Everyone has a favourite Christmas film – whether it’s a modern-day classic like Elf, an all-time great like It’s a Wonderful Life or a movie whose identity as a Christmas film is eternally up for debate like Die Hard, it’s simply not an issue you can abstain on.
This year, Amazon Prime Video is offering up a sizeable selection of festive flicks, including both revered classics and lesser-known oddities.
Here’s our pick of the best of the bunch…
With Last Christmas currently in cinemas, there was some chatter that this might be the year Love Actually is finally usurped as the number one London-set Christmas rom-com – but it seems unlikely that day will come any time soon.
Richard Curtis’s festive tale, which follows numerous interconnected couples, remains an enduring staple of many a Christmas watchlist, in no small part due to its exceptional cast -which reads as a who’s who of some of the nation’s finest acting talent.
Another romantic favourite for the festive period, directed by another master of the modern rom-com, Nancy Meyers’ 2006 film The Holiday tells of a Brit and an American whose respective relationship woes cause them to swap homes – only for them to find love in their new setting. Stars Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black.
If you prefer a more traditional retelling of Dickens’s festive masterpiece to some of the more irreverent versions, then you could do much worse than this 1999 effort which sees Patrick Stewart take on the role of literature’s most well-known miser. Made for television, the film also stars Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit and a then little-known Dominic West as Fred.
It’s been a decade since this family comedy was first released and its success is best proven by the three sequels which have hit cinemas in the intervening ten years – the first two of which are also available on Prime Video.
The first entry in the franchise follows a heartbroken primary school teacher played by Martin Freeman, who sets a humorous series of events in motion after telling his class that their upcoming nativity play is set to attract Hollywood royalty.
Although not as famous or well-loved as fellow 1940s Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life, this picture – also known as Beyond Tomorrow – is an under-seen treat. The film follows three elderly business men who die in a blizzard on Christmas Eve – only for their spirits to return as angels with an important mission.
The version of this classic that appears on the platform is not the 1947 original, nor even the popular 1994 remake starring Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, but is a 1955 TV adaptation, made as a festive special for the US anthology series The 20th Century Fox Hour.
Nevertheless, the story is timeless and this version is worth a watch – even if it’s unlikely to quite match up to the reputation of the more revered versions.
The Seth Rogen gang bring their stoner humour to the festive period in this Christmas comedy – which concerns a group of friends (Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) and their search for the Christmas party to end all Christmas parties.
A fairly recent addition to the Christmas film canon, this 2015 comedy features four generations of an extended family who come together on Christmas Eve. A fairly enviable cast was assembled for the film, including Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Ed Helms and Anthony Mackie.
Aaah, a charming family favourite starring Michael Keaton as a man who comes back to life as a snowman, this film is sure to be a …wait, no – not that one!
The Jack Frost that appears on Amazon Prime Video is certainly not to be confused with the aforementioned light-hearted romp – this is a direct-to-video horror comedy film that’s developed a cult following since it was first released in 1997,