite, I bring it when I’m out on a trip. This year my seniority isn’t high enough to hold Christmas off, unless I wanted to sit reserve for the month. While I can’t be with my family, for these days over Christmas, my crew is my family. God Bless the families of the 26 in Newton.

TulsAmerican on December 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Christmas Carol?
…any of the older ones?
…just like November 6th!…the majority is wrong!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on December 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Nice to be on the winning side for once.

ConservativeLA on December 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I liked “The Other Wise Man”, circa 1957 on Kraft Theater. I heard they made a full-length movie with Martin Sheen in 1985 but haven’t seen it. Too bad you don’t see more of the older and lesser known Christmas themed films instead of the usual suspects.

Mr Mxyzptlk on December 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I have a whole series of Christmas movies we start watching about 9 days before Christmas
1. The Kranks Christmas
2. The Christmas Wish
3. Ms. Miracle
4. The Christmas Shoes
5. A Song for the Season
6. Seasons of the Heart
7. It’s a Wonderful Life
8. Scrooge (Albert Finney Version)
9. The Nativity Story

Once again Merry Christmas and may each of you find mercy and grace from the reason for the Season: Jesus.

chemman on December 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Darn.
Star Wars Holiday Special didn’t make the list….

Electrongod on December 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Honestly, though, the vote was so close that I feel like I should offer a clip from the oh-so-close silver medalist

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

Moesart on December 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM

..overlooked, conspicuous in its absence: The Ref.

The War Planner on December 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I for one actually enjoy “playing nursemaid to a lot of garlic eaters”

NY Conservative on December 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM

A Christmas Story.

Without a Doubt.

As for TV:

Charlie Brown all the way.

Tim_CA on December 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Bam!

Tim_CA on December 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Darn.
Star Wars Holiday Special didn’t make the list….

Electrongod on December 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I got a rock.

BobMbx on December 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Meh, I’m a “Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence” kind of guy.

SWalker on December 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The internals must be brutal. I want to see the cross tabs in that poll.

cozmo on December 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Clearly this was a rigged election Obama style. The libs don’t like Ralphie because he is a gun nut so they had dead people vote.

Joking!

Ralphie is the best but the other ain’t bad. Was there a Kwanza movie?

Dingbat63 on December 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

“George Baily…..the richest man in town” ♥♥

I’ve seen that part a hundred times……and I ended up blubbering a hundred times.

Merry Christmas everyone.

tencole on December 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Oh… and my very favorite Christmas song

SWalker on December 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

…S C R O O G E…!!!

KOOLAID2 on December 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM

By Zuzu’s petals, this turned out to be a close-run poll

This is my favorite scene… “Paste it, Daddy!”

ladyingray on December 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I feel kinda sad that I don’t like either of the top contenders. My favorite has been and always will be “White Christmas.” (I’m a big Vera Ellen fan.)

College Prof on December 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

(I’m a big Vera Ellen fan.)

College Prof on December 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I’m a huge Vera Lynn fan

coldwarrior on December 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Bill Murray’s miracle monologue at the end of Scrooged Is right up there as well.

It can happen to you, if you let it.

FlaMurph on December 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM

At least The Ref was represented. No doubt it woild have received more votes if seen more. Although the winner is a great flick.

LaughterJones on December 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I for one actually enjoy “playing nursemaid to a lot of garlic eaters”

NY Conservative on December 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Had to research “garlic eaters”. I guess it’s a pejorative for Italians, which fits as Martini was featured as getting his own home in Bailey Park. It’s funny how they slip a racial slur into such a white bread, “G” rated movie. Potter wouldn’t last in today’s world.

Paul-Cincy on December 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I’m sorry, but Miracle on 34th St. should have won. This contest is a farce, a hoax, a joke, a ripoff. I protest. I protest again.

Paul-Cincy on December 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM

A Muppet Christmas Carol.

tim c on December 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Maybe I’m late to the party but why is Ed being punished? He has a family to be with on Christmas. Pick on Allahpundit – at least he’s used to it.

