Click the right arrow on the image above to see all of New York City’s top ten Christmas movie moments.
10. Metropolitan (1990)
Ah, it’s the holidays for the Upper East Side bourgeoisie. Whit Stillman’s brainy debut follows the romantic travails of newly enlightened college freshmen returning home for their first college winter break, including a memorable Christmas Eve mass.
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Photograph: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy9. The Thin Man (1934)
The sleuth flick’s playful protagonists, Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy), spend the morning of the 25th lazing around and using the Christmas tree for target practice.
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Photograph: AF archive / Alamy8. Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray’s surly, coldhearted TV exec, Frank Cross, gets the Dickens treatment, learning the true meaning of Christmas and all that jazz from a trio of supernatural visitors. The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen of the New York Dolls) starts things off with a memorable entrance as a cabbie, adeptly displaying the erratic driving skills required to pull off his disguise.
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Photograph: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy7. The Apartment (1960)
For C.C. “Buddy Boy” Baxter (Jack Lemmon), Christmas Eve isn’t about family togetherness and holiday cheer—it’s about loneliness, depression and a whole lot of martinis. Oh, and going home with a boozy blond. Poor guy.
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Photograph: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy6. Goodfellas (1990)
What better way for the Lucchese crime family to celebrate pulling off a $5 million heist than to threaten each other at a bar as the Ronettes’ “Frosty the Snowman” plays?
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5. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) takes time out of his double life as Wall Street’s handsomest psychopath to attend a holly-jolly soiree. Other guests include Snowball the Vietnamese potbellied pig and Patrick’s coworker Paul Allen, who will, let’s say, regret mistakenly calling Patrick “Marcus.”
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Photograph: AF archive / Alamy4. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
After accidentally getting put on a flight to Gotham—and proceeding to rely on his considerable arsenal of high jinks to foil the same two crooks (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) who tormented him in the first film—Kevin (the eternally adorable Macaulay Culkin) reunites with his mom right by the Rockefeller Center tree on Christmas Eve. Awwww!
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3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
This heartwarming tale ends as a court of law rules that Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is the real deal, thanks to an obscene backlog of letters to Santa provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
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2. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
During the eerily lit, high-class Manhattan yuletide party that opens Stanley Kubrick’s divisive last feature, Bill (Tom Cruise) and Alice (Nicole Kidman) are both propositioned by licentious characters. The experience plunges them into a mysterious world of omnipresent seasonal lights and underground satanic-cult orgies. What, how do you usually spend the holidays?
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Photograph: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy1. Elf (2003)
Buddy (Will Ferrell) spends time at a bevy of classic NYC Christmas locations, but perhaps the most hysterical moment in the movie is when he brawls with a department-store Santa (Artie Lange) in midtown. Of course, we all know where the real Santa probably was at the time—at the real Ray’s Pizza, on 11th.
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New York City’s top ten Christmas movie moments (video)
Get into the spirit of the season by watching these naughty (American Psycho) and nice (Miracle on 34th Street) Christmas movie scenes
It’s Christmastime, people! We’ve already told you about the holiday window displays, ice-skating rinks and more that you need to check out before the big day. Between hitting the town, though, sit back, relax, down some eggnog and check out these NYC-set Christmas scenes.