The 1946 movie, starring James Stewart as the suicidal George Bailey, beat the likes of Home Alone and The Muppet Christmas Carol in the poll.
It’s A Wonderful Life is considered one of the most loved films in cinema and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season. It pushed Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy Love Actually, starring Colin Firth, Martine McCutcheon and Hugh Grant, into second place, followed by the Will Ferrell movie Elf.
Family favourites The Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone took fourth and fifth place in the poll, which was carried out on the RadioTimes.com website.
Miracle On 34th Street and traditional Christmas films The Snowman and Scrooge also finished in the top 10.
Writing in the Radio Times, film critic Barry Norman said of It’s A Wonderful Life: “Frank Capra’s wonderful, life-enhancing film should be shown every Christmas preferably after the Queen’s Speech.
“Yes, it verges on the sentimental but never too much so. Far more it’s simply heart-warming – the grandaddy of all feel-good movies.”
The RadioTimes.com’s top 10 Christmas films of all time were compiled from 2,172 votes.
The result was:
1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
2. Love Actually (2003)
3. Elf (2003)
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
5. Home Alone (1990)
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
7. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
8. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)
9. The Snowman (1982)
10. Scrooge (1951)