6.0/10
465
47 user 2 critic

It Happened One Christmas (1977)

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story "The Greatest Gift"), (written for television by) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Clarence (TV Movie 1990)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The protecting angel Clarence is again returning to Earth to help another human.

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Robert Carradine, Kate Trotter, Louis Del Grande
Nobody's Child (TV Movie 1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Marie Balter falls in love, goes to college and joins society after 20 years in a mental institution.

Director: Lee Grant
Stars: Marlo Thomas, Ray Baker, Caroline Kava
Consenting Adult (TV Movie 1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Young and shy Jeff discovers his attraction to men. After struggling with himself he comes out to his parents. Mum eventually listens to his son and tries to understand his feelings, but ... See full summary »

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: Marlo Thomas, Martin Sheen, Barry Tubb
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A shopkeeper is condemned by the police & the press for sleeping with a suspected terrorist.

Director: Simon Langton
Stars: Marlo Thomas, Kris Kristofferson, George Dzundza
That Girl (1966–1971)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ann Marie is a struggling actress living in New York City. In between trying to find jobs acting and modeling she has time for her boyfriend, Don Hollinger, and her dad, Lou Marie.

Stars: Marlo Thomas, Ted Bessell, Lew Parker
Thieves (1977)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Dramedy of a native New York married couple who splits up in an attempt to rediscover their sanity.

Directors: John Berry, Alfred Viola
Stars: Marlo Thomas, Charles Grodin, Irwin Corey
Jennifer: A Woman's Story (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The widow of a wealthy executive battles schemes by factions of the board of directors as she fights to keep control of his shipbuilding company.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Bradford Dillman, Scott Hylands
The Diary of Anne Frank (TV Movie 1980)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of a 13-year-old Jewish girl and her family who are forced into hiding by the Nazis during World War II.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Maximilian Schell, Joan Plowright, James Coco
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An old-line Mother Superior is challenged by a modern young nun when they take the girls of St. Francis Academy on a bus trip across the U.S.A.

Director: James Neilson
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Stella Stevens, Binnie Barnes
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Matthew Diamond
Stars: Casey Kasem, Bill Pullman, Penelope Ann Miller
Jenny (1970)
Certificate: M Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

An unwed mother-to-be marries a total stranger avoiding the draft. She now has a father for her child and he doesn't have to go to the Army. But this marriage-of-convenience leads to a romance between the two.

Director: George Bloomfield
Stars: Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, Marian Hailey
The Man Who Came to Dinner (TV Movie 1972)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Orson Welles, Lee Remick, Joan Collins
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Uncle Willie
Karen Carlson ...
...
...
...
Cliff Norton ...
...
...
...
Sassini (as Gene Conforti)
Morgan Upton ...
...
Judge
Edit

Storyline

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own which threatens her name and the community standing of her longtime family business, the Bailey Building and Loan, which she took over after the passing of her father. What Mary does not know is that most in town, including her husband George Hatch and their children, are also praying for her. All the prayers are heard by Joseph, God's gatekeeper of prayers. As there are no other angels available on such a busy day, Joseph assigns Clara Oddbody, angel second class (i.e. she has yet to receive her wings), to Mary's case, which he reluctantly does as Clara has never been assigned a case on her own in the two hundred years she's been in heaven for good reason. As Clara learns about Mary's case, she sees a selfless woman who always wanted to explore the world but never did, while others around her were... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sucedió en Navidad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles plays the villain, Henry F. Potter. Potter was played in the original It's a Wonderful Life (1946) by Lionel Barrymore. Barrymore played the role of "Ebeneezer Scrooge" on annual broadcasts of "A Christmas Carol" on Welles' Campbell Playhouse radio show. Barrymore had to back out of the 1941 broadcast due to illness, and was replaced by Welles. See more »

Goofs

When the townspeople sing Auld Lang Syne in the Baily/Hatch house, there is no attempt to sync the song with their lip movement. See more »

Connections

Remake of It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Absolutely Charming
28 December 2012 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

Make no mistake: Marlo Thomas is still a most attractive woman; but 35 years ago, she was just the right age for the role of Mary Bailey Hatch. Probably more damaging than anything else in 1977 was the fact that "That Girl" was only six years off of network, and likely in wide syndication, leaving Marlo typecast as the ditzy "Ann Marie," a character far removed from the young businesswoman in "It Happened One Christmas." Perhaps that was one of the reasons why Marlo took the part.

Remaking "It's a Wonderful Life" is kind of like repainting the Mona Lisa: It is doomed to be compared to the original, and inevitably, less than favorably. Having said that, standing on its own, "It Happened One Christmas" simply glows.

It's difficult not to fall in love with Marlo as Mary Bailey Hatch, to cheer for her when she flourishes, and to cry with her when she believes that life isn't worth living.

The supporting cast is adequate. Wayne Rogers likely had the same problem as Marlo, having recently left the cast of "MASH," but in the supporting role of George Hatch--almost a background character--he played well. Cloris Leachman, as the angel Clara, was cute, but succumbed to the temptation to overact. For Orson Welles, it was about the era when he was known for the phrase, "We will sell no wine before its time" (in a popular television commercial for Paul Masson wines), and his performance as villain Henry Potter was almost an extension of that. Doris Roberts as Ma Bailey had yet to find the spark which she would later exude as Ray Romano's mother. And Christopher Guest, as younger brother Harry Bailey, was simply wooden, even in the classic signature line in the final scene.

The biggest strike against "It Happened One Christmas" is that it was what those in the business refer to as a "madefor"--that is, it was a made-for-television movie, putting severe restrictions on length and budget. Many elements of the story were either condensed or eliminated, and it simply has the "look and feel" of a "madefor." If you've seen and loved "It's a Wonderful Life," you will surely say that "It Happened One Christmas" falls short...

But Marlo will steal your heart.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I would like to buy a copy of this movie on DVD...anyone selling? jkeysor
It Happened One Christmas - way back in 1977.... schoduck
YOU CAN BUY IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS ON E-BAY SazyFrazy
Legit Copies and National Syndication BrokenAntiMatter
Copy of movie candybutton
Any Chance Of Seeing This On TV This Christmas? TrapandHawksBaby
Discuss It Happened One Christmas (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?