408 voters

The Best '70s Christmas Movies

Updated December 16, 2020 2.3k votes 408 voters 21.2k 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.

  • 1

    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

    Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion television special, made by Rankin-Bass. The film stars actor Fred Astaire as the narrator S.D. Kluger, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus,...  more

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  • 2

    The Year Without a Santa Claus

    Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name. It...  more

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  • 3

    'Twas the Night Before Christmas

    Paul Lynde, Anne Meara


    Directed byTim Kiley

    'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a 1977 made-for-television special loosely inspired by the 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore....  more
  • 4

    Jack Frost

    Buddy Hackett, Don Messick


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Jack Frost is a 1979 animation family fantasy musical film written by Romeo Muller and directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr....  more
  • 5


    Alec Guinness, Albert Finney


    Directed byRonald Neame

    Scrooge is a 1970 musical film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 1843 story, A Christmas Carol. It was filmed in London between January and May 1970 and directed by Ronald Neame, and starred...  more

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  • 6

    A Flintstone Christmas

    Mel Blanc, Henry Corden


    Directed byCharles August Nichols

    A Flintstone Christmas is a 60-minute animated Christmas television special featuring The Flintstones. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and aired on NBC on Wednesday December 7, 1977....  more
  • 7


    In this television special, Rudolph has just come back from delivering Christmas presents with Santa Claus when he is asked by Father Time to find the next Baby New Year before midnight on New Year's...  more

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    #403 of 538 The Best Animated Films Ever#176 of 246 The Best Movies For Kids

  • 8


    Directed byJim Henson

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is a 1977 TV special that is based on the children's story of the same name, directed by Jim Henson. The story tells of Emmet Otter and his Ma, a widow who scrapes by...  more
  • 9

    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

    Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is a 90-minute crossover television film by Rankin Bass filmed in stop-motion animation in the style of its 1964 Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed...  more
  • 10

    The Little Drummer Boy Book II

    The special picks up where The Little Drummer Boy left off-- at the little stable in Bethlehem, shortly after the birth of Jesus. Melchior, one of the three kings from the first movie, invites Aaron...
  • 11

    A Christmas Carol

    Michael Redgrave, Joan Sims


    Directed byRichard Williams

    A Christmas Carol is an Academy Award-winning animated adaptation of Charles Dickens's venerable 1843 novella. It was a made-for-television production originally broadcast on ABC in the United...  more
  • 12

    The Gathering

    Ed Asner, Stephanie Zimbalist


    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    The Gathering is a 1977 ABC made for television drama film. A rare live-action drama film from the Hanna-Barbera studios, it was directed by Randal Kleiser and starring Edward Asner and Maureen...  more
  • 13

    An American Christmas Carol

    Henry Winkler, Dorian Harewood


    Directed byEric Till

    A U.S. made-for-TV movie based upon Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol set in Concord, New Hampshire during the Great Depression of the 1930's ....  more
  • 14


    Directed byPaul Bogart

    The House Without a Christmas Tree is a 1972 television movie, novelized into a children's book by Gail Rock in 1974, that centers on the relationship between Adelaide "Addie" Mills, a bright and...  more

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  • 15

    Black Christmas

    Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin


    Directed byBob Clark

    Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian independent horror film directed by Bob Clark and written by A. Roy Moore. It stars Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman and...  more

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    #146 of 728 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#102 of 552 The Best '70s Movies

  • 16


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin-Bass in 1975. It runs a half-hour as opposed to Rankin/Bass'...  more
  • 17

    Frosty's Winter Wonderland

    Shelley Winters, Paul Frees


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    Frosty's Winter Wonderland is an animated Christmas television special produced in 1976 by Rankin-Bass. It originally aired on December 2, 1976, on ABC. It is the second Frosty special and is a...  more
  • 18

    Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

    Roger Miller, Brenda Vaccaro


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jules Bass

    Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin-Bass. It was first aired on ABC in 1977....  more
  • 19

    The Stingiest Man in Town

    Walter Matthau, Tom Bosley


    Directed byArthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

    The Stingiest Man in Town anime, based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, is a Christmas special created by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, which featured traditional animation rather than the...  more

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  • 20

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Roddy McDowall, Jane Alexander


    Directed byFielder Cook

    Miracle on 34th Street is a 1973 drama film directed by Fielder Cook. It is the third remake of the original 1947 film. A department store Santa tries to convince a little girl who doesn't believe in...  more
  • 21


    Directed byPer Åhlin

    The Tale of Karl-Bertil Jonsson's Christmas Eve (aka Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton) is a 1975 Swedish animated film directed by Per Åhlin, adapted from Tage Danielsson's short story. A boy...  more
  • 22

    Some of My Best Friends Are...

    Rue McClanahan, Candy Darling


    Directed byMervyn Nelson

    Some of My Best Friends Are... is a 1971 drama film written and directed by Mervyn Nelson. On Christmas Eve 1971, in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, a group of gay men and lesbians meet at the...  more
  • 23

    Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A.

    Kurt Russell, Melissa Gilbert


    Directed byJud Taylor

    Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A., also released as The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle, is a 1977 television film directed by Jud Taylor....  more
  • 24

    Christmas Lilies of the Field

    Billy Dee Williams, Maria Schell


    Directed byRalph Nelson

    Christmas Lilies of the Field is a 1979 made-for-TV sequel to the classic film Lilies of the Field. In this sequel, directed by Ralph Nelson, Homer Smith returns to the Arizona desert where he had...  more
  • 25

    The New Adventures of Heidi

    Burl Ives, John Gavin


    Directed byRalph Senesky

    The New Adventures of Heidi is a 1978 made for television musical film directed by Ralph Senensky. Heidi joins her distant family and her busy widowed father for a Christmas in New York City....  more