The Gathering (1977)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  4 December 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 447 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

Dying father (Ed Asner) pulls his torn family together for a last Christmas.



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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Balding ...
Sarah Cunningham ...
Bud Jr.
Bob Block
Dr. Hodges
Maureen Readinger ...
Ronald Readinger ...


When Adam Thornton learns that he only has a little time left, he decides that he wants to make peace with his family. Only problem is that most of his family are not exactly fond of him because he walked out on his wife and of his stubborn nature and he hasn't spoken to his youngest son after having an argument with him which he was in the wrong but only realize after his son left and has not been heard from since. But he goes to her to help him find him. But when his doctor says that it won't be good for him to travel, she suggests that they invite them all for Christmas. While most of them come, Adam's attempt at reconciliation won't be easy. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Emmy Award Winner - Best Dramatic Special [Video Australia]




Not Rated




Release Date:

4 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Letzte Weihnacht  »

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Did You Know?


Although they were portraying father and son Ed Asner was only 10 years older than Lawrence Pressman. See more »


[first lines]
Adam Thornton: God's teeth!
Dr. John Hodges: You never were much of a cusser.
See more »


Followed by The Gathering, Part II (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

This is what Christmas is all about.
13 February 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I've always been a big fan of Christmas and Christmas movies, but this television offering has to be my all time favorite. I still try to watch it every year on either my (fading) VHS copy or, most recently, on the Hallmark channel. Ed Asner is absolutely perfect as the estranged husband and father hoping for a last minute Christmas reunion with his grown children before he succumbs to an un-named disease. Maureen Stapleton matches him scene for scene as his wife. The children are all excellent as well, particularly Lawrence Pressman as the stubborn eldest son and Gail Strickland (one of Hollywood's most underrated character actresses) as his eldest daughter. Bruce Davison is also very good as Asner's put-upon son-in-law. The sequel is inferior (with two unfortunate cast replacements for the children) and Asner's presence in the second film is sorely missed but worthy of a look if you are a fan of this one. Don't miss the Gathering. It'll make you long for an old-fashioned Christmas reunion--your own gathering, whether you're dying or not.

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