I should have known that the Film School Rejects team would be all about Christmas scenes from horror films. I reached out to the site’s other editors and writers this week to compile some favorite moments from both legitimate holiday movies and other films that just happen to have Christmas scenes in them, and a third wound up being classifiable as being from the horror genre. Three others are from versions of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, which is a pretty scary story as well. Then there’s my personal pick, which is a rather cynical and frightening bit (I would have gone with The Thin Man, but I’d be repeating something I wrote years ago for the now-defunct blog Cinematical). Fortunately (depending on your tastes this time of year), we also have some more conventional people among our staff, and you’ll find some Jimmy Stewart and Chevy Chase here as well.
Oh, and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a shot of William Fichtner‘s buttocks. So, check out 12 of our favorite Christmas scenes after the jump, and tis the season for giving, so let us know the scenes you love in the comments section.
Receipt for Your Husband from Brazil
Let’s begin with the near-opening scene from Terry Gilliam‘s satirical dystopian classic. I tend to forget this film is set during Christmas — though I’m not sure I’d necessarily call it a Christmas movie — which is stupid since the holiday is so ironically significant to its plot and themes. While other moment of the film showcase Christmas shopping and even an evil man dressed as Santa, the following bit has often been cited as an amusing twist for the yuletide setting. After a child asks his mother how Santa will visit them on Christmas Eve given their lack of a chimney, military police storm into the apartment from above, through a hole in the ceiling. And instead of dropping off a gift they take one for themselves: the incorrectly nabbed Archibald Buttle (instead of Tuttle). – Christopher Campbell
The F***ing Love of My Life from Love Actually
Love Actually is crammed with wonderful Christmas moments that, despite being generally just bonkers (that Keira Knightley/Andrew Lincoln cue card scene? Hello, stalker? Hugh Grant – the prime minister – crashing a holiday play and promptly making out with one of his employees on stage? Inappropriate much? Anything with Colin Frissell?), are still guaranteed to bring a tremendous smile to my face again and again. But, hands down, the scene I’ve grown to love the most involves Bill Nighy‘s jackass former pop star, Billy Mack, suddenly realizing what (and who) really matters, all thanks to Christmas (and some Christmas champagne, no doubt). It’s a terrible, terrible mistake – but it’s a wonderful one. – Kate Erbland
Squirrel On The Loose from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Griswald’s were already having a less than ideal Christmas, but when patriarch Clark (Chevy Chase) goes off the deep end and drags a brand new Christmas tree into the house, it gives us one of the film’s best scenes. It is easy to forget that cutting down your own Christmas tree could mean cutting down a little furry creature’s home, and the moment Clark finds this out is so surprising and terrifying, it is hard to keep from laughing. From Clark’s mom hitting the deck to Uncle Lewis (William Hickey) falling asleep despite all the chaos, watching a tiny squirrel cause so much mayhem is hilarious. Sadly, I do not think Julia Louis-Dreyfus will ever agree. – Allison Loring
George Bailey Runs Ecstatically Through Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life
After it got tons of play on television through the 80s and 90s, there was a bit of a backlash to this Frank Capra classic. But It’s a Wonderful Life remains an expertly made, heartwarming film. It has so many great scenes to highlight, from straight-up comedy to holiday messages. Still, it’s George Bailey’s climactic run through Bedford Falls after things return to normal that never fails to make me tear up. (Apologies for the colorized clip.) – Kevin Carr
Confederated Products from Go
I love Go. I love how incredibly strange it is, and how I can never actually remember that it’s technically a Christmas movie. The chemistry between Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf works because it’s a little bit bland, believably a gay couple that has started to lose interest. William Fichtner, on the other hand, takes on the role of a narcotics officer with the utmost skeeviness. In this scene, he’s invited the boys over for dinner with his wife (Jane Krakowski!), initially under a bit of duress. Fichtner has been eyeing both younger men for the whole movie, feeling them up and complimenting their physiques. We’re expecting the inevitable, that he and his wife will invite them into some sort of odd, sexual arrangement. And then it turns out they’re just trying to recruit them to sell “Confederated Products”? In Go, a movie full of drug dealers, the most unsettling characters are the married couple of straight cops. What’s not to love? – Daniel Walber