Christmas Stuff

by medievalmike | created - 30 Nov 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Not Rankin/Bass, except for 'The Little Drummer Boy' and 'Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.' For the others, I already have another list, 'My Favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials.' What this list does have is every other Christmas special, movie, or TV episode I have enjoyed, plus many I haven't seen but would like to.

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1. The Passion Play (1903)

44 min | Short, Biography, Drama

The story of Jesus Christ from the proclamation of his Nativity to his crucifixion. Impressive scenes and dynamism of the actors prelude to the Italian colossal movies of the silent period.

Directors: Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca | Stars: Madame Moreau, Monsieur Moreau

Votes: 384

2. The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (1906)

Not Rated | 33 min | Short, Biography, Drama

The life of Jesus Christ in 25 scenes.

Director: Alice Guy

Votes: 302

3. Life and Passion of Christ (1907)

Not Rated | 45 min | Short, Drama

Depicting well-known incidents in the life of Jesus Christ, this milestone of early cinema won world fame, huge audiences and a screen life of decades when most secular films of the time measured their commercial life in weeks.

Director: Ferdinand Zecca

Votes: 23

4. From the Manger to the Cross; or, Jesus of Nazareth (1912)

TV-PG | 71 min | Biography, Drama

An account of the life of Jesus Christ, based on the books of the New Testament: After Jesus' birth is foretold to his parents, he is born in Bethlehem, and is visited by shepherds and wise... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Olcott | Stars: R. Henderson Bland, Percy Dyer, Gene Gauntier, Alice Hollister

Votes: 449

5. The Star of Bethlehem (1912)

Not Rated | 15 min | Drama, Short

Three wise men from the East follow a star to Bethlehem in search of the infant Jesus.

Director: Lawrence Marston | Stars: Florence La Badie, James Cruze, William Russell, Harry Benham

Votes: 33

6. The Three Wise Men (1913)

Short, Drama

A few years ago J.J. Tissot dawned upon the world of art with new views of the Holy Land through modern eyes, that was startlingly realistic. In this charming little miracle play in which a... See full summary »

Director: Colin Campbell | Stars: Tom Santschi, Bessie Eyton, Guy Oliver, Edith Johnson

8. Behold the Man (1921)

65 min

A mother tells the Bible Story to her children, including the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the Ascension. As the mother tells the story, the film fades into a picturization and ... See full summary »

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Madame Moreau, Henry Pettibone, Monsieur Moreau, Sybil Sheridan

9. The King of Kings (1927)

Not Rated | 155 min | Biography, Drama, History

Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: H.B. Warner, Dorothy Cumming, Ernest Torrence, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 1,795 | Gross: $1.77M

As an adult, Jesus is played by H.B. Warner, who would later play Mr. Gower in It's a Wonderful Life.

12. Lux Video Theatre (1950–1959)
Episode: A Child Is Born (1950)

30 min | Comedy, Drama

The child born in none other than Jesus Christ and the event that was to rock the world is seen through the eyes of an innkeeper and his wife.

Director: Fielder Cook | Stars: Jacques Aubuchon, Fay Bainter, Anne Bancroft, William Becker

13. Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951 TV Movie)

55 min | Music

One night in Judea, a disabled shepherd boy-turned-beggar and his mother are visited by three strangers. They are the Three Kings, and they are on their way to Bethlehem to visit the Christ Child, who has just been born.

Directors: Kirk Browning, Gian Carlo Menotti | Stars: Chet Allen, Rosemary Kuhlmann, Andrew McKinley, David Aiken

Votes: 63

14. The Living Christ Series (1951)

360 min | Biography, Drama

The first mini-series made for television. Originally airing on NBC in 12 parts, it documents Christ's story from his birth to the resurrection.

Stars: Art Gilmore, Robert Wilson, William Henry, Tyler McVey

Votes: 51

18. Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)
Episode: The Play of the Nativity of the Child Jesus (1952)

60 min | Drama

The birth of Jesus and the serene Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Robert Shaw Chorale, Betty Furness, Lloyd Bochner, John Cannon

Votes: 25

19. Amahl and the Night Visitors (1954 TV Movie)

One night in Judea, a disabled shepherd boy-turned-beggar and his mother are visited by three strangers. They are the Three Kings, and they are on their way to Bethlehem to visit the Christ Child, who has just been born.

Stars: David Aiken, John Butler, Felisa Conde, Rosemary Kuhlmann

21. Joyful Hour (1960 TV Movie)

60 min | Drama

A dramatization of the story of the Nativity, introduced by a family scene at the home of Pat O'Brien.

