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The Late Movies: Vintage Christmas

Christmas has been the subject of film ever since film was invented. Some of those early shows survive, although you may not have seen them. Here’s your chance to watch some rarely-seen Christmas cheer, spanning from 1898 to 1969.

Santa Claus


A visit from St. Nicholas is caught on film by G.A. Smith in 1898. Smith was a hypnotist and magic lantern operator before he became involved in film, and was one of the first to experiment with special effects in movies.
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A Christmas Carol


Scrooge has been on the silver screen for a long time! This silent film version was shot by Thomas Edison’s company in 1907.
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The Night Before Christmas


A 1908 Edison film.
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The Insect’s Christmas


This stop-motion animation was produced by the Russian Khanzhonkov Company in 1913. Director Vladislav Starevich won much acclaim for his films, including a decoration from Czar Nicholas II. This version has music from Danny Elfman added.
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A Christmas Dream


A 1946 combination live-action and stop-motion animation film by the Czech brothers Borivoj Zeman and Karel Zeman. Originally titled Vánoční sen, it was dubbed in English for international audiences.
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Christmas Under Fire


A 1941 film about London celebrating Christmas during wartime.
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Santa in Animal Land


The animals are upset that Santa only brings gifts to human children. This creepy puppet show was produced in 1948.
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Suzy Snowflake


This stop-motion short was produced in 1951 for a kids’ Christmas special on WGN-TV in Chicago.
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USO Christmas Show


Bob Hope entertains American troops in Vietnam for Christmas 1969.
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Next week: Vintage Christmas cartoons.


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