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Dec 12, 2018

Forced to think about it for today’s show, I find that I have seven favorite Christmas movies, most of which find their way to the family TV every year. Six of those films are highlighted in a new book, Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season, by Jeremy Arnold. They are, in order of release, It’s A Wonderful Life, the original Miracle on 34th Street, Die Hard, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Love Actually. I’m not at all surprised that number seven doesn’t make the list – it’s nasty, rude, crude and socially insensitive.

Jeremy Arnold podcast excerpt: "I would steer people toward 'Little Women' - the 1994 version. This one, with Winona Ryder as Jo, is just about perfect. Men - don't let the title scare you away. Anyone who loves movies will enjoy this. It's also one of Christian Bale's early roles. What's interesting about it is it was made specifically as a Christmas movie. The Christmas scenes in the film are amplified more than they are in the novel. The whole movie is about the March Family trying to stay together. And that is the most common kind of story for any Christmas movie."

By the way, it’s Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham and John Ritter. Not actually Turner Classic Movies material, but a holiday classic in its own horrific, hysterically funny way. In addition to his new Christmas book, Arnold is also the author of Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials and Lawrence of Arabia: The Fiftieth Anniversary.

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