Holiday Classics
December 5–24

AFI Silver's perennial Christmas favorites IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET return, along with Ralphie in A CHRISTMAS STORY, WHITE CHRISTMAS (60th anniversary), THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER and REMEMBER THE NIGHT. The season’s screenings begin with the nice March family- in-wintertime heartwarmer LITTLE WOMEN (1994), and culminate with two “naughty” Christmastime favorites — DIE HARD and DIE

Children under 12 just $5 for every film in the Holiday Classics series!

AFI Member passes accepted at all films in the series.

20th Anniversary!

“It doesn’t seem like Christmas this year without any presents,” sighs Amy at the beginning of this beloved holiday classic — the definitive screen version of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved literary classic, vividly realized by Australian Gillian Armstrong (MY BRILLIANT CAREER). With their father away with the Union Army, the March sisters of Concord, Massachusetts (Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Claire Danes and Kirsten Dunst) and mother “Marmee” (Susan Sarandon) navigate life’s twisting road, through wartime deprivation, first love, heartbreak and burgeoning adulthood. With Gabriel Byrne, Christian Bale, Samantha Mathis and Eric Stoltz. “LITTLE WOMEN makes the case that Christmas is a time to be savored, for the experiences you share, not the trinkets that fill your stocking.” –Christian Blauvelt, BBC.

DIR Gillian Armstrong; SCR Robin Swicord, from the novel by Louisa May Alcott; PROD Denise Di Novi. US, 1994, color, 118 min, 35mm. RATED PG


Fri, Dec 5, 3:00; Sun, Dec 7, 11:30 a.m.; Mon, Dec 8, 3:00;
Thu, Dec 11, 3:00


When shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck gets pinched for lifting a diamond bracelet during Christmastime in New York, it's assistant DA Fred MacMurray's job to send the third-time offender to the big house. With the case postponed until after Christmas, MacMurray floats Stanwyck bail money so she can go home for the holidays — with him, it turns out. Misadventure, mirth and a little holiday magic bring the two together, but there's still that day in court.

DIR/PROD Mitchell Leisen; SCR Preston Sturges. US, 1940, b&w, 94 min, 35mm. NOT RATED

Preservation print courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Sat, Dec 6, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Dec 7, 11:00 a.m.

60th Anniversary!

*Introduction, plus book sale and signing, by author Steve Taravella (Mary Wickes biographer) Dec. 14, 11:00 a.m.!

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as army vets-cum-nightclub impresarios who fall for a beguiling sister act in the form of Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. Smitten with the sisters, they follow them from Miami, Florida, to Pine Tree, Vermont, where they are booked to appear in a Christmas show. This Technicolor musical, the biggest box office hit of 1954 and the first film shot in VistaVision, includes Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" — already an Oscar®-winning song, from its screen introduction 12 years earlier in HOLIDAY INN — plus Oscar® nominee "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)," "Sisters" and "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing."

DIR Michael Curtiz; SCR Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank; PROD Robert Emmett Dolan. US, 1954, color, 120 min, DCP. NOT RATED

*Book Signing Event

Local Silver Spring author Steve Taravella will introduce the Dec. 14 screening of WHITE CHRISTMAS and sign copies of his book "Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before" in the lobby following the show.


Fri, Dec 12, 12:30; Sun, Dec 14, 11:00 a.m.*; Tue, Dec 16, 3:15 ;
Thu, Dec 18, 3:15


*Introduction, plus book sale and signing, by author Steve Taravella (Mary Wickes biographer) Dec. 13, 11:00 a.m.!

On a cross-country lecture tour, famous radio man Sheridan Whiteside (a scenery-chewing Monty Woolley) dines at the well-to-do Stanley residence. But after he slips on their icy steps, he insists on recuperating in their home over the holidays. A madcap comedy of errors ensues as he wreaks havoc on the staid household. Bette Davis costars as Whiteside’s whip-smart assistant, Mary Wickes is his Nurse Preen, Ann Sheridan a vampish actress and Jimmy Durante vaudevillian “Banjo.” Based on the hit Broadway comedy, the film was adapted by Julius and Philip Epstein, Oscar® winners for CASABLANCA, released the same year.

DIR William Keighley; SCR Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, from the stage play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. US, 1942, b&w, 112 min, 35mm. NOT RATED

Preservation print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

*Book Signing Event

Local Silver Spring author Steve Taravella will introduce the Dec. 13 screening of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER and sign copies of his book "Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before" in the lobby following the show.


