The Oral History of Christmas Movies

Part of the Series “Oral History”, “Verbis Histórica
Produced by on December 22, 2017
Tags - Christmas - Christmas in the Stars - Christmas Movies - Die Hard - It's a Wonderful Life - Movies - Trading Places

With Christmas just around the corner, we though it was time to delve into the oral history of Christmas … movies!

A Christmas favourite for more than 70 years – It’s a Wonderful Life will be playing again this Christmas on a TV near you (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

They can just as much of a tradition as angels on the tree, prawns on the barbie or bad jokes falling from crackers, and Christmas movies have become a part of how some of celebrate the holiday season, whether it’s watching It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, or Die Hard.

But like with all things, there is always a story behind how these movies are made, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, we bring you the oral histories behind some of the most famous Christmas themed movies.

Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Image courtesy of

In 2014, to celebrate 25 years since we spent Christmas with the Griswolds, Rolling Stone magazine got the cast and crew together to spill the beans on how the movie was made and what happened on set. It’s a pretty in depth oral history including interviews with Chevy Chase, Beverley D’Angelo, Juliet Lewis, Director Jeremiah Chechik and many more

(Image courtesy of Ebay user Warren7778)

Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album

The Star Wars franchise has never been shy, seemingly willing to put its brand on anything that sells – even, in 1980, a Christmas album! While not strictly a movie, more of a movie tie in, the album, surprisingly, it wasn’t such a big leap, the “Star Wars and other Galactic Funk” album had sold over 2 million copies, but Andrea Warner at CBC Music’s oral history of how a Star Wars themed Christmas album got made is a fascinating story

An Oral History of Trading Places

Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd in “Trading Places” (Image courtesy of

Robe Wile at Business Insider argues that Trading Places – the 1983 Eddie Murphy/Dan Akroyd comedy classic – is not only the greatest Wall Street movie of all time, but also the greatest Christmas movie ever made. To back this up Wile presents an oral history of Trading Places featuring Director John Landis, writers Tim Harris and Herschel Weingrod, and star Jamie Lee Curtis talking about how the movie was made and what it means today.

Bonus: Die Hard: An Oral History

Die Hard: possibly the greatest Christmas movie of all time (image courtesy of )

Yes, it’s true, there is an oral history of the greatest Christmas movie ever made, Brian Abrams seminal Die Hard: An Oral History.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t free, you have to buy the Kindle Edition to get to read the stories of the cast and crew, but if anyone does decide to fork out and have a read, please let us know if it’s any good!

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