Most popular Christmas films

PUBLISHED: 14:34 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:34 19 December 2016

Bill Nighy in his Christmas element in Love Actually

Bill Nighy in his Christmas element in Love Actually


It’s a modern day festive staple – sitting down in front of a good movie and relaxing. But which films are most popular at this time of year? Chrissy Harris spoke to some well known Devon personalities to find out their favourites

When you’ve eaten so much you can’t move, it’s time to hit the sofa, watch a film and try to stay awake. Everyone has a favourite festive flick, right? Here’s the choices of some Devon folk I spoke to:

Seafood chef Mitch Tonks

“I like A Christmas Carol – I don’t mind which version but it’s the film/story that portrays the true spirit of Christmas!”

Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and wife Clare, founder of Farms for City Children

“Our favourite film is It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart as George, who wishes he’d never been born. An angel called Clarence is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true and to show George how many lives he has changed for the better. It is one of half a dozen truly memorable films and it always makes me smile.”

The Polar Express - great escapismThe Polar Express - great escapism

Sadie Lynes, owner of Marldon Christmas Tree Farm, near Totnes

“I love The Polar Express, because it’s great escapism for me after a busy season.”

Film producer Glynis Murray, whose work includes Nanny McPhee and Everybody’s Fine. She and her cinematographer husband Henry Braham own Good, a hemp food company based in Tawstock

“It’s Love Actually directed by Richard Curtis, because it gets better each time you see it.”

Former Made in Chelsea star Cheska Hull now runs Amelia’s Attic boutique in Salcombe with mum Karen Woodley

“My fave Xmas film is Love Actually! It’s a fabulous film for the whole family with a huge amount of laughs and romance! I adore Hugh Grant and my favourite part is when he dances to It’s Raining Men through 10 Downing Street. It never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit!”

Deborah Clark and husband Tony Orchard own Burgh Island in Bigbury-on-Sea and Southernhay House boutique hotel in Exeter

“I honestly don’t do films at Christmas - I can’t sit still long enough. But I’d go for an old favourite like Apocalypse Now!”

Itts A Wonderful Life - funny, uplifting, charmingItts A Wonderful Life - funny, uplifting, charming

Su Carroll, Diary editor for Devon Life, Exeter Life and Plymouth Life

“It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) directed by Frank Capra starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

“This is the film that turns me into a bit of a bore – I quote passages at length, sing snatches of Buffalo Gals, tell behind the scenes stories of its filming, start crying way before the end credits and, while I don’t have the T-shirt, I do have a framed film poster of this black and white classic.

“It’s a wonderful film. Funny, uplifting, charming, with the story of redemption and the power of love leaving you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. I’ve watched it as a child and a grown-up, as a daughter and a mum and it never fails to move me. I can’t wait to introduce my grandson to it and show him that, every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings…”

Stephen Hussey, Devon Wildlife Trust

“My top film would have to be The Muppet Christmas Carol. What could be better than sharing Christmas in the company of a frog, a demented pig and Michael Caine?”

Royal Marine Dermot Buckley, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2), based at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone

“My favourite festive film - after some consideration - has to be Scrooge, the 1951 version with Alastair Sims. A close second is actually Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.”

Plymouth Olympian and TV star Sharron Davies

“I rather like Love Actually, which I never get bored of.

I’m also looking forward to watching the original Ben-Hur with my young son Fin who’s nine, after going to the cinema recently to see the re-make.”

James Chubb, naturalist, writer, broadcaster and Devon Life columnist, currently working as Nature Reserves manager for East Devon Countryside Service. He’s also matchday MC for the Exeter Chiefs

“My Christmas doesn’t start until I’ve watched Elf with the kids. My all time favourite Christmas film, silly slapstick and seasonal!”

BBC Radio Devon presenter David Fitzgerald

“The best Christmas Movie? Die Hard 2. Why? No reindeer, no Santas…no robins in red hats; just Bruce Willis.”

Amanda Bishop, Marketing Manager for Economic Development with Plymouth City Council

“My favourite Christmas film is Miracle on 34th Street (the one with Richard Attenborough) a classic and a firm Christmas Eve favourite. Of course, that’s closely followed by Elf which is ridiculously good festive fun!”

Home Alone - a joy to watch again and againHome Alone - a joy to watch again and again

Chef Chris Sherville, one half of catering firm Two Grumpy Chefs, which he set up with John Burton Race

“I should like to nominate Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin aside, the role played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv, is a joy to watch again and again.”

Chef John Burton Race, who recently set up the Two Grumpy Chefs catering firm with Chris Sherville

“Love Actually never fails to entertain me. It makes you laugh and cry within 90-mins. Brilliant.”

Artist Becky Bettesworth, who designs vintage style travel posters and seaside prints

“The Nativity, which I insist on watching with all three of my children snuggled up under a warm blanket with a box of choccies every Christmas Eve! It makes me sing, laugh and cry with love and joy every time.”

Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street, an all time classicRichard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street, an all time classic

Johnny Mercer, Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View and his wife Felicity

“I’m going to have to say A Christmas Carol (The Patrick Stewart version, obviously!) I like the dark Dickensian London dynamic, which still gives out chances for redemption, just like Westminster!

Felicity: “Mine is much less highbrow and moralistic (apart from the moral about not abandoning your children!) which has got to be Home Alone.”

Chef, writer and Devon Life columnist Tim Maddams

“It has to be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I don’t like it particularly and it’s not very Christmassy but it’s almost always on and the kids love it except for the child catcher bit, so it’s become a bit of a tradition!”

Devon Life Editor Andy Cooper

“Bad Santa! A bit of an antidote to all the schmaltz floating around on screen at this time of the year. I like the sugary stuff as much as the next man but after about three days of wall-to-wall saccharine on TV Billy Bob Thornton being super bad is laugh-out-loud enjoyable!” w

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