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Eighteen Classic Christmas Movies From The 1940s

This year, celebrate the Christmas season with a great holiday film. Nothing compares to the classic Christmas movies of the 1940s. Here are eighteen classic treasures to choose from. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and enjoy the show!

’Tis the season for holiday traditions, complete with a mug of hot chocolate and a plate filled with Christmas goodies. And what better way to escape the busy shopping malls and nasty winter weather than relaxing at home with family and friends, watching a Christmas movie?

Through the years, Hollywood has produced many excellent holiday films. But none compare to the classic Christmas movies of the 1940s. These timeless treasures are chock-full of wit, whimsy, and holiday spirit. Here are eighteen Christmas classics from yesteryear, arranged in order of their release. Without a doubt, they are some of the best Christmas movies of all time.

1.  Beyond Christmas (1940). The first classic Christmas movie from the 1940s is Beyond Christmas. This film is a colorized version of an old black-and-white classic, Beyond Tomorrow. The story revolves around three ghosts who try to help two people they befriended on Christmas Eve when they were still alive. The film stars Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Richard Carlson and Jean Parker.

2.  Remember The Night (1940). Remember The Night is a romantic Christmas movie starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, and Sterling Holloway. The story centers on a young woman arrested for shoplifting during the Christmas holidays, and the assistant district attorney who falls in love with her.

3.  The Shop Around The Corner (1940). The Shop Around The Corner is a charming Christmas movie starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. Set in Budapest during the holiday season, the film revolves around two co-workers who strongly dislike each other. Yet they maintain a secret letter-writing relationship, unaware they are pen-pals. This film inspired several remakes, including the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail.

4.  Meet John Doe (1941). Meet John Doe, a Christmas movie directed by Frank Capra, stars Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The story tells of an unemployed man hired by a newspaper to impersonate a nonexistent “John Doe.” When Doe threatens suicide on Christmas Eve to protest society’s problems, he sets off a grassroots political campaign destined to change the country.

5.  Penny Serenade (1941). Because of its holiday setting, Penny Serenade is often classified as a Christmas movie. The sad drama stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunn as a married couple whose big dreams turn into unexpected sadness. As they try to overcome their problems, they wonder if their marriage is worth saving. The movie unfolds in flashbacks, triggered by music recordings and memories.

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  1. AmosTheCat

    On March 21, 2012 at 1:00 am


    I have heard of many of these and seen some. But then I’m 69 so I have had some time to see them. Thanks for the list. I’ll add some of them to my list of movies to see before I leave Earth. I always confuse “It’s a Wonderful Life” with “The Best Years of Our Lives”.

  2. A Bromley

    On March 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm


    I’m so old I remember of seeing some of these in the theater. I also have some of the remakes. They are wonderful movies. Nice share. Very well written.

  3. Annette Smith

    On April 3, 2012 at 1:14 am


    @ AmosTheCat and @ A Bromley,

    Thank you for reading my article and sharing your kind comments. I appreciate the encouragement!

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