Gen Z’s Guide to Classic Christmas Movies!

We all watch Christmas movies to celebrate the holidays and some we never forget, no matter how old. Let’s take a look at some of these holiday classics!

Classic Christmas films have premiered in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. These were long before Gen Z came along, but it’s important to reintroduce timeless classics to each generation to appreciate the films that have come before. Here is a list of classic Christmas movies that will be sure to catch Gen Z’s attention!

A Christmas Carol (1938)

Everyone knows A Christmas Carol, but many Gen Zs haven’t seen the original movie that premiered in 1938. The film is based on the 1883 Charles Dickens novel and follows an elderly miser, Ebenezer Scrooge (Reginald Owen) who learns the errors of his ways after the visits of three spirits on Christmas Eve.

Where to watch: Max!

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

This movie is for anyone who loves musicals and Christmas all combined in one! The film centers on the Smith family living in St. Louis starting in the Summer of 1903 and leading up to the opening of The World’s Fair. Many of Gen Z probably haven’t seen this movie, but will most likely know Judy Garland because of her infamous role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. This classic film brings all the holiday feels and you get the added bonus of listening to Garland sing the beloved song, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

Where to watch: Max!

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

This is an all-time classic for families to watch every Christmas Eve! The movie focuses on a man, George Bailey (James Stewart) who has given up on his dreams and life altogether, but before he is about to end everything his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers) stops him. He shows George all the lives he has touched in his town and what life would be like if he didn’t exist. This film shares an important message for people who struggle with depression by showing us that life is precious and we should appreciate the people we have in our lives right now.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime either in color or black and white!

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

This classic Christmas movie follows an angel, Dudley (Cary Grant) who helps a bishop (David Niven) with his problems, but things don’t go as planned as the angel catches the attention of the bishop’s wife (Loretta Young). You need to see this film because not only is Carey Grant one of Hollywood’s definitive leading men, but it also makes us think of how we can improve as a person.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime!

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

This is a popular classic that is widely known and focuses on the effect on a department store Santa (Edmund Gwenn) who claims to be the real Santa Claus. It stars Maureen O’Hara as Doreen Walker, and Natalie Wood as her daughter, Susan Walker. Gen Z might already know this movie because of the 1994 remake, but need to watch the original one in black and white. Natalie Wood was a phenomenal actress who was nominated for an Academy Award when she was just a teen and played the lead in the well-known musical film, West Side Stoy. The film also includes memorable and funny scenes that are sure to capture the hearts of anyone who watches it!

Where to watch: Disney+!

White Christmas (1954)

A beloved Christmas movie that features the songs of Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby’s rendition of “White Christmas”, this is a tale about two singers who join a sister act for a performance in Vermont. When they arrive to perform, they learn that the inn is failing so it’s up to them to save it by putting on a musical extravaganza! The film also stars Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney who is George Clooney’s aunt. If you love singing and dancing then you should watch this classic film!

Where to watch: Netflix!

About the Author

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Jolee Levitin

Jolee Levitin is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying journalism and minoring in the media and entertainment industries. She is an intern with AfterBuzz TV and the Heal Squad. She loves anything Disney-related, binge-watching new TV shows, and going to see the newest Broadway shows in New York City.