Growing up, watching holiday movies with my family was perhaps my favorite part of the weeks leading up to Christmas.
One of the reasons my family remains hooked on those movies year in and out, beyond tradition, is the quotes. Here are some highlights from my favorites and please share yours in the comment section. For more quotes visit, imdb.com.
National Lampoon's Christmas Family Vacation (1989)
All of the films in the Family Vacation series make me laugh, though I never understood how they kept flipping who's older, Audrey or Rusty, and who has blond or brown hair.
Christmas Family Vacation, in particular, has a special place in my heart. Clark W. Griswold, Jr. (Chevy Chase) is an American icon for holiday cheer.
As disaster after disaster strikes, from an unexpected freeloading house guest to hundreds of twinkle lights that won't turn on, Clark's quest to host the perfect "good, old-fashioned family Christmas" remains heartwarming amid the comedically stressful moments.
Luckily, my Christmas tree from sale outside in Avon was pre-cut, so I did not have to worry about trekking deep into the woods only to realize I forgot my saw.
However, the image of the station wagon riding under a truck on the way to the Christmas tree farm in the movie is ingrained in my mind everytime I pass a truck on the highway.
Seinfeld's Julia Lois-Dreyfus compliments Chase's humor as the begrudging neighbor.
The sequel, Christmas Family Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure did not match up, though.
- Ruby Sue: "Uncle Clark. Are you sure you ain't Santy Claus?" (As a side note, my parents have always thought she looks like I did when I was younger).
- Clark: "Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here."
- Aunt Bethany: "Is your house on fire, Clark?"
Clark: "No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights."
- Eddie: "If that cat had nine lives, it sure used 'em all." (This one was included at the special request of The Granbys Patch Editor Ted Glanzer).
- Clark: "Burn some dust here. Eat my rubber."
- Eddie: "You surprised to see us, Clark?"
Clark: "Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."
- Ellen: "I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery."
- Clark: "Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace."
Aunt Bethany: "What, dear?"
Nora Griswold: "Grace!"
Aunt Bethany: "Grace? She passed away 30 years ago."
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.... The blessing!"
Aunt Bethany: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
A Christmas Story (1983)
I can always look forward to the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS Christmas Eve.
Ralphie Parker is a hilarious representation of a kid on a mission to get what he wants for Christmas. Hopefully it's not a pink bunny onesie.
The adult narrator's reflection on his past keeps the movie fresh and word-focused with a well written script. That's probably the reason I am also a The Polar Express and How I Met Your Mother fan.
The elementary school A Christmas Story reminds me of in Unionville, where I went, though I never experienced getting my tongue stuck on a flag pole there (and thanks to this movie, I will never try).
In homage to the movie, my parents have a miniature version of the infamous leg lamp, Mr. Parker's "major award," which they only have out during the holidays.
MGM did a spinoff of the "you'll shoot your eye out" classic called It Runs in the Family (1994). I've only seen it air once and would like to watch it in its entirety to see the continuation of the Parker family story.
- Ralphie: "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!"
Mrs. Parker: "No, you'll shoot your eye out."
- Ralphie (adult narrator): "They looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears."
- Mr. Parker:"Get the glue."
Mrs. Parker: "We're out of glue."
Mr. Parker: "You used up all the glue on purpose."
- Ralphie (narrator): "Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl."
- Mr. Parker: "Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian."
Mrs. Parker: "I think it says fragile, dear."
- Ralphie (narrator): "Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man."
- Ralphie (narrator): "Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense."
- Mr. Parker: "Naddafinger!"
- Ralphie (narrator): "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."
A Christmas Carol (1984)
As far as I'm concerned, the made-for-television version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott is the best I've seen, though Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and, surprisingly, Jim Carrey's A Christmas Carol (2009) were other quality renditions.
The quotes for this film, largely based on Dicken's novel, are poignant and grimmer in nature, yet memorable nonetheless.
- Fred Holywell (narrating): "Old Marley was as dead as a doornail."
- Ebeneezer Scrooge: "Humbug!"
- Marley: "I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link and yard by yard. Is its pattern strange to you or would you know the length of the strong coils you bear yourself? It was as full, as heavy, as long as this seven Christmas Eves ago, you have labored on it since, it is a ponderous chain!"
- Tiny Tim: "God bless us, everyone."
- Bob Cratchit: "A triumph my dear, another triumph!"
- Fred Holywell: "Tight as."
Janet Holywell: "Your Uncle Scrooge's purse strings."
- Belle: "Another idol has displaced me."
Younger Scrooge: "What idol has displaced you?"
