In Depth

The UK's favourite Christmas film revealed

Festive favourites Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone all miss out on the top spot in online survey of 7,000 people

Despite being made way back in 1946, It's A Wonderful Life has taken top spot as the UK’s most popular Christmas film.

It beat Christmas comedy Elf starring Will Ferrell to the top spot in a survey of more than 7,000 people by RadioTimes.com.

Other festive favourites in the top five include Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone.

It’s A Wonderful Life, 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. Directed and produced by Frank Capra, the film is based on a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern and despite initially performing poorly at the box office it was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol “is still by far and away our most popular Christmas story, 175 years after it was published”, says iNews, as “four of the top 20 are retellings of Dickens’ novel”.

Controversially perhaps Bruce Willis’s Die Hard was chosen as the UK’s sixth favourite Christmas feature. A perennial debate online, this year 20th Century Fox “have taken the confusion into their own hands and re-released a trailer for the action film, thankfully putting an end to the debate once and for all”, says Metro.

In the new clip, to celebrate 30 years of the 1988 festive classic, they go so far as to brand the film “the greatest Christmas story ever told”.

“This is John,” a voiceover begins. “He just wants to spend Christmas with the family. But when he gets stuck at the office party, it’ll be a holiday he’ll never forget.”

Other surprising choices on the list include the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Holiday which has a 47% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Most of the Harry Potter films show Christmas in some way as they're all set over the course of a school year, but they're not strictly Christmas movies”, says the BBC.

Britain’s top 20 Christmas films

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

2. Elf (2003)

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

4. Love Actually (2003)

5. Home Alone (1990)

6. Die Hard (1988)

7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

8. The Polar Express (2004)

9. White Christmas (1954)

10. Scrooge (1951)

11. A Christmas Carol (1984)

12. The Snowman (1982)

13. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

14. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

15. The Holiday (2006)

16. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

17. The Grinch (2000)

18. Scrooged (1988)

19. Nativity! (2009)

20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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