It’s A Wonderful Life has been voted as Britain’s favourite Christmas film in a new poll.
The 1946 festive fantasy drama narrowly beat 2003 Christmas comedy Elf to the accolade in the survey of more than 7,000 people by RadioTimes.com.
Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the film tells the story of George Bailey (Stewart), a man who has devoted his life to helping others and who is shown the value of his own life by a guardian angel to stop him killing himself.
The Frank Capra-directed film was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture, and has become a seasonal staple across the world.
Will Ferrell’s Elf is in second place on the list, ahead of The Muppet Christmas Carol, which stars Sir Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge along with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and a cast of Muppets.
Other films on the top 10 include Richard Curtis’s star-studded 2003 romcom Love Actually in fourth place, 1990 comedy Home Alone in fifth place and action-packed 1988 film Die Hard in sixth.
Tim Glanfield, RadioTimes.com editor, said: “If there’s one thing that’s certain to bring the whole family together, it’s a good Christmas film.
“And our 72-year-old winner, It’s A Wonderful Life, sitting effortlessly alongside more modern classics like Elf and The Muppets, proves just that.
“It turns out there’s no sell by date on Christmas spirit – and a film that encapsulates it will stay with us for generations.”
The poll was conducted by RadioTimes.com between November and December 2018, and received 7,242.
The Top 20 Christmas films
1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
2. Elf (2003)
3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
4. Love Actually (2003)
5. Home Alone (1990)
6. Die Hard (1988)
7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
8. The Polar Express (2004)
9. White Christmas (1954)
10. Scrooge (1951)
11. A Christmas Carol (1984)
12. The Snowman (1982)
13. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
14. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
15. The Holiday (2006)
16. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
17. The Grinch (2000)
18. Scrooged (1988)
19. Nativity! (2009)
20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)