This is a Wonderful Film It’s a wonderful film!

  • A new list has identified It’s A Wonderful Life as the “best Chrismtas movie ever”
  • More than 3000 Radio Times readers voted for the list.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol came in second and Will Ferrell’s Elf was in third

For years, they have warmed our hearts during Christmas. The classics are still our favorite movies, even if they’re not new.

Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946 by Frank Capra and 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) were joined in the annual “best Christmas movie” poll conducted annually by Radio Times readers. 

It's A Wonderful Life stars James Stewart (pictured) as George Bailey, a man contemplating suicide at Christmas before being visited by his guardian angel

It’s A Wonderful Life’s James Stewart plays George Bailey. He contemplates his suicide during Christmas, before being visited and comforted by an angel.

Die Hard was often seen as a Christmas movie and placed fourth, while Elf, Home Alone, and Home Alone finished in the top 5.

Radio Times readers, who were invited to vote from a shortlist of nominees compiled by Radio Times, decided the list.

It included both classics, such as Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas and White Christmas. Also included were newer movies like Happiest season and Netflix’s originals Klaus and The Christmas Chronicles.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (pictured), the 1992 film starring Michael Caine as Scrooge, narrowly beat Will Ferrell's 2003 flick, Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol (pictured), the 1992 film that starred Michael Caine in Scrooge and was a direct comparison to Will Ferrell’s 2003 movie Elf

It’s A Wonderful Life’s James Stewart stars as George Bailey. George is contemplating suicide during Christmas, before being visited and comforted by an angel. It still touches hearts seventy-five years after its first release.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) starring Michael Caine in the role of Scrooge beat Will Ferrell’s 2003 film Elf by a narrow margin.

‘[What]”Our poll proves that it’s impossible to put a best-before date on Christmas classics,” said editor Tim Glanfield.

‘With It’s A Wonderful Life’s central message about hope and gratitude for the things we have, audiences will be able to enjoy this movie at Christmas every year in 75 years. 

The top 20 most loved festive films

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

2. The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992

3. Elf (2004)

4. Die Hard (1988)

5. Home Alone (1990).

6. Love Actually

7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).

8. White Christmas (1954).

9. Scrooge (51).

10. Miracle on 34th Street (94)

11. The Polar Express (2004)

12. The Snowman (82).

13. The Holiday (2006)

14. Arthur Christmas (2011)

15. “Scrooged” (1988).

16. Nativity! (2009)

17. Santa Clause (94)

18. Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York (1992).

19. Christmas: The Grinch stole Christmas!

20. The Christmas Chronicles (2018).