IMDb > Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A. (1977) (TV)

Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A. (1977) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
26 December 1977 (USA) See more »
Based on the true story of coal miners who became trapped underground in a cave-in on Christmas Eve, 1951. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Mitchell Ryan ... Mathew Sullivan (as Mitch Ryan)

Kurt Russell ... Johnny

Andrew Prine ... Arthur

John Carradine ... Grampa Sullivan

Barbara Babcock ... Rachel Sullivan

Don Porter ... Caufield
Karen Lamm ... Matilda Sullivan

Melissa Gilbert ... Kelly Sullivan

Bill McKinney ... Willie

Shelby Leverington ... Carie

Rossie Harris ... Tim Sullivan
Stephan Early ... Bob

James MacKrell ... Clay (as Jim McKrell)
Phil Adams ... 1st Member Rescue
Sean Fallon Walsh ... Bartender
Skip Lundby ... Miner
Robert Jeffries ... Silas, the storekeeper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Friguglietti ... Reporter

Directed by
Jud Taylor 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dalene Young 

Produced by
Lin Bolen .... producer
Original Music by
Fred Karlin 
Cinematography by
Terry K. Meade (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ronald J. Fagan 
Peter Parasheles 
Art Direction by
James Hulsey 
Set Decoration by
Mark Swanson 
Production Management
Ted Butcher .... unit production manager
Mark Evans .... executive production manager
Joseph Silver .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Slark .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Stuart Chasmar .... sound editor
Frank Howard .... sound editor
John Oettinger .... sound editor
Dick Warlock .... stunt double: Kurt Russell (uncredited)
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... music supervisor
Robert H. Raff .... music editor
Transportation Department
James Nordberg .... transportation
William Hogue .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Thomas Campbell .... stand-in

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle, 3 November 2002
Author: petershelleyau from Sydney, Australia

Melissa Gilbert is 11 year old Kelly Sullivan, daughter of Matthew Sullivan (Mitchell Ryan) who with Johnny (Kurt Russell), the sweetheart of Matthew's other daughter Matilda (Karen Lamm), and 50 other men is trapped in a cave-in at the Caulfied County mine because of a methane gas explosion. The mine is known to be unsafe by the owner (Don Porter) and manager Willie (Bill McKinney) but the men still entered it to work for the money.

Kelly opens the narrative in narration, and although she dresses in gingham and sews dolls to sell at the local store, she is also rebellious. For saying `dang virginity' she has to wash out her mouth with soap (literally!), she throws a rock at the window of the store believing she has been robbed, kicks shins, and plays a home made guitar. At times Gilbert's gestures seem mechanical but she has confidence and her long hair is attractive.

The teleplay by Dalene Young, `suggested by the history of mining disasters', doesn't provide a miracle. A lecture delivered on the importance of a union even delays the trapped men's efforts to dig their way out. The idea of the profit Kelly makes from her sale going towards a rocking horse for her crippled brother Timmy (Rossie Harris) - after she has given a little to a blind man - is too much like Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and we get patronising rustic touches like Johnny throwing Matilda over his shoulder. Things aren't helped by director Jud Taylor's static staging, though he does cut from Kelly's mother Rachel (Barbara Babcock) telling her to help Timmy dress to Rachel helping Matthew undress for a nap.

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