Is ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ a Christmas movie? Depends who you ask

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ST. LOUIS – There’s a good chance you or someone you know will debate whether films like “Die Hard” and “Gremlins” should be considered Christmas movies. Perhaps one movie based in St. Louis might also join the conversation.

Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 film directed by Vincente Minnelli. The movie is staged around the 1904 World’s Fair, offering glimpses of life during each of the four seasons. There are also many romance themes and musical numbers.

Earlier this week, classic television network MeTV published a story about Meet Me in St. Louis that also included an interactive quiz. Before the quiz, MeTV states “can technically be classified as a Christmas movie, right?”

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There’s one particular scene that could support this argument. Judy Garland, starring as the main character Esther Smith, sings a tune called “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It comes with heartfelt emotion and around a tough decision she must make on whether to move to New York after the holidays.

“No, Santa’s not in it. But for about ten minutes, the movie perfectly captures what can be a sometimes-melancholy feeling during the holiday season,” said MeTV. “So, we declare it’s a Christmas movie.”

Meet Me in St. Louis is roughly two hours long, so the Christmas themes aren’t overwhelming. But the MeTV staff stands by its classification as a holiday film, also citing “several vignettes and climaxes on Christmas.”

With all of this in mind, FOX 2 asked ChatGPT, “What classifications must be met for a film to be considered a Christmas movie?” We were told, defining a Christmas movie can be subjective, but there are at least seven elements to consider…







Genre (Aside from holiday classifications), a website with resources for aspiring filmmakers, also shared a blog last year suggesting that Christmas movies should have “Seven Essential Ingredients.” Among those, include…





Holiday Tropes & Cliches



Have these considerations changed your perspective as to if Meet Me in St. Louis is a Christmas movie? It’s worth pointing out, others have tackled this debate well before MeTV. These were among the arguments…


“Only about 25 minutes of the film takes place during Christmas, but it is one of the best holiday sequences in cinema history,” said Times of San Diego in 2017.

“Only part of the film takes place during the Christmas holiday, but that section leaves the largest impact,” said in 2020.


“Technically, Meet Me in St. Louis, based on Sally Benson’s “Kensington Stories,” is not strictly a Christmas movie. The film takes place over the course of a whole year,” said The Film Magazine in 2021.

“While not strictly a Christmas movie in itself, Meet Me in St. Louis is often cited as one and, nonetheless, definitely teaches us to be in the holiday spirit all year round,” said The Viewer’s Commentary in 2011.


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