Belle: "A golden one."
The Santa Clause Movies
Humor is not lost with Tim Allen, whether he is playing toy or toy distributor, and his sarcastic humor works well for the holiday genre, even in Christmas with the Kranks.
He goes from being Tim the Tool Guy to Santa, or Scott Calvin.
It can be hard to keep up with all the "clauses" in 1, 2 and 3 of the popular film series, released in 1994, 2002 and 2006, respectively. That is probably because they are all surprisingly well done for a holiday trilogy, perhaps the only one of its kind.
So here's a brief refresher of the clauses: The Santa Clause, the sequel, Santa Clause 2, which involves "The Mrs. Clause" and The Escape Clause an encounter with the jealous Jack Frost in the third movie.
Did you catch two Buzz Lightyear references in the second movie? Allen says "You're a sad, strange little man," a line he said in Toy Story, and "I think Santa feels a little Buzz!"
Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell plays Mrs. Claus in the second and third movie. I was especially impressed that the filmakers were able to keep Eric Lloyd on as Charlie from when he was a kid in The Santa Clause to when he was a teenager eight years later in The Santa Clause 2. He is also briefly in the third movie.
Now, I wish I had the hot cocoa they make on the North Pole in the movie to sip on while I watch.
Quotes from The Santa Clause
- Judy, the elf: "Not too hot. Extra chocolate. Shaken, not stirred."
- Dr. Pete Novos (to Scott Calvin): "Oh, it's middle age, buddy. It happens. And with that body, you should be thankful you have hair. Look, if it bothers you, you can dye it - and you should diet!"
- Det. Nunzio: "Look, I know you're Scott Calvin. You know you're Scott Calvin. So let's make this simple: I say 'name', you say 'Scott Calvin'."
Det. Nunzio: "Name?"
Scott Calvin: "Kris Kringle."
Det. Nunzio: "Name?"
Scott Calvin: "Sinterklaas."
Det. Nunzio: "Name!"
Scott Calvin: "Pere Noel. Babbo Natale. Pelznickel. Topo Gigio!"
- Charlie: "It is Santa! You killed him!"
Scott: "Did not! And that's not Santa."
Charlie: "Well, he was..."
- Scott Calvin (to Dr. Neil Miller): "The only thing you need to worry about is where you're going to buy your sweaters after the circus pulls out of town."
- E.L.F.S. Leader: "Tinsel. Not just for decoration."
- Neil: "What about Santa's reindeer? Have you even seen a reindeer fly?"
Neil: "Well, I haven't."
Charlie: "Have you ever seen a million dollars?"
Charlie: "Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean is doesn't exist."
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The voice of James Stewart as local businessman George Bailey is hard to forget and so is the message in It's a Wonderful Life.
Besides A Christmas Carol, this is probably the holiday movie that makes you reflect on yourself the most and appreciate what you have.
It was remastered in color, but there's something artsy and nostalgic about watching it in the original black and white. Plus, that fits better with the film's time period.
The sense of history and themes of war and economic depression planted in the plot gives it context.
The English major in me likes it for its script.
- George Bailey: "What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary."
- Clarence (message to George): "Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
- Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."
- George Bailey: "I know what I'm gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that."
- George Bailey: "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long..."
- Sam Wainwright: "Hee Haw!"
Will Ferrell movies can be hit or miss, but Elf hits it to the North Pole.
Like The Santa Clause, Elf preserves the Santa legacy in a modern storybook way that also appeals to both kids and older audiences. Ferrell journeys as Buddy to New York to meet his father (James Caan) after being raised by North Pole elves all his formative years.
Elf was one of the first times Zooey Deschanel's musical talents were featured on the big screen, namely her duet with Ferrell singing Frank Loesser's Baby, It's Cold Outside. Music has become an increasing part of her career, as she sings the theme song as Jess in Fox's new show, New Girl. She and Matt Ward just put out an album of Christmas songs Oct. 24, called A Very She and Him Christmas, which includes Baby, It's Cold Outside. In fact, Elf was the first time Ward heard her sing and they connected to collaborate informally on an album in 2008 and now they are an official band, according to She and Him's website.
In addition to its funny one-liners, Elf has a strong holiday soundtrack. I bought one during a Christmas I spent in Alicante, Spain in attempt to share American Christmas carols with my host family. Oddly enough, this was the only CD with Christmas songs I could find in stores there.
- Buddy: "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?"
- Buddy: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."
- Buddy: "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."
- Buddy: "First we'll make snow angels for a two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle."
- Buddy: "I'm sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR."