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The Movie Maven's best and worst Christmas movies
The Movie Maven, Stephanie Curtis, discusses her picks for best and worst Christmas movies on MIDDAY, on Dec. 23, 2003.


1. The Shop Around the Corner: Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart play co-workers in a gift shop who fight and fall in love in time for Christmas.

2. Miracle on 34th Street: There is a Santa.

3. It's a Wonderful Life: A dull and obvious choice, but too good to ignore.

4. Distant Voices, Still Lives: A sentimental look back at a working class family in Liverpool after World War Two. Like the Shop Around the Corner, it's not expressly about Christmastime, but as in any family, this one comes together for good and bad at the holidays.

5. Die Hard: A man realizes he's not ready to give up on his marriage and tries to patch up things with his estranged wife at Christmas. Unfortunately, terrorists get in the way.


1. Silent Night, Deadly Night: Santa kills.

2. Santa Claus: The Movie: Big budget disaster that misses the magic of Santa completely.

3. Jingle All the Way: The future Governor Arnold races about trying to get the perfect toy for his son. Tries to skewer crass commerciality by being crassly commercial.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Ron Howard attempts to take a slim book and expand it into two hours. The result: loud, mean and stupid.

5. Home Alone: I know it's now a classic for many families, but the violence slapped up against the corny sentimentality is appalling.

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