Can You Pass This ’60s and ’70s Christmas Movie Screenshot Quiz?

ENTERTAINMENT

William J. Wright

7 Min Quiz

If you don't recognize this Christmas classic, you should be barred from reindeer games for life! Can you name this holiday favorite from 1964?

A holiday tradition for over 50 years, Rankin and Bass' "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" has become as essential to Christmas as Santa himself. Based on Johnny Marks' 1939 song about an outsider who makes good, the 1964 production builds on Rudolph's world with a cast of new characters.

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Blockheads abound as a young boy rails against commercialism in search of the true meaning of Christmas in this beloved animated TV special. Can you name it?

An instant holiday classic upon its first airing in 1965, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" marked the TV debut of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts." With its sophisticated humor and endearingly neurotic protagonist, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" has delighted generations with its warmth and sincerity.

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Christmas makes Albert Finney so angry he could sing in this 1970 holiday movie. Can you name the film from this image?

A surprisingly faithful musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," 1970's "Scrooge" features Albert Finney as the film's titular protagonist. Nominated for four Academy Awards. the film strikes a balance between drama and musical numbers that's rare in the genre.

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Do you know the title of this animated Christmas film that first aired in 1968?

Rankin and Bass, the people who brought us 1964's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," followed up their holiday hit with 1968's "The Little Drummer Boy." Based on the popular Christmas song, the movie tells the story of Aaron, a poor orphan who offers the Christ Child a gift of music.

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Can you name this racy farce that stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine from 1960 that takes place over the holidays?

Although it's not specifically a Christmas film, the holidays loom large over Billy Wilder's 1960 comedy "The Apartment." With its unforgettable portrayal of a boozy office Christmas party and mid-century holiday atmosphere, "The Apartment" is a nice adult diversion from typical Christmas fare.

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With a forlorn Santa sick with a cold, it's up to Mrs. Claus to save Christmas in this animated special. Do you recognize this holiday offering from 1974?

Based on the 1956 children's book by Phyllis McGinley, "The Year Without a Santa Claus" was Rankin and Bass' holiday offering for 1974. Featuring Shirley Booth of TV's "Hazel" as Mrs. Claus, Santa's spouse has to rouse him from his holiday doldrums before the big night.

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The team behind 1964's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" brought yet another classic Christmas song to life in 1970. Can you name this stop-motion Christmas favorite?

Rankin and Bass created yet another animated holiday classic with 1970's "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." Featuring the voices of Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney, this films ignores the historical basis of Santa and other Christmas traditions for its own trippy mythology.

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Which cartoon adaption of "A Christmas Carol" was the very first animated special produced for television?

1962's "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" finds the nearsighted old gent (voiced by Jim Backus) cast as Ebenezer Scrooge on Broadway. As always, Magoo brings down the house. "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" was both the first animated TV Christmas special and the first hour-long animated TV production.

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Can you name this animated Christmas special that features narration by an icon of classic horror cinema?

The animation of Chuck Jones, the words of Dr. Seuss and the voice of Boris Karloff come together in a perfect mix of holiday redemption in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Remade twice, the original "Grinch" is a work of Seussian brilliance. The holidays are not complete without it!

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What's the title of this animated Christmas production from 1969?

Rankin/Bass Productions scored yet another holiday hit with 1969's "Frosty the Snowman." Based on the popular song about a snowman who comes magically to life, this animated special features the voice talents of Jimmy Durante, Jackie Vernon and June Foray.

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A killer's on the loose in a sorority house in this holiday slasher movie from 1974. Can you name this influential Christmas-themed horror film?

1974's "Black Christmas" stars Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder as sorority sisters stalked by an unseen killer over the holidays. The film's director, Bob Clarke, would go on to helm another Christmas film with a decidedly different tone in 1983 with "A Christmas Story."

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This 1973 TV movie was the third remake of a beloved Christmas classic. Can you ID this holiday redux?

Starring Sebastian Cabot, best known as Mr. French from "Family Affair," as the "nice old man with whiskers," this 1973 retread of "Miracle on 34th Street" hews closely to the 1947 film. Cabot performs ably, but overall this very dated TV film works better as a '70s time capsule than a remake.

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This misguided effort was disowned by its creator. Do you know the name of this dubious holiday treat from 1978?

Airing only once in November, 1978, "The Star Wars Holiday Special" is the stuff of TV legend. A surreal and inexplicable blend of "Star Wars" and hokey, '70s variety show schmaltz, George Lucas once said he wished he could personally smash every copy with a hammer.

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Sally Field stars in this Christmas-themed horror mystery from 1972. Can you select the correct movie from this image?

The 1972 Christmas thriller "Home For the Holidays" packs some high-caliber, A-list talent for an ABC movie of the week. With a cast that includes Sally Field, Julie Harris and Walter Brennan, this holiday shocker revolves around a dying man's suspicion that his wife has poisoned him.

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Can you ID this 1979 TV movie starring Henry Winkler?

