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 619 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 ...
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 the beginning of the movie, when the children enter the barn with the cow, there is a shot from the floor up to the loft from where the children are throwing down hay. A brand new steel corrugated roof is clearly visible above them. See more »


Claudie: Got another one?
Mary Ellen: [Quoting a Bible verse] What has man profited if he gains the whole world and loses a soul.
Claudie: Too hard to remember.
Mary Ellen: Jesus wept.
See more »


Followed by A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982) See more »


Throw Out the Life Line
Performed by Cleavon Little, with 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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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