Dec 15, 2020

Christmas Movie Fun Facts to Know for the Holidays

There’s nothing more festive during the holidays than hunkering down in our media rooms with family to watch a Christmas movie. Whether you watch the same one every year, or add new ones to your holiday watch list from year-to-year, Christmas movies have become an annual tradition for families worldwide.

Christmas movies emit emotions which is why we love them so much. They can be sappy, heartfelt, make us laugh and tug at our heart strings all at the same time. But in the end they make us believe in hope and kindness. And they are also super fun to watch on a cold evening with a bowl of popcorn or plateful of fresh baked holiday cookies.

However, what you may not know is that there are hundreds of Christmas movie fun facts that are as much fun to know as watching the movie itself. Start the conversation during Christmas dinner with these merry little fun-to-know facts about the most-cherished holiday movies of all time.

It’s a Wonderful Life

  • Unable to get his story written, author Philip Van Doren Stern printed 200 copies of The Greatest Gift as a Christmas card. He then sent them to friends, relatives and his agent. RKO pictures noticed and bought the rights for $10,000.
  • The 1946 film by director Frank Capra was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. It also appears on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 years 100 Movies–The 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.
  • Originally the role of George Bailey was to be played by RKO’s actor Cary Grant. When Capra started his own independent company he bought the movie rights from RKO for $50,000. He is credited for giving Jimmy Stewart his big chance.
  • The movie set in fictional Bedford Falls was actually located in Encino, California. The set was constructed in just two months on four acres. It included the movie’s buildings, factories, residential neighborhoods, slums and a Main Street.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

  • Originally the Grinch was black and white with pink eyes until director of the animated movie used his artistic discretion to change him to green. It debuted in 1966.
  • The 2000 movie version’s famous song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is sung by Thurl Ravenscroft. He’s the same man that voiced the Tony the Tiger mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal.
  • Welsh actor Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins narrated How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) in just one day.
  • The 2000 Grinch version also takes top honors over the Wizard of Oz for most make-up used during a production.

Home Alone

  • Home Alone is the most successful Christmas movie with a lifetime gross of over 285.7 million U.S. dollars. 
  • The 4,250 square-foot Home Alone house located in posh suburban Winnetka, Illinois has only been sold once since the movie. It is worth over $1.5 million. Although it is 30 years old most will still recognize its iconic stature.
  • The entire movie was shot in the Chicago area. The Paris airport scenes were those of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. However the airplane scenes did not take place in an actual plane. The scenes along with the plane’s seats were specifically constructed and shot in a local high school.
  • Catherine O’Hara of “Schitt’s Creek” fame plays the role of the famous mom that left her child behind during the holidays.
  • The spider on Marv’s face (actor Daniel Stern) was in fact a real tarantula.

A Christmas Story

  • This popular film follows the Christmas dreams of an Indiana suburban boy named Ralphie. And his quest for the ultimate Christmas gift—A Red Ryder BB Gun. In fact, it’s hard not to know what he wants since he says it a record 28 times.
  • The snow in the movie isn’t real. It was made with a combination of soap shavings and firefighter’s foam. It allowed the actors to stay warm. However they claimed the artificial snow was extremely slippery.
  • The movie is based on a book written by author Jean Shepherd titled In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. The book is a collection of his short stories that he read on the radio in the 60s and 70s.
  • Though Ralphie and his family live in Indiana, the film was primarily filmed in Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario. The actual residence is located in Cleveland and is now a museum. It’s open year-round and is located at 3159 West 11th Street.

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