Top 25 Christmas Movies would Christmas be without watching movies? Here are twenty-five classics for the holidays, arranged chronologically.

Holiday Inn (1942, NR, 100 min.)

Bing Crosby croons to the tune of the Oscar-winning "White Christmas" in Irving Berlin's love triangle romantic comedy. Tired of the bright lights of showbiz, Jim Hardy (Crosby) retires to the countryside to become a farmer. He converts the farm into the Holiday Inn, open only on holidays, then competes against his pal (Fred Astaire) for a singer-dancer's (Marjorie Reynolds) affection. (Netflix)

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It's a Wonderful Life (1946, NR, 130 min.)

Frank Capra's inverted take on A Christmas Carol stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a good man who's spent a lifetime giving up on his dreams in order to keep life in his small town humming. When a guardian angel named Clarence finds a despondent George poised to jump off a bridge, he shows George what life would've been like had he never been born. (Netflix)

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Miracle on 34th Street (1947, NR, 96 min.)

When Santa falls down drunk in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, reluctant Macy's supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara) offers the job to a bearded Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) purporting to be the real Santa! During the Christmas season, he shares a flat with Doris's neighbor (John Payne), who has eyes for Doris. Kris hopes to unite the two while winning over Doris's skeptical 6-year-old daughter (Natalie Wood). (Netflix)

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The Bishop's Wife (1947, NR, 109 min.)

This Christmastime angelic intervention sparkles with good humor. Dudley the angel (Cary Grant) is sent to help a bishop (David Niven) and his wife (Loretta Young) survive their attempt to finance a new cathedral and the strain it's putting on their marriage. The Bishop's Wife includes complex undercurrents, especially when the bishop sees Dudley as a rival for his job and his wife. (Netflix)

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A Christmas Carol (1951, NR, 86 min.)

Considered by many to be the classic adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel, this 1951 version stars Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, the callous miser visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Michael Hordern plays the spirit who successfully haunts the old man. Co-starring in this seamless sketch of Dickens' England are Hermione Baddeley, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison and a young Patrick Macnee. (Netflix)

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12/24/2010 5:00:00 AM
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