Since I’m playing Scrooge with this list, I’d better begin with a declaration: I love Christmas, the idea of it, and Christmas movies too — the good ones. But some holiday-themed films take advantage of our better nature, and one is director Leo McCarey’s officially loved sequel to his Oscar-winning Going My Way. This time, easygoing Father O’Malley is assigned to a school run by severe, skeptical Sister Mary Benedict, and they clash over the priest’s liberal handling of the students. It’s basically the 2008 movie Doubt, but with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman in the Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep roles and without the accusations of pedophilia. Bellsescalates from religious sanctimoniousness to emotional blackmail — a climax at least one notable reviewer finds a litmus test for critics’ humanity. “If you don’t cry when Bing Crosby tells Ingrid Bergman she has tuberculosis,” Joseph McBride wrote in 1973, “I never want to meet you, and that’s that.” I’ve met Joe McBride, and I respect the heck out of him, but nothing in this treacle pudding of a film makes me cry, except in despair, and that’s that.
And then, to sum up his anger with his boss for assigning him this onerous task, the author has to throw in "...Also, no question, the left could stand some puncturing of its pomposity..." That pretty much explains the whole article. As if conservatives aren't pompous. EVERYONE is pompous on occasion. No one owns it, and no one escapes it either. You could have 'left' that out and I could have forgiven you for writing such a bad article.
MMM... the Grinch just wasn't very good. I was sorry about that, but the original, with Boris Karloff narrating was sublime. Frosty the Snowman was pretty unwatchable, too. As far as the others go, I'd say the writer was assigned the task of creating this article and decided that if HE didn't like a movie, then it was a bad movie. A Christmas Tale was great. The author has some anger issues about past Christmas presents not given, I suppose.
I quit reading when I saw Miracle on 34th Street on the list. Great movie! So I scan the pages and see the Grinch and Fred Clause on the list as well. The author is either an art snob or a moron...anyone who reads the article can decide for themselves.
Any "worst" list of Christmas movies that doesn't have The Christmas Story on it is worthless drivel.
@serfbaja The Christmas Story is on your 'worst' list? I guess you are a fan of maudlin sentimentality.
I think someone doth protest too much - you, Mr. Corliss sound like a bit of a grinch. While entitled to your opinion, there is NO way that I would put either The Bells of St. Mary's or Miracle on 34th Street on my 'worst list'. For shame....
This article represents the sort of idiotic crap hack writers do when they need to fill space. I'd expect this type of lazy writing from the CRACKED website, not TIME. Let me just address a few points I have a problem with
Frosty The Snowman is not a movie, as a movie is commonly defined. It is a twenty-five minute television special. Does the writer of this piece know the difference between a movie and a TV special? Rankin and Bass specials are played year after year and are enjoyed by generations of people. You'd have to be dead inside not to find enjoyment in Frosty, which apparently is a requirement for entertainment writers for TIME.
The 1947 Miracle on 34th Street is a classic that won Edmund Gwenn the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, as wells as Best Adapted Screenplay for George Seaton at the 20th Academy Awards in 1948. Yet the writer of this piece thinks the horrendous 1994 remake is a better movie. That says more about the writer's bad taste and shallowness than about a holiday classic people have loved for decades.
The Santa Claus Conquers the Martians entry just quotes the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. There is no real original writing there. I think the byline should be shared with the MST3K writers of that particular episode. If you're going to put a movie on a list, have the integrity come up with something creative. Don't just copy someone else's jokes.
I don't hate snobby elitist critics who mock anything that is charming and beloved by millions. I pity them. They have no sense of fun or joy, and never will.
I must have terrible taste. I love almost all of these films, including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Ernest Saves Christmas. I think nostalgia is more important when judging these types of films.