Director Bob Clark's "A Christmas Story" has become such a holiday icon that TBS plans to run it for twenty-four hours straight. I've come to prefer it to "It's A Wonderful Life." As I get older I find Wonderful a little treacly to my taste. There was a fatuousness in Frank Capra's populism that's come to irritate me. A Christmas Story on the other hand is a masterful depicition of an era and a family.
Of course Bob Clark did a Christmas film earlier in his career, one that likely influenced John Carpenter and his Halloween a great deal (though over the years I interviewed Clark two or thre times and he wouldn't talk about that, on or off the record). I watched it again the other night and it's as good in its way as Christmas Story. This is one you should definitely see--the original and not the remake.
Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian horror film, directed by Bob Clark, which has a very large cult following. It was written by Roy Moore, and based largely on a series of real-life murders in Montreal, Quebec, around Christmas time. Black Christmas stars Olivia Hussey as a young college student who must deal with a deranged killer lurking in her sorority house. It also features Margot Kidder and Andrea Martin, before either had gained fame in the United States, John Saxon and Keir Dullea round out the cast. The film's score is by Carl Zittrer, and was marketed with the tagline "If this picture doesn't make your skin crawl... It's on too tight!"