Top Ten Most Popular Movies Germans Watch on Christmas

In America, no Christmas would be complete without "It's a Wonderful Life". While known and loved in German film circles, the average German viewer will wonder what the obscure movie is that they always watch in other more popular Christmas movies. While the plot has been parodied often enough in TV series (e.g. Hannah Montana, iCarly) for German audience to be familiar with it, they usually don't know what is parodied and don't get all the jokes. In more recent years, the movie usually gets aired on TV, but it wouldn't be a German's first choice to watch, and I am sure many Germans of all ages haven't seen it at all. But again, in film circles, it's a movie you need to know.

Instead of "It's a Wonderful Life", Germans usually watch and love these films around the holiday season, or directly on Christmas. Some are also popular in the US or other parts of the world, others not so much.

The Top Ten

1 Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)

There are some adaptations of "Little Lord Fauntleroy", simply titled "The Little Lord" ("Der kleine Lord") in German, but this British 1980 T.V. adaption with Alec Guinness made it huge in Germany. Every christmas the story about a little boy who manages to warm an aristocrate's stone cold heart is a fundamental classic around the holiday season. Everybody knows it and everybody loves it, and most German T.V. channels air it at least once during Christmas time. It's one of the movies that bring joy to even the most emotionless of people. - Martin_Canine

2 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I am very sure, if you ask 50 Germans if they have seen "National Lampoon's Vacation", known as "The Wild Four on Tour" ("Die wilden Vier auf Achse") in Germany, a mere five or so will have even heard it. If you ask the same 50 people if they know the Griswold family, all of them will say yes - from "Christmas Vacation", known under two titles, "Hilfe, es weihnachtet sehr! " and "Schöne Bescherung" (none of which I can translate as they are twists on popular phrases, but neither indicate it being a sequel). Virtually no one knows it's an installment in a series of films, as only this one movie is popular, but how popular it is! Every christmas the slapstick comedy about a family father planning a family union around christmas time gets aired countless times during all of December. Germans know every line of dialogue (of the German dub of course) by heart, and they still keep on laughing as the chaos unfolds. It makes you feel better about your own disastrous christmas party. - Martin_Canine

3 Three Wishes for Cinderella

This Czech-German (or rather Czechoslovak-East German, considering the original release date) adaptation of the Cinderella tale is one of the most adored movies of Middle European origin in Germany. It is said to be stunningly beautiful and heartwarming - but even though it gets aired countless of times each year, and everybody adores it, I still haven't seen it. The "holy three Christmas movies" in Germany are Little Lord Fauntleroy, Christmas Vacation and this one, who all equall own the top spot on this list, and my family consists of Christmas Vacation watchers. I will watch it one day, and I'm sure I'll love it
There exist many heavy national differences between the story of Cinderella. In some countries there is a fairy and mice, in Germany there are magical trees and doves, and as the German title, "Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella" ("Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel") suggests, there are magical hazelnuts involved in this Czech version. - Martin_Canine

4 Home Alone

What would Christmas be without a little boy defending his house against two dim-witted burglars, while socializing with a lonely old man who at first may seem scary but turns out to be kind?

The movie is so popular that the name Kevin became a trend in Germany (the German title of this movie, "Kevin allein zu Haus", meaning "Kevin Home Alone", mentions the name) although many kids of that name have to fight with the prejudice of being just like the Kevin of thr movie (google "Kevinism" for more info). - Martin_Canine

5 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

What would Christmas be without a little boy defending a toy store against two dim-witted burglars, while socializing with a lonely old lady who at first may seem scary but turns out to be kind?

As similar as the first two movies are, as equally are they loved around Christmas time in Germany. They are often watched back to back, or the second movie is watched the next day. - Martin_Canine

6 Scrooged

Another classic Christmas movie I didn't manage to see so far despite it always being so highly popular. I will, one day, I will. And again I'm sure I will like it.
"Scrooged", known as "The Ghosts That I Have Called" ("Die Geister, die ich rief", a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust", the single most famous piece of German literature), is the most famous adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" in Germany, although there are many and the story is well known over here. What always wondered me... I know clips from the movie, and to me it appeared like a fairly morbid, gothic adaptation, that may work best for those who don't enjoy Christmas kitsch that much, but actually, it is liked by everyone. But then, most classic German arts, like expressionist films or Goethe's texts, are fairly dark as well. - Martin_Canine

7 Die Hard

Well it does take place around Christmas.

"I'm going to count to 3, there will not be a 4"- Hans Gruber... What fine Holiday fare

Every Christmas, quite a few channels air "Die Hard", and many people decide to watch it, so much that for many it has become just as much a tradition to watch this film as it is to watch other movies that have a more sentimental tone associated with Christmas.

PS: German title - "Die Slowly" ("Stirb langsam") - Martin_Canine

8 Jingle All The Way

I think maybe this movie's popularity has declined a bit. As a child, I know that many have seen and laughed about it - I mean who doesn't want to see Arnie fighting his way through shopping malls during Christmas time? - but in more recent years, it doesn't air as often anymore as it used to do, but it still gets aired every once in a while during Christmas time. Just not fifty times on hundred channels each, as other movies on this list.

PS: German title - "A Promised is a Promise" ("Versprochen ist versprochen") - Martin_Canine

9 Love Actually

This movie's popularity is actually fairly new and still in development. It's the newest of all the movies I originally added, but in recent years it repeatedly gets aired, and it appears on several newer "most popular Christmas movies" list. Most of the other classic Christmas films in Germany are from my parents' generation, this one might become the Christmas movie my generation loves to watch most, I wonder what the next generation will add to the list.
That being said, I also haven't seen this movie yet. I am so sorry. I have seen thousands of films in my life, but still didn't manage to see those everybody knows.

(As for what I said in the description, "It's a Wonderful Life" might become a Christmas classic in Germany in the future as well, as it gets aired more often in recent years)

PS: German title - "Actually... Love" ("Tatsächlich... Liebe") - Martin_Canine

10 Gremlins

Set on Christmas, trying to teach morals in a fairytale like way and featuring an adorable fuzzy creature, "Gremlins" does have a very warn feeling, despite all the action, horror aesthetics and outrageous humor. This mix is exactly what makes it that great and entertaining of a movie for me. It's just not... all too kids friendly (also the melodramatic story by the female lead Kate is awesome, yet reveals a shocking truth for kids) for a Christmas movie.

The sequel is good too, but it's actually more of a spoof of the first one. While this one actually has good fairytale-like writing and well performed characters, the sequel actually makes fun of all of this, breaking the fourth wall, getting intentionally cheesy (e.g. while Kate's tragic story on Christmas is treated seriously in Gremlins 1, it is absolutely over the top in the sequel).
I also think the sequel is not as often watched as the original.

PS: This is the only movie of my original remix that kept its ...more - Martin_Canine

The Contenders

11 Elf

Not really. This movie is pretty obscure over here, and isn't exactly a favorite of many. - Martin_Canine

12 The Incredibles
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List Stats

12 listings
1 year, 353 days old

Top Remixes

1. Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)
2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
3. Three Wishes for Cinderella


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