Classic movies depict holiday season

Amy Thompson

What do most people want to do when it is freezing outside but warm and cozy inside? Watch a movie. There is something special about watching a feel-good movie that doesn’t require a lot of attention.

Leland Poague, professor of English who teaches film studies, said holiday movies are low on the film line. Holiday movies aren’t known for being particularly good, but there is a traditional value that is associated with the genre.

If you stop to think about it, most holiday movies are derived from some sort of religious values or engage religious ideas. The movie that tops Poague’s holiday movie list is “It’s a Wonderful Life” directed by Frank Capra.

“It is a Christmas classic. It ranks up there with ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Casablanca,'” Poague said.

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” according to, ranks number 30 on its top 250 best movies voted by users. Some might have not heard of the movie, because NBC owns the copyright to show it, and even then it can only show it once a year.

“‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ outstrips traditional holiday movies by a long shot. It attempts something much larger,” Poague said.

The general consensus of students, when asked why they like Christmas movies, was because of tradition and nostalgia. Most watch them with their families around Christmas.

Some movies mentioned were “Polar Express,” “The Santa Clause” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Other holiday classics include, “Babes in Toyland,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “A Christmas Carol” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Most of the new movies you see today stem from the classics aforementioned.

“Christmas itself is a good story,” Poague said.