In the waning days of his fame as the Fonz from ABC's "Happy Days," Henry Winkler took on a variation of Dickens' classic character Ebenezer Scrooge in "An American Christmas Carol." Set in New England during the Great Depression, businessman Benedict Slade (Winkler) is visited by three ghosts.

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Can you name this historical drama that takes place during Christmas in 1183?

Katherine Hepburn stars as the deposed Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1968's "The Lion in Winter." Set against the backdrop of royal Christmas celebrations, Eleanor, freed from prison for the holiday, vies for her son Richard to take the throne against the wishes of her husband Henry II (Peter O'Toole).

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Based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, this TV movie about the birth of Christ stars Madeleine Stowe as Mary. Can you identify this 1978 biblical film from this scene?

"The Nativity" recounts the birth of Jesus as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. However, it takes some liberties with its sources. Starring Madeleine Stowe as Mary, "The Nativity" was directed by Bernard Kowalski, whose credits include "Night of the Blood Beast" and "The Killer Leeches."

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This made-for-TV Christmas movie from 1977 reunited the cast of a long-running 1950s sitcom for the last time. Can you pick out this heartwarming family film?

The story of insurance man Jim Anderson (Robert Young) and his family came to a heartwarming end with the 1977 TV movie "Father Knows Best: Home for Christmas." With Jim and Margaret (Jane Wyatt) now empty nesters, the Anderson kids come for one last holiday before the family home is sold.

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Do you recognize this theatrically released 1978 Christmas featurette from Walt Disney?

Based on a children's book by Charles Tazewell, "The Small One" was released to theaters by Walt Disney in 1978. The story of a young Nazarene boy forced to sell his beloved donkey, "The Small One" is a funny and touching tale of friendship, compassion and faith.

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Santa Claus faces a threat from outer space in this 1964 holiday flick. Do you recognize this movie?

Regularly listed among the worst films ever made, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is a must-see for fans of cult cinema. When the children of Mars become bored and listless, an invasion force is sent to abduct Santa in hopes of bringing them some much-needed holiday cheer.

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This 1977 TV movie starring "That Girl's" Marlo Thomas gives us a case of holiday deja vu. Can you name this film?

"It Happened One Christmas" is among a number of films that made the ABC Network the reigning champ of made-for-TV holiday movies in the 1970s. Basically a gender-swapped "It's a Wonderful Life," Marlo Thomas is shown how the world would be without her by an angelic Cloris Leachman.

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Can you name this Disney holiday musical from 1961?

Walt Disney's 1961 adaptation of Victor Herbert's beloved operetta stars Annette Funicello, Tommy Sands and "The Wizard of Oz's" Ray Bolger in his first villainous role. A very loose adaptation, the Disney film bears only a faint resemblance to the original. Nevertheless, its cast is a delight.

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This "Z" grade holiday movie finds Santa Claus stranded in sunny Florida. Do you recognize this Christmas cult classic?

1972's "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny" falls squarely into the category of films that must be seen to be believed. Just days before Christmas, Santa is stranded in sunny Florida, and it's up to a group of neighborhood kids to help him save Christmas.

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Everyone's favorite jolly old elf faces eviction in this 1966 movie. Can you identify it from this image?

Songwriter Paul Tripp stars in "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't" from 1966. Based on Tripp's book of the same name, the film finds Santa up to his beard in back rent owed to his miserly landlord. Santa winds up getting a day job at a department store, but in the end, kids come to St. Nick's rescue.

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Do you remember the title of this Emmy-winning Christmas movie from 1972?

"The House Without a Christmas Tree" stars Jason Robards as an embittered widower father with a grudge against the holidays after his wife's death. It's up to his daughter to rekindle his long-extinguished Christmas spirit. A critical and popular favorite, it earned a primetime Emmy in 1973.

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After its first airing in 1964, this Christmas film was not seen again by the public until 2012. Do you know the title of this Cold War fantasy from the creator of "The Twilight Zone"?

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from a script from "Twilight Zone" scribe Rod Serling, "A Carol for Another Christmas" was commissioned by the United Nations to foster the ideals of international cooperation. Standing in for Scrooge is Grudge, an isolationist, who's haunted on Christmas Eve.

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Do you remember this touching, autobiographical Christmas film from 1966?

Based on Truman Capote's heartwarming tale of the same name, 1966's "A Christmas Memory" is an underappreciated gem. Narrated by the author and starring Geraldine Page, the film, produced as a segment of "ABC Stage 67," was released theatrically in 1969 as part of "Truman Capote's Trilogy."

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This film starring William Holden is anything but a feel-good holiday movie. Can you name this tearful, French Christmas film?

1969's "The Christmas Tree" is the definition of melodrama. When his young son gets radiation poisoning (it's a long story), William Holden makes the kid's last six months the best ever by buying him tractors and stealing wolves. Spoiler alert: The kid dies under the Christmas tree, hence the title.

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The lives of three men are changed when they don Santa suits in this 1979 made-for-TV movie. Can you name it?

Fred Astaire stars as the owner of a costume shop who's not what he seems in this 1979 TV film. Over the holiday season, three men buy Santa suits in hopes of solving their respective problems. When the suits change their lives for the better, Astaire is revealed to be the real St. Nick.

