The Waltons: Season 1, Episode 0

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (19 Dec. 1971)

TV Episode  |  PG  |   |  Drama, Family, Romance
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 650 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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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
See  »

Did You Know?


Earl Hamner's two children Scott and Carrie are in the film as two of the children listening to the missionary lady. Carrie is the short-dark-haired girl in a home-made hat and Scott is the boy with paler hair, also wearing a hat. See more »


In one scene, the Waltons listen to "Fibber McGee and Molly" on the radio. However, the film takes place in 1933 and that program did not debut until 1935. In addition, the specific episode they're listening to is from 1947. See more »


Elizabeth: Good night, John Boy.
John-Boy: Good night, Elizabeth. Good night, Daddy.
John: Good night, Son. Good night, Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen: Good night, Daddy. Good night, Mama.
Olivia: Good night, Mary Ellen. Good night, Jim Bob.
Jim Bob: Good night, Mama. Good night, Erin.
Erin: Good night, Jim Bob. Good night, Ben.
Ben: Good night, Erin. Good night, everybody.
See more »


Followed by Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982) See more »


Away in the Manger
Performed by Children Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hard Times for Good People
16 December 2001 | by (Fresno, California) – See all my reviews

This depiction of Hamner's nostalgic story glows thanks to veteran actors and careful evocation of the Depression era in the hills of Virginia. Avoiding excessive sweetness it recalls the struggle of a "common" Amercan family of the period. Patricia Neal, though she may seem somewhat too old for the part, rewards with a gripping performance as always. The ending may seem rather pat but along the way there are many delights. It would be a cold heart indeed that would not warm at least a little to this story.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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