Fri, Dec 12, 3:00; Sat, Dec 13, 11:00 a.m.*; Mon, Dec 15, 3:15;
Wed, Dec 17, 3:15


The Muppets' version of the Charles Dickens classic ranks among the best. The always-game Michael Caine gives it his all as Ebenezer Scrooge, with Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as his wife Emily and Kermit's nephew Robin as Tiny Tim, plus regulars Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo Rat and some truly awesome creations from Jim Henson's Creature Shop for the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.

DIR/PROD Brian Henson; SCR Jerry Juhl, from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens; PROD Martin G. Baker. US, 1992, color, 85 min, DCP. RATED G


Fri, Dec 19, 3:30; Sat, Dec 20, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Dec 21, 11:00 a.m.;
Mon, Dec 22, 12:00; Tue, Dec 23, 12:00; Wed, Dec 24, 12:00


Guardian angel Clarence Odbody saves George Bailey (James Stewart) from a Christmas Eve suicide by showing him how dismal life in the small town of Bedford Falls would have been for his family and friends had he never been born. With Donna Reed as George's adoring wife, Henry Travers as the angel hoping to get his wings and Lionel Barrymore as the villainous Mr. Potter, this all-time Christmas classic may be Frank Capra's finest work. "The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience." –Chicago Reader.

DIR/SCR/PROD Frank Capra; SCR Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling, Philip Van Doren Stern, Michael Wilson. US, 1946, b&w, 130 min, DCP. NOT RATED


Fri, Dec 19, 12:45 p.m.; Mon, Dec 22, 1:50; Tue, Dec 23, 1:50, 6:45;
Wed, Dec 24, 1:50, 6:45


All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun, but the only response he gets from his mother is, "You'll shoot your eye out." For those who've experienced this film, it's hard to imagine that phrase without hearing the voice of Jean Shepherd, the narrator and writer of this classic Christmas tale. No matter how many times audiences see it, they keep coming back for the brilliant comedic turns by Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin.

DIR/SCR/PROD Bob Clark; SCR Leigh Brown, Jean Shepherd, from his novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash;" PROD René Dupont. US/Canada, 1983, color, 94 min, 35mm. RATED PG


Mon, Dec 22, 4:30; Tue, Dec 23, 4:30; Wed, Dec 24, 4:30


Do you believe in Santa Claus? No-nonsense Macy's exec and single mom Maureen O'Hara certainly doesn't, and she won't raise her daughter Natalie Wood to believe so, either. But Christmas is big business for Macy's, and the store needs Santas. So when a funny old man named Kris Kringle shows up for the job — insisting he's the real Santa Claus — O'Hara humors the old guy and hires him. But he's so successful at spreading the spirit of Christmas, even O'Hara starts to wonder if he's the real thing. Twinkle-eyed Supporting Actor Oscar® winner Edmund Gwenn shines as the jolly fellow in this Christmas classic.

DIR/SCR George Seaton; SCR from a story by Valentine Davies; PROD William Perlberg. US, 1947, b&w, 96 min, DCP. NOT RATED


Mon, Dec 22, 12:10; Tue, Dec 23, 12:10; Wed, Dec 24, 12:10


In LA to visit his estranged wife, Bonnie Bedelia, tough-as-nails NY cop Bruce Willis barely has time to feel out of place at her company Christmas party before a band of terrorists takes the building hostage, demanding the $600M in the company vault. Masterminding the terror plot is sophisticated villain Alan Rickman; bumbling the response are the LAPD and the FBI. Willis is in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he's the right man for the job, fighting his way through "forty stories of sheer adventure" in this supremely well-crafted, characterized, exciting and often hilarious thrill ride — much imitated, never equaled and still unsurpassed.

DIR John McTiernan; SCR Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza, from the novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp; PROD Joel Silver, Lawrence Gordon. US, 1988, color, 131 min, DCP. RATED R


Mon, Dec 22, 9:45; Wed, Dec 24, 9:30


Boy, does ex-NYC cop Bruce Willis have problems with Christmas! As wife Bonnie Bedelia is about to land at Dulles Airport for a holiday visit with relatives, a band of thugs trying to spring drug lord Franco Nero from the Feds shut the place down. Part 2 of the DIE HARD holiday thriller series — with snow this time.

DIR Renny Harlin; SCR Steven E. de Souza, Doug Richardson; PROD Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver. US, 1990, color, 124 min, DCP. RATED R


Tue, Dec 23, 9:30