I'm Dreaming of a Black & White Christmas
Christmas is full of bright colors. Red Santa suit. Green Christmas tree. Silver tinsel. Gold stars.
So why are my favorite holiday movies in black & white?
I don’t know. They just are.
I love old movies. Even when color was readily available, most movie studios in the 1930s and 40s went to black and white for their films. That was just as likely for Christmas movies as for any other releases. But there’s no denying that even without color, there are holiday films that have stood the test of time. Great performances backed by solid writing, directing, and producing – in addition to themes and messages that resonate no matter the year – make these movies classics.
Some of the films listed below are not necessarily Christmas-themed. But there are moments set during the season that are quite memorable, whether they make you laugh or cry.
I’ve roughly divided the films into three categories, though there’s some give and take among them. I hope you’ll find a favorite – and maybe discover a new one in the lists.
Traditional – Movies focusing family, friends, celebration, and the meaning of the holiday.
- The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
- The Bishop’s Wife (1947) Little Women (1933)
- A Christmas Carol (1938) Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
- A Christmas Carol (1951) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Since You Went Away (1944)
Love and Second Chances – Movies set during the holidays and all about finding love, often where it’s least expected.
- The Apartment (1960) I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Meet John Doe (1941)
- Holiday Affair (1949) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
- Holiday Inn (1942)
Non-traditional – Movies that don’t really fit the other categories. But they are memorable stories that take place around Christmas.
Whatever your choice in viewing, I hope you’ll find a title that you’ll want to share with others. And that you have a happy holiday season!