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 608 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 »


Jason is noticeably absent from the family "good nights" at the end. See more »


John-Boy: Grandpa, do we got something to show we own Walton's Mountain?
Grandpa: You can't own a mountain any more than you can own an ocean or a piece of the sky. You hold it in trust. You live on it, you take life from it, and once you're dead, you rest in it.
John-Boy: I'd just as soon not think about that part.
Grandpa: You're not ready for it yet.
John-Boy: Are you?
Grandpa: Never!
See more »


Followed by The Waltons (1971) See more »


O Holy Night
Performed by Cleavon Little and Congregation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Waltons with an Edge
14 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have good memories of seeing this on TV many years ago, and I'm happy to read reports of a DVD. I believe this to be the pilot for The Waltons, either by design or by accident. This is a more realistic portrayal of the Great Depression that is usually shown. It was cleaned up considerably when the TV series was produced. Patricia Neal's character is a woman who knows hardship. Her face registers much pain, and even though she was/is a beautiful woman, that careworn look shows through. Her husband (wonderful Andrew Duggan who only shows up at the very end) is away looking for work, which was fairly typical of the 1930's. And she has too many kids, and they're all living with grandma & grandpa. They will have to accept charity from clueless missionary ladies at Christmas. These people are POOR! Nice to see Edgar Bergen in a rare, late career, character role as Grandpa (not Will Geer). All of the writing shows more edge than the series, even carrying over to the children. I guess that TV children can't get mixed up with moonshiners. It is, perhaps, unfair to compare this to the television series. They clearly are two different animals. Think M*A*S*H, and you'll know what I mean. This should be an annual holiday movie.

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