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The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966)
"Il Natale che quasi non fu" (original title)

G  |   |  Family, Fantasy  |  23 November 1966 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 209 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 6 critic

Sam Whipple, an attorney in once-upon-a-time-land, is startled to receive a visit from Santa Claus shortly before Christmas. It seems that when he was a child, Sam wrote a letter thanking ... See full summary »



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Title: The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966)

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast overview:
Paul Tripp ...
Sam Whipple
Lydia Brazzi ...
Mrs. Claus (as Lidia Brazzi)
Alberto Rabagliati ...
Sonny Fox ...
Mr. Prim
Jonathan, the Elf Foreman
John Karlsen ...
Valentino Macchi
Salvatore Furnari ...
Antonio De Martino ...
Gaetano Guacci ...
Adriano Cornelli ...
Franco Doria ...
Elf (as Francesco Doria)
Arnaldo Fabrizio ...
Elf (as Fabrizio Arnaldo)
Domenico Imperato ...
Elf (as Imperato Domenico)
Phineas T. Prune


Sam Whipple, an attorney in once-upon-a-time-land, is startled to receive a visit from Santa Claus shortly before Christmas. It seems that when he was a child, Sam wrote a letter thanking Santa for the presents he'd received, and offering to return the favor someday. That day is now - a mean old soul named Phineas Prune, who holds the deed to the North Pole, is demanding back rent. Otherwise, he's going to evict Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves and take all the Christmas toys. It's up to Sam and Santa to find a way to pay off Prune and prevent Christmas from being canceled. Written by Eugene Kim <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A more wonderful...more magical...more musical entertainment than this - there just isn't!


Family | Fantasy


G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 November 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't  »

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Did You Know?


Although most of the actors mouthed the script in English (the movie was shot with no live sound), in the American version all of the Italian actors, except for Rossano Brazzi, had their voices dubbed by someone else, so that their accents would not show up. Brazzi, who appeared in many American films, including South Pacific (1958), is the only Italian in the film who is heard speaking English with an accent. See more »


Sam Whipple: Wait a minute! If you are Santa, what are you doing here? You're early!
Santa Claus: Christmas is not coming this year.
See more »


Spoofed in The Simpsons: Skinner's Sense of Snow (2000) See more »


Christmas Is Coming
Performed by Lydia Brazzi
Written by Ray Carter and Paul Tripp
See more »

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User Reviews

Memories Vs Reality
1 December 2004 | by (Long Island, NY) – See all my reviews

I vividly remember going to see this in the movies when I was 5 Years old. The commercials promoting it on TV stick in my head also. As another reviewer said, going to the movies was a big deal then. Now that I am 43 I have been getting very nostalgic. I was very happy to see that this movie was available on DVD. When I watched the movie I was really surprised at how bad it was, as Billy Joel says in one of his songs "The good old days weren't always good" To start with the opening song "A Christmas that almost wasn't" sounds more like a halloween song, a little haunting. The colors in the movie were also very dark and drab. As for Santa "my God" what a depressing Santa he was a little whiner, I wanted to grab him ala the Godfather and say "You can act like a man" The whole movie is just cheaply done, songs and everything. This is a case of my childhood memories playing tricks on me. Oh well there's always Rudolph.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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