Stars: Louise Arthur, John Baer, Jeanne Bates, Raymond Burr

Votes: 88

23. King of Kings (1961)

PG-13 | 168 min | Biography, Drama, History

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield, Ron Randell

Votes: 6,480 | Gross: $14.48M

24. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)

Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini, Marcello Morante

Votes: 9,945

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

25. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

G | 260 min | Biography, Drama, History

An all-star, large scale epic movie that chronicles the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Directors: George Stevens, David Lean, Jean Negulesco | Stars: Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston, Michael Anderson Jr.

Votes: 8,246 | Gross: $15.47M

27. The Little Drummer Boy (1968 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Family

An orphan drummer boy who hated humanity finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr., Takeya Nakamura | Stars: José Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray, Ted Eccles

Votes: 4,200

28. The Littlest Angel (1969 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 77 min | Family, Fantasy

A little shepherd boy, newly arrived in Heaven, tries to adjust to life in the Hereafter.

Director: Joe Layton | Stars: Johnny Whitaker, Fred Gwynne, Cab Calloway, E.G. Marshall

Votes: 286

30. The Little Drummer Boy Book II (1976 TV Short)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

Aaron, the drummer boy, struggles to protect a bellmaker's great silver bells from seizure by Roman soldiers.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Greer Garson, Zero Mostel, David Jay, Bob McFadden

Votes: 536

31. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

TV-G | 382 min | Biography, Drama, History

Beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, this mini-series brings to life all of the sweeping drama in the life of Jesus, as told by the Gospels.

Stars: Robert Powell, Olivia Hussey, Laurence Olivier, James Mason

Votes: 18,407

32. Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977 TV Movie)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

An outcast donkey in Roman era Judea with overlong ears finds his destiny on the way to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Roger Miller, Brenda Vaccaro, Paul Frees, Don Messick

Votes: 1,697

I first saw this after 'The Small One.'

33. The Small One (1978)

G | 26 min | Animation, Short, Family

A young Judean boy tries to sell his beloved old donkey to someone who would care for him as much as he does.

Director: Don Bluth | Stars: Sean Marshall, William Woodson, Olan Soule, Hal Smith

Votes: 1,174

I saw this in the theater. I believe it was shown as a preview to Pinocchio. I believe it was the following year that I first saw Rankin/Bass' 'Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.'

34. The Nativity (1978 TV Movie)

98 min | Biography, Drama, Family

The story of the courtship of Joseph and Mary, and of the events leading up to the first Christmas.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski | Stars: Madeleine Stowe, John Shea, Jane Wyatt, Paul Stewart

Votes: 100

35. The Nativity (1987 Video)

30 min | Animation, Short, Family

The three protagonists find themselves in Judea where first they journey to Jerusalem where they hear of the coming of Jesus Christ then they travel to Bethlehem to witness the Nativity themselves.

Directors: Don Lusk, Ray Patterson | Stars: Gregory Harrison, Helen Hunt, Vincent Price, David Ackroyd

Votes: 83

36. Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

77 Metascore

Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director: Terry Jones | Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam

Votes: 346,127 | Gross: $20.05M

37. Silent Mouse (1988 TV Movie)

60 min | Family

On Christmas Eve, 1818, in Austria the Oberndorf organ broke down. The assistant priest writes a carol to be accompanied by guitar. The carol was "Silent Night".

Director: Robin Crichton | Stars: Richard Blane, John Cairney, Gregor Fisher, Phil McCall

Votes: 21

About the writing of 'Silent Night,' and how the original copy was almost lost.

38. The Night Before Christmas (1968 TV Movie)

30 min | Animation

Fictionalized account of how Clement C. Moore came to write "A Visit from St. Nicholas," in which his young daughter, stricken with pneumonia, asks for a Santa Claus story for Christmas. No... See full summary »

Director: Jim Pabian | Stars: The Norman Luboff Choir, Olan Soule, Barbara Eiler, Hal Smith

Votes: 81

40. A Christmas Carol (1938)

Not Rated | 69 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was as mean and miserly as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife.

Director: Edwin L. Marin | Stars: Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, Terry Kilburn

Votes: 5,835

This is the version I've seen most often.

41. A Christmas Carol (1947 TV Movie)

Drama, Fantasy

On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge ... See full summary »

Director: James Caddigan | Stars: Somar Alberg, David Carradine, John Carradine, Sam Fertig

Votes: 31

42. A Christmas Carol (1951)

TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy

Old bitter miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst | Stars: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns

Votes: 19,001

43. A Christmas Carol (1969 TV Movie)

TV-G | 45 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge ... See full summary »

Director: Zoran Janjic | Stars: Ron Haddrick, Bruce Montague, John Llewellyn, Brenda Senders

Votes: 127

44. Scrooge (1970)

G | 113 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans, Kenneth More

Votes: 8,665

Musical with Albert Finney in the lead. Available at

45. A Christmas Carol (1971 TV Short)

28 min | Animation, Short, Drama