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The Great Rupert (1950)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  1 March 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 544 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 12 critic

A little squirrel with lots of charm accidentally helps two poor, down-but-NOT-out families overcome their obstacles.



(screenplay) (as Laslo Vadnay) , (additional dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Rosalinda Amendola
Tom Drake ...
Peter 'Pete' Dingle
Frank Orth ...
Mr. Frank Dingle
Sara Haden ...
Mrs.Katie Dingle
Queenie Smith ...
Phil Davis
Jimmy Conlin ...
Joe Mahoney
Rupert ...
Rupert the Squirrel
Hugh Sanders ...
Mr. Haggerty (as Donald T. Beddoe)
Candy Candido ...
Molineri - Florist
Police Lt. Saunders
Harold Goodwin ...
Callahan - F.B.I. Man
Mr. Taney - Tax Investigator


A Christmas Wish is a heartwarming holiday classic about a New York family (led by Durante) who is down on their luck at Christmas time. Shortly before Christmas, they move into a ground floor apartment where Rupert the squirrel lives in the attic rafters. Just when it seems that the holiday will come and go without so much as a Christmas tree, Rupert acts as the family's guardian angel, not only saving Christmas, but changing their lives forever. The film is enlivened with the warmth and sweetness of an unforgettable love story between Terry Moore (of Mighty Joe Young) and Tom Drake (of Meet Me in St. Louis). Rupert the Squirrel (created using George Pal's Academy Award winning animation technique) will charm young and old alike. Jimmy Durante shines when he sings Jingle Bells and other well-loved Christmas carols in the evocative voice that made him one of America's recording legends. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's not just squirrelin' around! See more »


Comedy | Family


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Wish  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It may be reasonable to assume that the writer chose "Amendola" as actor Jimmy Durante's family's last name given the movie's subject matter. When the Amendola's felt blessed by money from what they thought was from heaven, indeed, the play on words "Amen Dollar," fits perfectly. See more »


Melody For Two Orphan Instruments
Written by Fred Spielman, Buddy Kaye and Eden Ahbez
  • instrumental

See more »

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User Reviews

You gotta love him!
22 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

I ran across this oddity in the video store which I assume would find most of its fans from those who collect George Pal films. He's the famous science fiction and fantasy producer/director (The Time Machine, War of the Worlds) who patented a technique known as Puppetoon visually similar to today's Claymation. It stars the great Jimmy Durante, and B-movie favorites Terry Moore (the original Mighty Joe Young), and Tom Drake. Disney animation had its pulse on the public and other studios were looking to cash in too via live action. So why not a live action film with a very talented squirrel? Why not? It's a family film, fun, original, and quite different. The squirrel looks a little like the contemporary mice in the "The Mouse and The Motorcyle" and the Jim Henson film "The Witches." This film however always has its feet firmly planted in reality with the squirrel seeming more like an organ grinder's monkey than human. This gives the animal more vulnerablity. It also gives the human race more responsiblity to take proper care of him and any animal or pet who brings us pleasure and happiness from their presence in our lives. It's also a film that is hard to resist from the film's first shot. Whereas most films wait too long into a film to show the audience what it came to see (Superman flying, ET talking, Aliens killing, etc...), The Great Rupert is introduced dancing in the very first scene! Good decision, because once you see him, you gotta love him!

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A must for Christmas viewing! lightkeeper-1
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