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Can you name this 1969 Christmas tale of a boy and his cat?

A troubled young boy finds his purpose when he nurses a sick, one-eyed cat back to health during holiday season in "J.T." from 1969. Produced as part of the CBS "Children's Hour" Saturday morning program, it proved so popular that it was re-aired in primetime. Have a handkerchief nearby for this one!

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Can you name this low-budget theatrical Christmas release from 1964?

"The Magic Christmas Tree" is a surprisingly bleak exercise in holiday exploitation from 1964. The convoluted tale of a little boy who uses a magic ring to grow a sentient, wish-granting Christmas tree, this film makes "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" look like high art by comparison.

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A dying man faces his estranged family for one last Christmas in this 1977 TV movie. Can you ID it from this image?

"The Gathering" from 1977 stars Ed Asner as a stubborn man facing regret over the family he walked out on when he learns he's terminally ill. In hopes of reconciliation, he convinces his estranged wife and children to reunite with him for Christmas while hiding his sickness. Maureen Stapleton costars.

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Can you ID this 1978 holiday movie based on the novel "The Melodeon"?

Based on Glendon Swarthout's novel "The Melodeon," "A Christmas to Remember" first aired on CBS in 1978. Taking place during the Great Depression, the film tells the story of a city boy who develops a special bond with his grandfather (Jason Robards) when he's sent to live on his grandparents' farm.

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The director of "It's a Wonderful Life" made this holiday comedy starring Bette Davis in 1961. Can you identify it from this scene?

Bette Davis stars as Apple Annie, a hard-drinking panhandler, in 1961's "Pocketful of Miracles." In the film, Davis strikes a deal with mobster Glenn Ford to disguise her as a socialite to fool her daughter, who's engaged to royalty. Overflowing with the holiday spirit, it was Frank Capra's last film.

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Can you name the 1971 Christmas movie that launched a successful, long-running TV drama?

The CBS television movie "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story," from 1971, tells the story of the Waltons as they face a difficult holiday during the Depression. The eldest son, an aspiring writer, helps hold the family together in the absence of their father who's missing on Christmas Eve.

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Do you remember the name of this 1967 comedy in which Dick Van Dyke pulls off a daring Christmas Eve heist?

In 1967's "Fitzwilly," Dick Van Dyke is the butler of an aging heiress; he also just happens to be a criminal mastermind. In order to keep his destitute employer in her lavish lifestyle, Van Dyke leads the help on a series of criminal enterprises culminating with a Christmas Eve heist of Gimbels.

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Three aliens come to Earth to learn the true meaning of Christmas in this animated production from 1977. Can you name it?

Produced by Nelvana in 1977, "A Cosmic Christmas" was an early success for the fledgling animation studio. In the film, three aliens resembling the biblical magi wind up on present-day Earth after having tracked the Star of Bethlehem for 2,000 years.

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Do you know this 1976 made-for-television Christmas movie?

"Young Pioneers' Christmas" from 1976 was a second attempt to sell the ABC network on a "Young Pioneers" series. Starring Linda Purl and Roger Kern as a pioneer couple facing a hard Christmas on the prairie after the death of their baby, the film failed to ignite interest among audiences.

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Which Christmas cartoon features a Dickensian insect?

Based on the novella by Charles Dickens, 1967's "Cricket on Hearth" was Rankin/Bass' second Christmas special following "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Shot in a traditional animation style rather than the studio's signature stop-motion, "Cricket" is among Rankin/Bass' lesser-known works.

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Do you know the name of this dramatic 1977 Christmas movie that was based on a true story?

Also known as "The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle," 1977's "Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A." stars Mitch Ryan, Kurt Russell and Melissa Gilbert in the true story of a holiday mining disaster. Set in 1951, the film tells the story of a group of miners trapped in a cave-in on Christmas Eve.

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Image: NBC

About This Quiz

The 1960s and '70s were decades in which pop culture reigned over the American landscape as never before. By 1960, the TV set had become a fixture in American homes and as essential to the celebration of the holidays as the Christmas tree. With bygone films like Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" in heavy rotation in syndication, a new generation made these oft-forgotten yuletide favorites into hallowed holiday traditions. Still, audiences were hungry for Christmas and the networks were more than willing to play Santa. 

Aside from the rare musical spectacle and "B" kiddie fare, theatrical releases largely gave way to TV. The most wonderful time of the year presented TV audiences of the 1960s with innovative holiday stories told as never before through the magic of animation. To this day, many of the animated films from the '60s remain must-see holiday viewing for the young and young at heart. And, despite widespread availability through home video and streaming services, their yearly airings still draw big ratings.

With holiday theatrical releases few and far between, the 1970s, a golden age for the made-for-television film, gave us live-action Christmas fare ranging from the heartfelt to the overwrought. Everything from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "A Christmas Carol" got updated for a younger, hipper audience with distinctly '70s sensibilities. 

Feeling nostalgic, yet? Cozy up to the fire with your eggnog because we have a holiday challenge for you! How many of these '60s and '70s Christmas movies do you remember?


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