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The Best '70s Christmas Movies

Updated December 16, 2020 2.4k votes 400 voters 20.7k views39 items

List RulesVote up your favorite Xmas films that were released in the 1970s

The best 1970s Christmas movies are an interesting mix of lighthearted family films, zany comedies, and even a little holiday horror. On this list, you will find all of the Christmas characters you’ve come to expect from a December movie release: Santa Claus, Rudolph, Jack Frost, and many more!

What are the greatest ‘70s Christmas movies? Let’s start with A Christmas Carol, the 1971 animated adaptation of Charles Dickens’s famous tale. The film starred Alastair Sim as the voice of Scrooge, reprising his role from the live-action adaptation twenty years prior. Produced by animation titan Chuck Jones, A Christmas Carol earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Other notable films on this list include Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, A Flintstone Christmas, and the Star Wars Holiday SpecialOne of the top ‘70s Christmas movies has a much darker tone. Black Christmas, the story of a series of grizzly murders in a sorority house around Christmas time, was a low-budget Canadian horror movie that is credited with being one of the first slasher films ever made. If dark flicks are your thing around the holiday season, definitely check it out.  

Vote up the best Christmas movies from the 1970's and add any great 70s Christmas movies we may have forgotten.

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  • Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town1
    201
    18

    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

    Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire

    Released1970

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion television special, made by Rankin-Bass.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus2
    185
    18

    The Year Without a Santa Claus

    Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth

    Released1974

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Christmas stop motion animated television special... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #183 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#47 of 50 The Best Movies With Elves

  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas3
    143
    24

    'Twas the Night Before Christmas

    Paul Lynde, Anne Meara

    Released1977

    Directed byTim Kiley

    'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a 1977 made-for-television special loosely inspired by the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Jack Frost4
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    30

    Jack Frost

    Buddy Hackett, Don Messick

    Released1979

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Jack Frost is a 1979 animation family fantasy musical film written by Romeo Muller and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #38 of 127 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time#203 of 306 The Best Movies For Kids

  • A Flintstone Christmas5
    115
    25

    A Flintstone Christmas

    Mel Blanc, Henry Corden

    Released1977

    Directed byCharles August Nichols

    A Flintstone Christmas is a 60-minute animated Christmas television special featuring The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #266 of 486 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made#6 of 15 The Best Movies On HBO Max To Watch During The Holidays

  • Scrooge6
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    Scrooge

    Alec Guinness, Albert Finney

    Released1970

    Directed byRonald Neame

    Scrooge is a 1970 musical film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 1843 story, A Christmas... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year7
    110
    27

    Released1976

    In this television special, Rudolph has just come back from delivering Christmas presents with... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #330 of 575 The Best Animated Films Ever#310 of 525 The Best Fantasy Movies

  • Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas8
    111
    31

    Released1977

    Directed byJim Henson

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is a 1977 TV special that is based on the children's story of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July9
    98
    29

    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

    Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters

    Released1979

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is a 90-minute crossover television film by Rankin Bass... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Little Drummer Boy Book II10
    109
    38

    The Little Drummer Boy Book II

    The special picks up where The Little Drummer Boy left off-- at the little stable in...Amazon buy button

    More 

    #6 of 11 Those Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember#98 of 106 The Best Kids Movies Of The 1970s

  • A Christmas Carol11
    66
    27

    A Christmas Carol

    Michael Redgrave, Joan Sims

    Released1971

    Directed byRichard Williams

    A Christmas Carol is an Academy Award-winning animated adaptation of Charles Dickens's... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Gathering12
    36
    24

    The Gathering

    Ed Asner, Stephanie Zimbalist

    Released1977

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    The Gathering is a 1977 ABC made for television drama film. A rare live-action drama film from... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The House Without a Christmas Tree13

    Released1972

    Directed byPaul Bogart

    The House Without a Christmas Tree is a 1972 television movie, novelized into a children's... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • An American Christmas Carol14
    34
    24

    An American Christmas Carol

    Henry Winkler, Dorian Harewood

    Released1979

    Directed byEric Till

    A U.S. made-for-TV movie based upon Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol set in Concord, New... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Black Christmas15
    33
    31

    Black Christmas

    Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin

    Released1974

    Directed byBob Clark

    Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian independent horror film directed by Bob Clark and written... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #149 of 720 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#93 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow16

    Released1975

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow is a Christmas television special... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey17
    55
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    Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

    Roger Miller, Brenda Vaccaro

    Released1977

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jules Bass

    Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is a Christmas television special produced in stop... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #51 of 55 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Christmas Movies#69 of 84 The Best Christmas Movies for Kids

  • Frosty's Winter Wonderland18
    2
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    Frosty's Winter Wonderland

    Shelley Winters, Paul Frees

    Released1976

    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Frosty's Winter Wonderland is an animated Christmas television special produced in 1976 by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Small One19
    2
    5

    The Small One

    Gordon Jump, Olan Soule

    Released1978

    Directed byDon Bluth

    The Small One is a 1978 animated Christmas short film created by Walt Disney Productions and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Nativity20
    2
    5

    The Nativity

    Madeleine Stowe, Jane Wyatt

    Released1978

    Directed byBernard L. Kowalski

    The Nativity is a 1978 television film starring Madeleine Stowe as Mary, set around the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Silent Night, Bloody Night21
    2
    5

    Silent Night, Bloody Night

    John Carradine, Patrick O'Neal

    Released1972

    Directed byTheodore Gershuny

    Silent Night, Bloody Night is a 1972 American horror film directed by Theodore Gershuny and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #4 of 12 12 Ridiculously Scary Christmas Movies to Watch During the Holidays#99 of 111 The Best '70s Horror Movies

  • Christmas Lilies of the Field22
    2
    2

    Christmas Lilies of the Field

    Billy Dee Williams, Maria Schell

    Released1979

    Directed byRalph Nelson

    Christmas Lilies of the Field is a 1979 made-for-TV sequel to the classic film Lilies of the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • It Happened One Christmas23
    4
    8

    It Happened One Christmas

    Orson Welles, Cloris Leachman

    Released1977

    Directed byDonald Wrye

    It Happened One Christmas is a 1977 made-for-television film starring Marlo Thomas and Wayne... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Miracle on 34th Street24
    2
    2

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Roddy McDowall, Jane Alexander

    Released1973

    Directed byFielder Cook

    Miracle on 34th Street is a 1973 drama film directed by Fielder Cook. It is the third remake... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Tale of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve25

    Released1975

    Directed byPer Åhlin

    The Tale of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve (aka Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton)... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button