The Waltons: Season 1, Episode 0

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

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Romance
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 609 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 2 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 ...
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?


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 »


The calendar in the kitchen clearly shows Christmas Eve on a Monday, but in 1933 (which is when the story is supposedly taking place) Christmas Eve was on a Sunday. See more »


Ike Godsey: Sheriff, why don't you wait until after Christmas to lock Charlie up? He's a man of his word, he won't run out on you.
Sheriff Bridges: You double dog right he won't. He's going to jail.
Charlie Sneed: Christmas ain't no time to be locking a man up in that old, drafty jail of yours. I could die of pneumonia before morning. You want that on your conscience that I died of pneumonia on Christmas?
Sheriff Bridges: You should've given that some thought while you was stealing them turkeys and hams.
See more »


Featured in The Waltons: A Decade of the Waltons (1980) See more »


Jingle Bells
Performed by Cleavon Little, Dorothy Stickney, Josephine Hutchinson and Richard Thomas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Homecoming - a timeless classic.
27 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As others have said, it is so great to have this wonderful, timeless classic Holiday film out on DVD. A few years ago, I bought the VHS tape and found the following year ( I wanted a back-up copy ) that the tape was not available. There is no doubt in my mind that The Homecoming is the "sleeper" of all time in its genre.

Sadly, films of this quality - the location shooting, the caliber of actors & actresses, the true story line - make this one of the greatest Christmas films ever made. I saw it the night ( Thanksgiving night, I believe ) it premiered in 1971. Even though I was only 14 at the time, it has embedded itself in my memory because of the true heartbreak, and joy, people of those years and circumstances endured, and enjoyed. I never really liked The Waltons TV show after the first year or two because of all the ( mildly ) social engineering plots CBS came up with. The biggest mystery on Earth ( to me ) is why CBS - or other networks - don't show this annually every Holiday Season; it's message truly is timeless. Also, a reunion of the surviving actors ( as a prelude to the showing ) would also be great.

This movie deserves the 5-Star PLUS! rating. Thanks again, Paramount and CBS for its release on DVD.

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