'Die Hard' pipped to the top spot on poll of nation's favourite Christmas movie

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2 min read
This festive favourite was actually a huge flop when it was first released in 1946. When the copyright expired on the film in 1975 it was played in heavy rotation on a number of TV stations and became recognised as a true classic.
This festive favourite was actually a huge flop when it was first released in 1946. When the copyright expired on the film in 1975 it was played in heavy rotation on a number of TV stations and became recognised as a true classic.

It’s A Wonderful Life has been named the UK’s favourite Christmas film.

The 1940s classic, starring James Stewart, topped a ranking of 12 festive films of all time – with Die Hard in second place.

Seasonal favourites The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone and Elf completed the top five, voted for by BBC Radio 2 listeners.

Read more: Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie, say most people

Listeners were invited to vote for their favourite Christmas film from a long list of 25 classics, created by the network’s resident movie critic, James King.

King said: “It’s A Wonderful Life is what Christmas is all about, friendship, kindness and the importance of family, even in the toughest times.”

The Jimmy Stewart film topped a similar poll in 2018, with Radio Times readers voting it the best Christmas film ever.

Die Hard (Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Die Hard (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Originally released in the middle of summer, Die Hard has since acquired status as a festive film, thanks to its plot taking place on Christmas Eve.

Read more: Die Hard director says action classic IS a Christmas movie

King said: “As for Die Hard in the runner-up spot? Well, it should finally answer the question as to whether John McClane’s antics in the Nakatomi Plaza constitute a Christmas film or not.”

1. It’s A Wonderful Life

2. Die Hard

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol

4. Home Alone

5. Elf

6. Love Actually

7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

8. Miracle On 34th Street

9. White Christmas

10. The Polar Express

11. Santa Claus: The Movie

12. Scrooge

A countdown programme, which also features seasonal songs from the silver screen, is on BBC Sounds and also on Radio 2 on Christmas Eve at 9pm.

Watch a trailer for It’s A Wonderful Life