Top 5 Holiday Movie Houses (and 5 Honorable Mentions)
I have an ongoing series on my blog Hooked on Houses where I feature houses from movies. So when Zillow asked me to guest blog and list the best holiday movie houses, I turned to my readers and asked for their faves. I took a (highly unscientific) poll on my blog and was astounded by the number of tweets, Facebook comments, and emails that came pouring in on the topic, too. People feel strongly about their Christmas movies!
Here’s how my readers rated the movie houses. See if you agree with them.
#5. A Christmas Story
#4. It’s a Wonderful Life
George Bailey’s “drafty old house” in It’s a Wonderful Life (above) was part of the sprawling Bedford Falls set covering 4 acres on RKO Studios’ back lot. Sadly, it was razed in the 1950s.
Another home briefly featured in It’s a Wonderful Life is the Martini House, which is located in the fictional Bailey Park where George (James Stewart) presents the Martini Family with their new home. The actual home is located in La Canada Flintridge, CA (above). The scene is memorable due to the quote that George’s wife, Mary (Donna Reed) recites to the family upon presenting the house and gift: “Bread… that this house may never know hunger. Salt… that life may always have flavor. And wine… that joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Martini Castle.”
#3. White Christmas
Okay, so technically, it’s an inn, not a house, and it was just a set at Paramount Studios, but a lot of us still dream of visiting Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont, over the holidays, and having a cup of buttermilk by the fire with Bing in the holiday classic, White Christmas.
#2. Christmas in Connecticut
The Connecticut farmhouse was just a set built at Warner Bros. in Burbank, CA, and we never even see the entire exterior — but the home used in Christmas in Connecticut is one of my favorites. I think it’s kind of a shame that Barbara Stanwyck’s character gives up her architect boyfriend in the end because the stone farmhouse goes with him.
#1. Home Alone
Home Alone was the clear winner with my readers, pulling in about 40% of the votes for best holiday house. The decorating may be a little dated 20-plus years later, but all that red and green wallpaper still looks like Christmas to most of us. The real Home Alone house in Winnetka, IL, went on the market for $2.4 million in May. (I compared the real rooms to how they looked in the movie here.)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Even though it didn’t make the Top 5, one of the most-searched-for holiday-movie houses on my site is Clark Griswold’s from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (above). How many lights covered Clark’s home? How about 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights?
Miracle on 34th Street
Susan’s (Natalie Wood) dream house from the original Miracle on 34th Street gets an honorable mention for getting the most write-in votes (real location: Port Washington, NY). One the movie’s most memorable scenes is when little Susan’s Christmas wish comes true when she sees the house of her dreams for the first time (above).
Who can forget Will Ferrell’s hilariously heartfelt journey as Buddy in the movie Elf? Buddy soon learns his father (James Caan) lives in a stately Upper West Side building in New York City at 55 Central Park West (above). Nicknamed the “Ghostbuster Building,” this was location to several scenes in the 1984’s “Ghostbusters” movie, too.
The listing description simply says, “Location for 2003 Christmas movie,” but movie buffs will recognize it as the home Billy Bob Thornton‘s character took up residence in in the movie, Bad Santa. The 5-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom estate was recently listed on the West Hills real estate market and sold for the asking price of $950,000.
The Family Stone
This gorgeous home in Riverside, CT (above) was the home used in The Family Stone, a star-packed, romantic comedy featuring Sarah Jessica Parker. The 1860 colonial is the gathering place for the Stone family’s annual Christmas celebration. The 3,554 sq-ft house consists of 10 rooms — 5 of which are bedrooms — 3.5 bathrooms, and sits on 1.4 acres. With a classic, yet cluttered interior (see photos here), this house is the ultimate, well-worn home perfect for big holiday gatherings.
What are your favorite movie houses to revisit at this time of year?
Julia is a writer who created the popular blog Hooked on Houses in 2008 as “a fun place to get your house fix.” She features houses from TV shows and movies, funny real estate photos, celebrity listings, and inspiring before and afters.