It’s A Wonderful Life named Britain’s favourite Christmas film

The 1946 classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed narrowly beats Elf and The Muppet Christmas Carol in our poll of more than 7,000 people

It's A Wonderful Life (SEAC)

James Stewart & Donna Reed

© Paramount

It’s A Wonderful Life has been named Britain’s favourite Christmas film after more than 7,000 people voted on RadioTimes.com.

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The heartwarming 1946 Christmas fantasy comedy drama, which stars James Stewart and Donna Reed, tells the story of a man contemplating suicide who is shown by his guardian angel just how much of a positive effect he has had on the lives of those around him. Produced and directed by Frank Capra, the film is based on a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern and was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.

The film received just under ten per cent of the votes in our poll, narrowly beating 2003 Will Ferrell fantasy comedy Elf, which has for many years been a staple of Christmas viewing on TV. Elf garnered eight per cent of the votes, just ahead of 1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol, which stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy and a cast of familiar puppets.

The top five is completed by Richard Curtis’s 2003 festive multi-story film Love Actually and Chris Columbus’s 1990 Home Alone, which stars Macaulay Culkin as an eight year-old boy accidentally left to fend for himself over Christmas.

Other films receiving significant votes included Die Hard (1998), which is always surrounded by debate as to whether it should be considered a Christmas film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), The Polar Express (2004) and 1954 classic White Christmas.

In total there were 7,242 votes on RadioTimes.com in November and December 2018.

The Top 20 Christmas films

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  1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – 9.56%
  2. Elf (2003) – 8.09%
  3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – 7.88%
  4. Love Actually (2003) – 6.68%
  5. Home Alone (1990) – 6.47%
  6. Die Hard (1988) – 6.02%
  7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – 4.36%
  8. The Polar Express (2004) – 4.34%
  9. White Christmas (1954) – 3.88%
  10. Scrooge (1951) – 3.33%
  11. A Christmas Carol (1984) – 3.09%
  12. The Snowman (1982) – 2.84%
  13. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – 2.77%
  14. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) – 2.72%
  15. The Holiday (2006) – 2.48%
  16. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) – 2.14%
  17. The Grinch (2000) – 2.04%
  18. Scrooged (1988) – 1.63%
  19. Nativity! (2009) – 1.41%
  20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) – 1.32%