Christmas double bill 16.12.12
The Snowman is a 1982 film adaptation of the Raymond Briggs book of the same name. One winter morning a little boy named James wakes up to find that everything outside has turned snow-white. Overjoyed, James rushes downstairs and into the garden, where he begins to build a snowman. James sleeps fitfully, and at midnight he wakes up and decides to check on his snowman. He opens the back door… he can’t believe his eyes… . The snowman has come to life! James finds himself face to face with a smiling snowman who, with a polite doff of his hat, introduces himself and marks the beginning of a magical friendship and a marvellous adventure.
This 26-minute animated film debuted on British television on 26 December 1982. It was nominated for an Academy Award. Its showings have become an annual event and even international in some cases. The film ranks 71 on the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, a year 2000 list drawn up by the British Film Institute, based on a vote by industry professionals. It was voted number 4 in UKTV Gold’s Greatest TV Christmas Moments.
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written by George Seaton from a story by Valentine Davies, directed by George Seaton and starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. It is the story of what takes place in New York City following Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as people are left wondering whether or not a department store Santa might be the real thing. Because of its Christmas theme, the film has become a perennial Christmas favorite.
The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to Gentleman’s Agreement.
Davies also penned a short novella version of the tale, which was published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the film’s release.
The film has become a number one critic’s choice over the years; many of them title the film the best Christmas film ever.