Bah humbug on Ed working on Christmas.

platypus on December 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I’m sorry, but Miracle on 34th St. should have won. This contest is a farce, a hoax, a joke, a ripoff. I protest. I protest again.

Paul-Cincy on December 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM

…progressive infiltration!

KOOLAID2 on December 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Maybe I’m late to the party but why is Ed being punished? He has a family to be with on Christmas. Pick on Allahpundit – at least he’s used to it.

Bah humbug on Ed working on Christmas.

platypus on December 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

They switched belief systems for a day. A Freaky Friday kinda thing.

Paul-Cincy on December 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

OK, I admit it, I had never seen the Christmas Story. So I set the DVR for the movie this Holiday weekend. I could not get past the first 5 minutes. I was BORED!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Well. I have been DVR’ing Lifetime Christmas movies all month. I plowed through 2 of them this morning and watching the 3rd one right now.

karenhasfreedom on December 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Maybe or maybe not mentioned, but what the heck: The House Without a Christmas Tree (Jason Robards) 1972 , Christmas Is (animated, produced by the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod) 1970, Scrooge (Albert Finney), 1970, A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim), 1951 and though not really Christmas per se, Laurel and Hardy: March of the Wooden Soldiers, 1934.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Anyone remember the Twilight Zone episode were Art Carney becomes Santa. Wonderful.

jimfreedom on December 25, 2012 at 1:16 PM

They switched belief systems for a day. A Freaky Friday kinda thing.

Paul-Cincy on December 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

LoL. The thought never crossed my mind. What a weird thing to do on a Tuesday.

platypus on December 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

From what I understand, TV executives were concerned that audiences would not like the citation from Scripture in a cartoon. The conventional wisdom at the time did not generally allow for something as holy as the Bible being placed into something as trivial as a kid’s cartoon. It was a matter of reverence. Of course, today the objections would be keeping the Bible off TV due to secularism. But I don’t think that was where the controversy lay back in 1965.

HeIsSailing on December 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Which is why we need more diversity of thought in the media, so we don’t get watered down junk that appeals to nobody on a deep level. We need more actual Christians and fiscal conservatives in the news/entertainment media for the sake of true diversity and mass appeal.

Daemonocracy on December 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

For the record, when I clicked “Christmas Story” on the poll, “It’s a Wonderful Life” came up on the screen as my choice…

thurman on December 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Merry Christmas, everyone — no matter what movie you think is best!

unclesmrgol on December 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

After raping the Bailey Building and Loan Association into bankruptcy, Barney Frank wed Ralphie in Massachusetts last year.

I’m sure of it.

locomotivebreath1901 on December 25, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Will be watching “The Family Man” later today.

Shaughnessy on December 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

At least The Ref was represented. No doubt it woild have received more votes if seen more. Although the winner is a great flick.

LaughterJones on December 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

..alas, my previous post was in error. It received 47 votes. What is inexcusable is that Alastair Sim’s portrayal of Ebenezer in Scrooge went unselected. Between the cynicism of The Ref and Mr Sim’s absolutely quintessential portrayal of redemption, the rest of this list is a mish-mash of schmalzy, treacly humbug!

“[You all] don’t deserve to be so happy!”

The War Planner on December 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Maybe I’m late to the party but why is Ed being punished? He has a family to be with on Christmas. Pick on Allahpundit – at least he’s used to it.

Bah humbug on Ed working on Christmas.

platypus on December 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I always appreciate and enjoy Ed’s Christmas threads, every year…

OmahaConservative on December 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Thanks Ed for posting The Making Of a Charlie Brown Christmas… The Charlie Brown Christmas is totally my favorite of all the above.

RalphyBoy on December 25, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Men of principle are getting harder to find these days. Thank You Mr. Charles Shulz for the gift of Charlie Brown Christmas and Linus’s explanation of the true meaning of Christmas.

dddave on December 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM

My favorite Christmas movie is “Stalag 17.”

Rixon on December 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Understandably, never mentioned as a Christmas movie, though. One of my top ten all-time faves, regardless.

98ZJUSMC on December 25, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Maybe or maybe not mentioned, but what the heck: The House Without a Christmas Tree (Jason Robards) 1972…

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Wow – there is a blast from the past I have not thought of in years! I thought that movie was so depressing..!! Jason Robards was such a grumpy old crank!!

HeIsSailing on December 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Potter wouldn’t last in today’s world.

Sure he would. His name is George Soros!

As far as this little poll goes, it only shows that those are the two most widely known Christmas movies.

True classics like The Bishop’s Wife, It Happened On Fifth Avenue, The Man Who Came To Dinner or another Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie, Shop Around The Corner, are much better then a Christmas Story and rival It’s A Wonderful Life in my opinion.

Rockshine on December 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

It explains the resistance of CBS execs to the explicit Biblical references, as well as the lack of a laugh track and the use of actual child actors rather than adults mimicking childrens’ voices. Schulz insisted: “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”

“What use are wings if they can’t make you fly? I might as well be a dung beetle! Or a fly-infested worm-infused molded mildewed scrap of ROTTEN BANANA!! ….Or a network executive.”

– Opus from “A Wish for Wings That Work”

Socratease on December 25, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Blazing Saddles

jb34461 on December 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

What is inexcusable is that Alastair Sim’s portrayal of Ebenezer in Scrooge went unselected.

The War Planner on December 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

That was covered under A Christmas Carol (any version).

GWB on December 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

How can this poll be expected to be taken seriously without new classics such as Reindeer Games, Long Kiss Goodnight, and Bad Santa.

Heart warming stories of redemption, all.

John Deaux on December 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I gotta say the two favorites I prefer that always play at Christmas are White Christmas and The Sound of Music. They might be ahead of Die Hard actually. Just that I have neither in my DVD collection. IAWL was played out years ago for excess exposure. It’s sort of a joke now. Miracle on 34th is nice. It has a Mr. Deeds or Mr. Smith vibe that still make it attractive.

ironked on December 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

The people at Hot Air are like The Media anywhere else:

They decide what they want The Headline to be – and then they report as though that has happened, whether or not it has – and they ignore it if reality does not match up to the fictional headline they wrote.

In this case – reality did not meet The Media’s “Wish Fulfillment”……..

Good for voters…..

williamg on December 25, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I can’t believe that White Christmas is not the Hot Air favorite due to the military storyline.

I also enjoyed George C. Scott as Scrooge and Jim Carrey as the Grinch this season.

HellCat on December 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I can’t believe that White Christmas is not the Hot Air favorite due to the military storyline.

HellCat on December 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Wow! Interesting way to stereotype based on your own bias.

Happy Nomad on December 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM

By Zuzu’s petals, this turned out to be a close-run poll — at least in the movie category.

By Zuzu’s petals,

I love that. And that’s a new buzz-phrase if ever I’ve read one.

P.S.: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE has always been my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Glad others think so, too.

Lourdes on December 26, 2012 at 5:29 AM

Blazing Saddlesjb344 61 on December 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Dang. Now you throw this wrench in. Blazing is easily the best movie ever so a purist would have to agree with you. But, I suggest that for this poll, that it is stipulated that it is best and now vote on the rest (which A Christmas Story would have one were it not for gun grabbers voting their prejudices. :-). Joking folks. Thanks for the great thread Ed.

Dingbat63 on December 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

The best TV Christmas special isn’t about Christmas at all… not exactly. Terry Pratchett’s The Hogfather.

spinach.chin on December 26, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Let’s not forget Airplane

June Cleaver translating Ebonics is one of many side splitting moments in that film.

jb34461 on December 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

The Schaef on December 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Let’s not forget Airplane

June Cleaver translating Ebonics is one of many side splitting moments in that film.

jb34461 on December 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Technically, it was jive, not ebonics :)

spinach.chin on December 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Anything with Donna Reed in it wins.

She was beautiful, elegant, and a lady. Not a lot of that in Hollywood these days.

NoPain on December 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

We had friends over and watched the South Park Christmas episodes.

schmuck281 on December 26, 2012 at 4:05 PM

If Xmas was a Jewish holiday.

aunursa on December 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

It is a Jewish holiday. CHRISTmas is the Christian holiday.

Jaibones on December 27, 2012 at 4:23 PM