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'It's a Wonderful Life' is top Christmas film with critics

Updated: 2012-12-21 14:42
( Agencies)

When it comes to Christmas films, "It's a Wonderful Life" can still melt critics' hearts nearly 70 years after it was released, according to a survey of the best-reviewed Christmas films.

'It's a Wonderful Life' is top Christmas film with critics

A New Year full of laughs 

'It's a Wonderful Life' is top Christmas film with critics

Pulling new punches 

The survey, to be released on Friday by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, found that the 1946 redemption story starring Jimmy Stewart edged out the 1942 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire musical "Holiday Inn" and Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion fantasy "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

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World War Two drama "Stalag 17," released in 1953, and 1947's "Miracle on 34th Street" round out the top five.

"It's a Wonderful Life" vaulted to the top spot from No 5 in 2009, when the list was last compiled, bumping "The Nightmare Before Christmas" from its best-reviewed status.

Films that use the holiday as a backdrop for the plot such as 1988's "Die Hard," which was No 6 on the list, and 1983's "Trading Places" at No 9, were also eligible, the website said.

Rotten Tomatoes, which analyzes film reviews and assigns a score based on total critical reception, applied that same formula to Christmas films for the list, Matt Atchity, the website's editor in chief, told Reuters.

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