The Waltons (1971–1981)
19 user 3 critic

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story 

Story of the events that happened on Christmas Eve, 1933, to one rural American family.



(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Edgar Bergen ...
Dorothy Stickney ...
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Erin Walton (as Mary McDonough)
Eric Scott ...
David W. Harper ...


The Walton family is about to celebrate another Christmas. It's during the '30s and the Depression. John Walton promised to be home soon but seems to be late. John-Boy tells his sibs about Christmas and all that stuff. When John hasn't showed for hours, Ma sends John-Boy out to find him. Will John ever get home to celebrate Christmas with his family? This movie spun off the TV series "The Waltons". Written by Dylan Self <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language




Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actresses Josephine Hutchinson and Dorothy Stickney, who portrayed the elderly Baldwin sisters, passed away within two days of each other in 1998, 27 years after this film was made. See more »


When the children are unpacking the Christmas ornaments, Jim-Bob jostles Elizabeth's arm and the ornament shatters. Erin can be seen mouthing Elizabeth's line: "You bumped my arm!" See more »


Olivia: If John doesn't get home soon with money, all we'll have for Christmas dinner is my applesauce cake. We won't even have that if I don't get a move on.
See more »


Followed by The Waltons (1971) See more »


Hey, Mary
Performed by David Livingston and Children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My Christmas is complete!
19 December 2005 | by (TCM's Basement) – See all my reviews

I was so glad to see that this is out on DVD. It looks great, I'm glad Paramount spent some time restoring it to its present condition. This truly is a modern day classic. I was enthralled with this when it ran on television for the very first time, and its lost none of its appeal for me 34 years later. The entire story exudes reality for me and you actually care about this family. Patricia Neal is wonderful as Olivia. It's too bad she didn't go on to do the television show. She added a touch of reality but also she conveyed a true sense of having seen hardship in her own life that conveys to the screen. If you've never seen this movie, and you're longing for Christmases gone by, treat yourself and either rent or buy the DVD. This is a big step above "The Walton's."

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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