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It's a Wonderful List : Celebrities Tell What Films Move Them During the Christmas Season

December 23, 1990|SUSAN KING | Times Staff Writer

Christmas . . . a time of goodwill and of good movies. Or so it would seem, as the airwaves are filled with such holiday favorites as "White Christmas," "Holiday Inn," "A Christmas Carol," "Miracle on 34th Street" and the ubiquitous "It's a Wonderful Life."

Everyone has a favorite and that includes celebrities. We asked some to name their favorite Yuletide film. Tradition won out with "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" holding a definite edge, but there were some surprises.

Ed Asner: It used to be "It's a Wonderful Life," but I've reached overkill on that. I would say now it's any version of "A Christmas Carol."

Scott Bakula: I look forward to "White Christmas" every year because I think the Irving Berlin music is wonderful and I am a fan of Bing Crosby.

John Beard (KNBC-TV news co-anchor): Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." My family watches it together every year and we all cry like babies because it makes us realize how important we are to each other.

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (creator and co-executive producer of "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade"): I would like to be different from the others, but you can't miss with "It's a Wonderful Life."

Tom Capra (executive producer, "The Today Show"): "It's a Wonderful Life" because it's the best Christmas movie of all time and my dad made it.

Johnny Carson: "Miracle on 34th Street"--because everyone else will mention "It's a Wonderful Life."

Jackie Collins (author): "The Godfather" and "The Godfather II," because it's the only time I can sit down and watch them both.

Paul DeMeo (co-executive producer of "The Flash"): "The Lady in the Lake." It's set during Christmas and has one of my favorite lines when (detective) Philip Marlow is questioning a tennis player he says, "Your tan is very nice, it's very Christmasy."

Jerry Dunphy (KCAL news anchor): "A Christmas Carol," because there is a strong moral message that says you better be good because everybody doesn't get a second chance to try it again.

Hal Fishman (KTLA news anchor): "Miracle on 34th Street" because it's brilliantly directed. It's a movie in which dreams and expectations and hopes really come true, which is what Christmas is all about.

Jackee: "Die Hard." When I saw that towering Christmas tree in the lobby of that big old building in Century City and all of those people drinking champagne I couldn't stop laughing. This is Christmas in L.A.

James Earl Jones: I inherited an addiction to "It's a Wonderful Life" from my wife. I love it because it has an intricate, complex plot that holds up year after year.

Larry King: "White Christmas," and the reason is with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, two of my all-time favorite people, plus Irving Berlin music, you can't go wrong.

Swoosie Kurtz: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." It always makes me cry. It is so dear and so wonderful.

Piper Laurie: Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story." Unlike most Christmas films, which tend to be syrupy and overly sentimental, this film is sharp, very funny and extremely touching.

Jess Marlow (KNBC news anchor): "Miracle on 34th Street" is my favorite because it gave me a reason to believe in Santa Claus, and if you've had the kind of luck I've had, you have to believe in Santa Claus.

George Peppard: "Five Days From Home" (which he stars in and produced). It's about a father giving his son a puppy for Christmas and almost getting killed doing it.

John Shea: A television film called "The Nativity." It was my first film. I played Joseph and I am stepfather to God and that is why it's my favorite. Now I know I will go to heaven.

Cybill Shepherd: "It's a Wonderful Life" because it's a about redemption. I cry during the first eight minutes and cry at least four more times during the film.

Connie Stevens: "A Pocketful of Miracles" has a great view on life shown through the humorous eyes of great director Frank Capra. Cheery, hopeful, inspirational.

Mick Sweda (lead guitarist of L.A.-based heavy metal band BulletBoys): "Lethal Weapon," which I consider a Christmas film since that is the season in which it takes place.

Carl Weathers: "Miracle on 34th Street" is for the kid in me. The whole idea of dreams coming true and Santa Claus being real. It's a very endearing movie.

Jonathan Winters: The English version of "A Christmas Carol" because I like the message behind it.

Edward Woodward: "Mary Poppins," and the reason is my daughter Emily has watched it more than 100 times and because her aunt, Karen Dotrice, plays the little girl, Jane. And CBS' "A Christmas Carol" because it features the definitive performance of Ebenezer Scrooge by George C. Scott.

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