Yippee-ki-yay. You enjoyed our original list so much that we decided to continue the series with 5 More Things You Might Not Know About Your Favourite Christmas Movies.
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5. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (BILL MELENDEZ, 1965)
A Charlie Brown Christmas is easily one of the most iconic Christmas movies ever released. It’s so iconic in fact, that calling it a great cartoon does it a massive disservice. But did you know this almost 60 years old slice of Americana had a cast largely consisting of kids from director Bill Melendez’s own neighbourhood? In keeping with Peanuts creator Charles ‘Sparky’ Schulz’s wishes, Melendez looked for real kids to play the roles of Charlie, Lucy, Linus, and the gang to give the film an air of believability. This was fine until it came to speaking the lines though as many of the kids couldn’t actually read, and had to be fed the script a line at a time.
4. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (FRANK CAPRA, 1946)
If you haven’t watched It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas since you were able to watch TV then you’re just not Christmasing right. For over 70 years, Frank Capra and James Stewart have captivated audiences with their heartwarming tale of a man who thinks the world will be a better place without him.
The movie is a true classic, but it actually had an unusual start. The original idea is based upon a short story called The Greatest Gift, which was written by a chap named Philip Van Doren Stern. Having no means to get the story published, Van Doren Stern actually printed it himself and distributed it as a 21-page Christmas card. One of the recipients of the cards was Capra himself and the rest, as they say, is history.
3. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (RON HOWARD, 2000)
Dr. Seuss’ Grinch story has been told several times, and although many reading this will prefer the 1966 animation, many households can’t go a single Christmas without at least one peek of Jim Carrey in the only live-action adaptation of the book.
But as fantastic as Carrey is in the titular role, he very nearly didn’t get it. Nope. In fact, we came close to almost having either an Eddie Murphy or a Jack Nicholson Grinch. As intriguing as those two casting ideas are, we think Universal Pictures made the right choice in the end.
2. SCROOGED (RICHARD DONNER, 1988)
Scrooged was the 13th most successful movie of 1988. Although that might not sound too bad to you or me, the studio had hoped for a much better performance. In fact, in an effort to appeal to a broader audience, they even tried to tie Scrooged in with Bill Murray’s biggest hit; Ghostbusters. The marketing for the movie read: “Bill Murray is back among the ghosts, only this time it’s 3 against 1”. It didn’t help.
1. DIE HARD (JOHN McTIERNAN, 1988)
Did you actually think we’d have a series of favourite Christmas movies lists and not include Die Hard? Come on, it’s a festive flick no matter how you slice it. If you don’t agree, too bad. This is our list, bub!
OK, so here’s the fact: Filming for Die Hard took place within Fox Plaza, a fully functioning skyscraper in Los Angeles. This made interior sequences a real challenge because all the while you’re filming an action movie, there’s a dozen or so different businesses trying to operate on the floors below. To combat this issue, McTiernan instructed his starts to pretend to fire their guns at each other during normal office hours, so as not to piss off any of their neighbours. Once five pm rolled around though, it was game on once again.
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