By Rev. John-Brian Paprock
Originally published in the 2010 Holiday Worship Guide
Capitol Newspapers - The Wisconsin State Journal
Sunday, December 19, 2010
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (G 1935-2009)
This is one of the most beloved stories of Christmas ever - outside of biblical accounts, that is. Made into film many times over the years going back to 1935, the most recent version was released in 2009. The individual transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge continues to challenge the quest for wealth over the giving of joy. Sometimes called “Scrooge,” or other variations, one good version is the 1988 Bill Murray comedy “Scrooged.” The most highly recommended version is the 1951 film, which is still considered the classic version that all the others are compared.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (G 1946)
Frank Capra’s beautiful 1946 film of hope is the only holiday film to make the American Film Institute list of 100 Best Movies. It tops almost all holiday movie lists and is #45 on the Art & Faith Top 100. The film captures the importance of individual acts of goodness and the unique impact of every person.
“Miracle on 34th Street” (G 1947)
This is simply the very best Santa Claus film ever. It was remade in 1994, but that version is just not as good. The 1947 movie captures the importance of the faith of children in goodness and the skepticism of adults.