We’ve barely been able to contain our excitement since it was announced earlier this month that Mariah Carey would not only be starring in but also directing the Hallmark Channel’s A Christmas Melody in December. (That’s right – it’s like Glitter, her only other starring vehicle, but with double the diva, as she’ll be calling shots on both sides of the camera.) To help tide us all over until then, let’s take a moment to honor these already classic musical moments from holiday films — a list we are sure A Christmas Melody will be joining soon enough.
Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas” for the first time — and not in White Christmas.
Contrary to what many assume, the crooner did not debut the classic “White Christmas” in the movie of the same name. In 1942, 12 years before that film was released, Crosby played an entertainer who opens a quaint bed and breakfast in the film Holiday Inn. In addition to some killer Fourth of July and Presidents Day numbers, Crosby’s heartsick inn keeper also tries out a sad little melody about wishing there was snow on Christmas. The Irving Berlin-penned song would go on to win an Oscar and is now estimated to be one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Judy Garland tries not to cry through “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine wrote this classic tune for Garland to sing in the 1944 musical Meet Me In St. Louis. Garland thought the original lyrics were too sad and asked for a rewrite. Martin recounted to NPR’s Fresh Air in 2006 that he initially refused to change the song and Garland “refused to sing it.” But producers soon convinced him and Blaine that it would be “even sadder if she’s smiling through her tears.”
Zooey Deschanel finally makes shower singing attractive, in Elf.
From one of the more recent entries into the canon of classic holiday films, this scene of a pre-New Girl Deschanel charming Will Ferrell’s elfin pants off in the department store locker room remains just as charming as ever.
Macaulay Culkin unleashes his legendary scream in Home Alone.
You may not associate this iconic image of young Culkin with Christmas, but moments before he mistakenly applies his father’s after shave to those baby-soft cheeks, he is suavely crooning the Drifters’ “White Christmas” into his comb, thereby charming 10 year-old girls the world round. Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.
David Bowie and Bing Crosby sing a shockingly droll duet of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”
This odd collaboration came together for the 1977 television special Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, and was filmed just five months before Crosby died of a heart attack. Eerily enough, the special didn’t air until over a month after his death. His pairing here with the glam rocker was a bizarre, but unforgettable, moment for fans to remember him by.
Of course, watching the original Crosby/Bowie clip must be immediately followed by Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s note-perfect homage to the duet.
Dolly Parton stays “fine and dandy”…in the whorehouse.
The country star has one of the more unorthodox Christmas classics to her name: “Hard Candy Christmas,” which her character sings in the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Taken by itself, the song is a simple enough ode to scrapping one’s way through difficult times. In the context of the film, it’s about the hard-fought resilience that comes from working in a brothel. Potato, potahto?
And, as a bonus, there is always Glitter.
No, it’s not about the holidays, per se. In fact, 14 years later, we’re still trying to figure out what this movie is really about, or why Mariah’s character always has a splash of glitter on her in the first place. But we do know that, despite its apparent gaps in logic and arguable representation of the ’80s as a whole, watching Glitter is always a holiday unto itself.