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Holiday films battle for supremacy

POSTED December 11, 2010 12:02 a.m.

The stockings are hung, the cookies are warm from the oven and it’s time to turn on the Christmas movie. But which one is going to be playing on your television?

The Christmas movie has become part of the holiday tradition for numerous families, but which one is the best? We asked Turlock Journal readers to participate in a very unscientific poll and here are the results of the vote in our first ever Holiday Movie Match-up.


Santa’s Sixteen

Hollywood’s golden era stars Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant went toe-to-toe when “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “The Bishop’s Wife” met up in the first round. The match-up was a blow out when “The Bishop’s Wife” put up a woeful showing, posting nary a vote and “It’s A Wonderful Life” cruised to the next round.

The other match-up among the classics had crooner Bing Crosby and his singing cohorts in “White Christmas” up against Kris Kringle himself in “Miracle on 34th Street.” The melodious foursome put on a good show, but came up just a whisker short and “Miracle on 34th Street” moved up the ladder,

People may love the Muppets, but not when they take on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” Even the puppet masters couldn’t scare up a vote for the “Muppet’s Christmas Carol” and they fell to the Peanuts gang in the first round among the Cartoon Kids.

The other match-up saw the Grinch tangling on the residents of Halloween Town in “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” The green one, even in all his grinchiness, couldn’t stave off Jack and his turn as Santa Claus.

The first round of the Holiday Ho-Hoers pitted Ralphy from “A Christmas Story” up against Kevin from “Home Alone.” It was a close match, but in the end people preferred Ralphy’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun over Kevin’s escapades with two hapless burglars.

Funnymen Chevy Chase and Tim Allen went head-to-head and once the snow settled the bumbling Clark Griswold emerged victorious over Allen’s turn as the jolly ol’ elf in the “Santa Clause.”

In the Bah Humbug corner it was a hard-scrabble match-up between the traditional “A Christmas Carol” and Bill Murray’s re-telling “Scrooged.” In the end it was George C. Scott’s portrayal of the Christmas curmudgeon that won over the voters.

Jim Carrey’s attempt to bring the Grinch to life couldn’t compete with the misdeeds of Billy Bob Thornton and his “Bad Santa” role.


Egg Nog Eight

Christmas powerhouse “It’s A Wonderful Life” had another easy victory when it met up with “Miracle on 34th Street,” besting Kris Kringle and his campaign against commercialism.

Also scoring an easy victory was Charlie Brown. The Peanuts gang, with snoopy, Woodstock, and their sad little Christmas tree was too much for the creepy citizens of Halloween Town to overcome in the second round.

Ebinezer Scrooge managed to scrape out a victory over “Bad Santa,” but the true upset was the match-up between “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Going in as a favored player, “A Christmas Story” and its memorable taunts of “you’ll shoot your eye out,” was sent home packing early by the Griswolds and their house of lights and crazy squirrel.


Festive Four

In the third round both “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” had easy victories over their opponents, setting up a championship between the Christmas Classic and the Holiday Ho-Hoers.


Christmas Championship

George Bailey and his fellow Bedford Falls residents came out strong against the Griswold clan, but as the final days of voting ticked down even Clarence the Angel couldn’t overcome the bumbling Clark Griswold and his spectacularly calamitous Christmas celebration.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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