Trading Places (1983)
Mean-spirited millionaire brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) conspire to reduce a young commodities broker (Dan Aykroyd) to homeless poverty and elevate a street hustler (Eddie Murphy) to the broker's former position. Against a background of holiday glee, Aykroyd and Murphy are heartbreakingly hilarious as a couple of guys who don't know what hit them.
It was summertime when director Joe Dante left this nasty little Christmas gift: a tale of ill-mannered monsters terrorizing a neighborhood at holiday time. Oh yeah, and Phoebe Cates tells the worst Christmas story ever.
Die Hard (1988)
"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Vaughn Monroe sings over the closing credits (and over the sequel's as well). Although it's set against the holiday season, there's nothing Christmasy about Bruce Willis' over-the-top actioner (unless Santa urges his reindeer on by yelling "Yippie-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay!").
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Visit the AARP home page every day during the holidays and all year-round