It’s a Wonderful Life voted best Christmas movie of all time

The timeless classic saw off some stiff competition – including the whole Muppet gang!

American actors James Stewart (1908 - 1997) as George Bailey, and Donna Reed (1921 - 1986) as Mary Hatch Bailey in a promotional still from 'It's A Wonderful Life', directed by Frank Capra, 1946. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images, BA)

It’s a Wonderful Life has been declared the greatest Christmas movie of all time, according to a poll of  RadioTimes.com readers.

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More than 3,000 people voiced their opinion on the topical debate, with a shortlist of 25 iconic festive flicks selected by our editorial team.

The 1946 movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed enjoyed 14 per cent of the vote, placing it top of the pile in a very close and competitive race.

Hot on its heels was Brian Henson’s family favourite The Muppet Christmas Carol (12 per cent), which sees Michael Caine share the screen with Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo for a unique spin on the Charles Dickens ghost story.

Rounding out the top five are three more titans of the seasonal genre separated by just a handful of votes each: Will Ferrell’s Elf (9 per cent), Macaulay Culkin’s Home Alone (9 per cent) and star-studded rom com Love Actually (8 per cent).

For those still pondering Die Hard’s status as a Christmas movie, you may find it noteworthy that the Bruce Willis action flick couldn’t quite make the top five – but it wasn’t far off with seven per cent of the vote.

Here’s the top 10 in full:

  1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – 14 per cent
  2. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – 12 per cent
  3. Elf (2003) – 9 per cent
  4. Home Alone (1990) – 9 per cent
  5. Love Actually (2003) – 8 per cent
  6. Die Hard (1988) – 7 per cent
  7. The Snowman (1982) – 6 per cent
  8. The Polar Express (2004) – 4 per cent
  9. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – 4 per cent
  10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – 4 per cent

Of the 25 movies featured in the poll, a few were left out in the cold, with Channel 4 animation Father Christmas and Netflix’s The Princess Switch tying for last place, with just 30 votes each (a mere one per cent).

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle All The Way, Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa and acclaimed animated feature Klaus also found themselves towards the bottom of the pack, also securing just one per cent each.

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Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight and later this week.