Christmas at the Movies: The Classics, The Best, and a Few of the Worst 

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Duration 01:55:44

Yale University

Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter and an award-winning film producer. In addition to Yale, Marc has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School, created the screenwriting programs at both The University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins–where he won Outstanding Teaching awards–and has lectured on British and American Theatre and playwriting. Lapadula has given highly acclaimed classic film lectures on a wide range of cinema topics across the country at notable venues, such as: The National Press Club, The Smithsonian Institution, The Commonwealth Club, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The New York Historical Society.


From the many incarnations of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, to Frank Capra’s perennially televised It’s a Wonderful Life, these beloved stories remind us (or at least try to) that there is much more to Christmas than over-commercialization and extravagant gift-giving. Sort of an ironic message, as the Christmas-themed films rolled out each year by the major studios the day after Thanksgiving have the sole mission of selling as many tickets as they can, while fiercely competing against other holiday films with a vengeance!

But irony and sarcasm aside, feel-good movies that remind us that our families and loved ones are the greatest gift of all do serve an important purpose.  Christmas is ultimately a time to think beyond personal needs and go out of our way to think about others: family members, friends and colleagues.




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Loved it


1 year ago

Wonderful Holiday Retrospective

This presentation was such a pleasure to watch … just for the sheer joy of reliving some of the cinematic ghosts of Christmas past. And, truth be told, the Capraesque conclusion was heartwarming. The holidays can be overwhelming, unless we make time to kick back, watch an old movie or two, and simply be grateful for all we have. (If Charles Dickens did nothing else, he left us a timeless and enduring story about the importance of charity and kindness to those less fortunate. Is it any wonder that Hollywood revisits it time and again?) Thank you for this thoughtful holiday gift!

1 year ago
Bruce Whaley

Movies like many other things in life are subjective. Some people like this one and others don’t. There’s a few here that I think are good and some that I don’t care for. My personal favorite is Charlie Brown’s Christmas

1 year ago
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