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Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture$
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Sheila Whiteley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628087

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628087.001.0001

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Christmas and the Movies: Frames of Mind

Christmas and the Movies: Frames of Mind

(p.164) Chapter 10 Christmas and the Movies: Frames of Mind
Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture

John Mundy

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes how the commercial viability and dominant aesthetic sensibility of Christmas movies were established in Hollywood in the 1940s with films such as Holiday Inn, It's A Wonderful Life (1946), and Miracle on 34th Street. An examination of two family entertainment-orientated films, All I Want For Christmas and Jingle All The Way, reveals that Hollywood remains supremely efficient at both acknowledging and resolving ideological contradictions that characterise the experience of the modern Christmas. As both these films show, Hollywood's simultaneous acknowledgement yet containment of the ambiguities that modern Christmas entails are often expressed as much by what is heard on the soundtrack as what is seen on screen. Jingle All The Way suggests that, whilst the anxieties about getting modern Christmas ‘right’ need to be acknowledged, one can also mark out and overcome the antisocial potential of materialism.

Keywords:   Holiday Inn, films, materialism, Hollywood

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