Forget "A Christmas Story," "Miracle on 34th St.," and "It's a Wonderful Life" ... the best holiday movie to snuggle up to with the family on Christmas day is ... "The Deer Hunter!"
At least that's what John Savage says ... he's one of the stars of the film -- you know, the one who loses his frickin' legs in that underwater rat cage in the Viet Kong prison camp.
John was soaking in the sunshine on a warm Christmas Eve in Malibu ... and told us his old flick is the perfect movie to throw on in the background while your kids open up their presents under the tree.
Check out the clip ... we're pretty sure he's being serious.
Just be careful if you bought your little ones the new Russian Roulette playset for Xmas ... you can shoot your eye out with that thing!!!