The Frank Capra festive favourite It's a Wonderful Life has been named Britain's favourite Christmas film in a poll for the Radio Times.
The 1946 film beat the Richard Curtis romantic comedy Love Actually and Will Ferrell festive caper Elf to the top spot in the survey of just over 2,000 people. The Muppet Christmas Carol, from 1992, and 1990's Home Alone rounded out the top five.
It's a Wonderful Life is the story of downcast bank manager George Bailey, played memorably by the late, great James Stewart, who sets out to kill himself on Christmas Eve but changes his mind when a guardian angel helps him realise he has made a difference in the world. The film was recently in the news after a pair of Hollywood producers who were not involved in the original movie announced a sequel. It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story would have riffed on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with the story focusing on Bailey's mean grandson. However, a legal intervention by rights holder Paramount means the follow-up now appears unlikely to ever hit the big screen.
Writing in the Radio Times, film critic Barry Norman opined: "Frank Capra's wonderful, life-enhancing film should be shown every Christmas, preferably after the Queen's Speech. Yes, it verges on the sentimental but never too much so. Far more it's simply heart-warming – the grandaddy of all feel-good movies."
2. Love Actually (2003)
3. Elf (2003)
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
5. Home Alone (1990)
6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
7. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
8. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)
9. The Snowman (1982)
10. Scrooge (1951)
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