Holiday Movie Watchers Pine for ‘Wonderful Life’

December 23, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Youth & Gen X

For the second year in a row, Americans say that Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is? their favorite holiday movie, according to recent results from The Marist Poll’s annual holiday movie survey.?

More than one-fourth (26%) of Americans say that the 1946 classic starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore is their top holiday movie pick. The more contemporary A Christmas Story from 1983 is preferred by 21% of Americans.

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Other top holiday flick picks are Miracle on 34th Street (the favorite of 18% of “believers”), 1954’s White Christmas (preferred by 14%),? and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (also preferred by 14%).

Results this year are similar to last year’s findings. When Marist asked about Americans’ favorite holiday movies in December of 2008, Wonderful Life placed first, A Christmas Story came in second, and Miracle on 34th Street rounded out the top three. White Christmas took the fourth slot, and A Christmas Carol and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tied for fifth place.

Movie Preferences Vary by Age

Not surprisingly, holiday movie preferences vary by age. Americans between ages 18-44 currently think A Christmas Story is the ultimate holiday movie. Three in 10 (31%) of those ages 18-29 believe this to be the case as do 34% of those ages 30-44. Residents 45-59, however, align with the overall population. A significant? 37% of those in this age group rank It’s a Wonderful Life as the top Christmas movie.

Americans 60+ are more divided, according to Marist. More than one-fourth (27%) within this age bracket say White Christmas takes top honors, while 25% believe It’s a Wonderful Life reigns supreme.

Rudolph and Charlie Brown Top Animated Fan Favorites

When it comes to animated holiday movies, two favorites tie for the number-one spot. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas each receive 26% of Americans’ vote. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the favorite of 25% of Americans. Some 11% prefer Frosty the Snowman, and 6% most enjoy Santa Claus Is Comin to Town.

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This year’s results show some shifts in preferences since last year. When Marist last asked about favorite animated Christmas movies last December, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was the favorite and A Charlie Brown Christmas came in at #2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas was, and remains in the #3 slot.

Last year, Frosty the Snowman followed in fourth and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town slid into the #5 spot.

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