Posted: Dec 21, 2016
To get us into the festive spirit, we take a look behind the big screen to discover where many of the favourite Christmas movies were filmed. Cameras roll for a score of star-struck locations around the world. Live in or near where the Christmas movies were made. Picture-perfect locations that deserve top billing.
1. White Christmas
The cosy ski lodge in Pine Tree, Vermont is fictional, but the Stowe ski area is one of New England’s finest. If you want romantic alpine inns and flickering log fires, this is the place to come. High demand means that a three-bedroom house will cost around $500,000.
2. A Christmas Carol
Shrewsbury was transformed into Victorian London for the 1984 film of A Christmas Carol starring George C Scott, Frank Finlay, Susannah York and Edward Woodward. Local schoolboy Anthony Walters played Tiny Tim. The average value of a house in Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, is £247,000. Four bedroom detached houses cost around £400,000.
3. It's a Wonderful Life
This Christmas classic was set in fictional Bedford Falls – based on Seneca Falls in upstate New York. But the actual movie was shot in California. Seneca Falls is a mill town and the steel bridge over the canal is recognisable. You can buy a property similar to George and Mary’s for around $200,000.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Clark Griswold’s childhood home is supposed to be in Chicago. But it’s actually at the Warner Bros studio and the same house was used in Bewitched. The property belonging to the Griswolds’ neighbours was the one in Lethal Weapon, where Danny Glover lived. But if you want to live in West Hollywood, the average house price is $775,000.
5. Home Alone
The McAllister home in which young Kevin is accidentally left behind at Christmas is in the town of Winnetka, Illinois. The Lincoln Avenue house, where he battled the bad guys and learnt that his family wasn’t so bad after all, went up for sale for $2.4m in 2011. It sold a year later for $1.5m. It is just a few blocks from the quaint town centre and close to the magnificent Lake Michigan.
6. Miracle on 34th Street
This festive fantasy is set in New York, but was mostly shot in Chicago. The yellow house that Susan wants for Christmas is in Lake Forest, Illinois, not very far from the Home Alone property. It has five bedrooms and a large man-cave as well as a pool and beautiful gardens. It sold this summer for around $2.75m.
7. Love Actually
Hugh Grant (as the prime minister) searches for his Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) in Wandsworth, but the scenes were actually shot in Poplar Road, Herne Hill. This area borders buzzing Brixton, with its easy transport connections to central London. The most recent house on sale in Poplar Road went for £775,000 in 2014, so expect to pay around £850,000 now.
8. The Santa Clause
This tale of a father who has to take over from the late Santa Claus was filmed in Toronto. It’s a feel-good, family Yuletide movie, perfect for a winter’s day. The action is set in Oakville, just outside the city, although it’s supposed to be small-town Illinois. Number 19 Carey Drive is the home of the main character’s ex-wife and their son, Charlie. Houses in this smart neighbourhood cost about £1m.
9. Christmas in Connecticut
This 1945 film stars Barbara Stanwyck as a single food writer based in New York. Her articles about her fictitious Connecticut farm, her husband and her baby, are loved by many. She finds herself having to host a Christmas dinner to keep up the charade and so the fun and games begin. Homely Connecticut farmhouses start from $300,000 and they certainly look the part.
Buddy, a stowaway orphan, ends up in Santa’s sack and is brought up by the elves. When Buddy grows up, Santa allows him to go to New York to find his birth father. Various iconic Manhattan buildings appear in the film. The average price of apartments topped $2m for the first time earlier this year.
11. Bad Santa
In this 2004 film, Billie Bob Thornton plays Bad Santa. He moves in with The Kid and Grandma, telling them that things have gone wrong for him in the North Pole. The five-bedroom house in West Hills, Los Angeles, that was used for the filming was recently sold for the asking price of $950,000
12. The Family Stone
The plot of this 2005 movie follows the Christmas holiday misadventures of the Stone family in a small New England town. Starring Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes, the story centres around a family engagement and an heirloom ring. A five-bedroom house in Greenwich, Connecticut, was used for the exterior shots. It was last sold for $4m in 2008.
Bill Murray plays Frank Cross in this 1988 helping of Dickens’ Christmas spirits. Frank’s office is in New York’s Seagram Building, a skyscraper on Park Avenue. Here he gets the picture from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Park Avenue apartments are multi-million dollar pads.
14. Jingle all the Way
The action in this film about last-minute Christmas shopping takes place in Minneapolis. It stars Arnold Schwartzenegger and the house used for his home is in Bruce Place, Edina. These large properties cost around $3m, but you can get a four-bedroom house nearby for around $300,000.
15. Comfort and Joy
Glasgow is the backdrop for this seasonal comedy about an ice cream van turf war. It was written and directed by Bill Forsyth, of Local Hero and Gregory’s Girl fame. Ruchill, where some of the action takes place, has been much improved in recent years, but people sometimes choose neighbouring Maryhill, which has good transport links. You can buy a flat in a traditional tenement block here for around £150,000.
16. About a Boy
Bored Will, aka Hugh Grant, lives a playboy’s life thanks to royalties from a successful Christmas ditty composed by his father. He invents a son to get talking to women and ends up friends with a 12-year-old. Will’s flat is in Sekforde Street in now-trendy Clerkenwell, where the average value of property is £775,000.
17. Polar Express
This 2004 animation is a musical fantasy in which Tom Hanks has six different roles. While none of the buildings at the North Pole are real, they are loosely based on the Pullman Factory in Chicago. George Pullman built a company town here in the 1880s. You can get a flat in one of the original buildings for $125,000.
18. The Holiday
This Christmas house-swap ends in romance for each of the two women involved. American Cameron Diaz stays in Kate Winslet’s cottage, but the idyllic retreat was built in a field for the duration. The village scenes take place in Shere, Surrey. This pretty place is a very popular place to live and the average price for property is more than £800,000.
19. Bush Christmas
This 1983 film is set on Lamington Plateau, Queensland, Australia. A family hopes their horse will win prize money in a New Year derby, but Prince is stolen and the children have to get him back. If you like the idea of a ho, ho, hot Christmas, you can buy a four-bedroom bungalow with land for about A$600,000.
20. Four Christmases
Divorced parents make for four separate celebrations for a San Francisco couple. After a number of dramatic revelations, Brad and Kate split up and then make up. Their house has spectacular views of the city. A similar one nearby is currently on the market for $780,000.