It's time to join the ghosts of Christmases past as we celebrate a century of festive film.
Our selection of comic, musical and animated treats should get you in the spirit, and for balance there's newsreels both cheerful and poignant, while some evocative home movies shine a light on the family revels of yesteryear. Meanwhile, some early promotional films offer a reminder that Christmas was serious business long before advertisers deployed CGI penguins or WWI epics to tug on viewers' heart strings. All the yuletide traditions are here: trees, turkeys and toys (including some distant ancestors of the dreaded Furby). You'll also find some seasonal curios, not least a sci-fi re-imagining of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol - alongside a more conventional version from 1914. These crackers are full of surprises!
All That Heaven Allows
Melodrama195589 minsDirector: Douglas Sirk
Hollywood’s master of melodrama, Douglas Sirk, is at his most devastating crafting this deceptively simple story of class-crossing romance into a florid explosion of style.
On the Twelfth Day...
Romance1955 minsDirector: Wendy Toye
Playful, charming, Oscar-nominated take on the Christmas song directed by queen of the dance Wendy Toye and designed by the great Ronald Searle.
Children of Men
Science Fiction2006109 minsDirector: Alfonso Cuarón
In an apocalyptic future Britain, a civil servant is unexpectedly entrusted with the fate of humanity in Alfonso Cuarón’s gripping and thoughtful sci-fi.
Comfort and Joy
Comedy1984104 minsDirector: Bill Forsyth
Director Bill Forsyth followed the enormously successful Local Hero with this bittersweet comedy about a radio DJ who becomes embroiled in a turf war between rival ice cream vendors.
Remember the Night
Comedy193994 minsDirector: Mitchell Leisen
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are the shoplifter and attorney who fall for other in this charming, Christmas comedy scripted by Preston Sturges.
Drama201588 minsDirector: Sean Baker
A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.
Drama201793 minsDirector: Annemarie Jacir
An estranged father-son relationship in the vibrant city of Nazareth makes for an immensely entertaining drama by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You).