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Best Christmas film: Elf, The Muppets and Love Actually miss top spot

Elf and It's A Wonderful Life Image copyright Alamy

It was made in 1946 but It's A Wonderful Life has been voted Britain's most popular Christmas film.

It beat Christmas comedy Elf starring Will Ferrell to the top spot in a survey of more than 7,000 people by RadioTimes.com.

Other favourites in the top five include Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone.

It's A Wonderful Life is a classic festive feel-good film about a man who has devoted his life to helping others.

But when he tries to take his own life a guardian angel stops him and shows him the value of his life.

The film was directed by Frank Capra and was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Love Actually came in 4th on the list

Action film Die Hard came in sixth place.

There's always a fierce debate about whether Die Hard is really a Christmas film.

Bruce Willis plays an off-duty cop who walks barefoot through broken glass to stop a group of German terrorists - not exactly a traditional Christmas vibe.

But it is set on Christmas Eve, and who doesn't enjoy watching an action classic with the family and a box of chocs?

It's fair to say the debate will probably continue for years to come.

Most of the Harry Potter films show Christmas in some way as they're all set over the course of a school year, but they're not strictly Christmas movies.

But the first film in the series, the Philosopher's Stone, does make it into the top 20 of this list.

Radio 1 and 1Xtra's film critic Ali Plumb lists The Muppet Christmas Carol as his favourite festive film.

Ali also has a list of "non-Christmas films that make you feel Christmassy", which is (mostly) suggested by his followers on social media.

Cool Runnings, Mary Poppins and Sister Act make that list.

The top 20 from the RadioTimes survey:

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)

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