Brits’ favourite Christmas movies include It’s a Wonderful Life and Die hard

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It’s a Wonderful Life, a tale of despair turning to hope, has been voted the best Christmas movie.

BBC Radio 2 listeners picked the 1946 classic from a list of 25 festive films.

It tells the story of kind-hearted George Bailey, played by James Stewart, who has given up on living when his guardian angel intervenes.

Critic James King said: “It’s what Christmas is all about: Friendship, kindness and the importance of family.

“It’s still warming hearts of all ages and feels especially poignant after a tough 2020.”

Die Hard, with Bruce Willis, was second, followed by The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Elf and Love Actually.

Mr King added: “It’s great to see vintage favourites such as White Christmas and Scrooge in the Top 12.

“It proves we’re happy to ignore what’s new or cool in the festive season.”

Films on the list include Miracle on 34th Street, The Polar Express and the hilarious National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

A countdown of the movies is on BBC Sounds.

It’s a Wonderful Life was such a flop on its release it closed the studio that made it. It was also denounced for being “communist”, demonising bankers and overplaying problems of “the common man”.

12 films of Christmas
1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)

2) Die Hard (1989)

3) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

4) Home Alone (1990)

5) Elf (2003)

6) Love Actually (2003)

7) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1990)

8) Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

9) White Christmas (1954)

10) The Polar Express (2004)

11) Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
12) Scrooge (1951)