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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Great remake

Author: Keith Burden (kburden@hunton.com) from Norfolk, Virginia
23 November 2004

While I do not argue with the fact that there is nothing

like the original classic, this remake has some wonderful

moments. I really like the twist that now it is a female who's life is turned up side down. It is a pleasure to see Marlo Thomas in the leading role. It is wonderful to see her act in a feature movie. Also, Orson Wells plays his part to

a tee. I do wish this film was availabe in some format or

at least some stations would run it again. The story is great no matter who is playing the part. I don't understand why it isn't shown around Christmas with so few good holiday movies out there.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

I wish I could get a copy

Author: jllawrence from US
14 October 2004

I totally disagree. This was and is a wonderful picture. I don't view things as whether they match up to the remake but if they are enjoyable and worth watching for my family. I would gladly show this to my family and have asked TCM to dig up a copy this Christmas so they can see it. Cloris Leechman is fabulous and Marlo does a great job.

I can't wait for my family to see it and enjoy both It's a Wonderful Life and It Happen One Christmas.

Go to turnerclassicmovies.com this Christmas and search to see if they found it.

I always like to see both along with The Bishop's Wife and the new one The Preacher's Wife and I hope they will find a copy of Christmas Eve for us to enjoy. Love that Loretta Young.

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie!! It happened One Christmas.

10/10
Author: lmcmackin1 from United States
28 December 2006

I saw this movie when I was 15 years old. I never forgot it. It has remained in my heart all these years. I forgot the name of the movie but not that Marlo Thomas was in it. I have been trying to get a copy of this movie now, that I know the name of the movie. It is a great movie. I have Its A Wonderful life and its good too. I just like It Happened One Christmas better. It touched my heart and got into my soul. Some movies do that to you and this one did it for me. I loved that it was in color. I love the modern version. I liked the switch of gender. I related to the struggle in the movie. I was going through a hard time in my life at the time and it gave me hope.It also made me realize that perhaps our lives are not only for ourselves but for others as well. This movie is a real jewel. You can watch it alone or with your family. One movie is not hard to find and the other should be made available so more people can decide for themselves. I wish It happened One Christmas to everyone. We are not all going to be moved by the same movie.This movie did it for me. If you want a copy of this movie I just found a great website for those hard to find movies. Go to www.myhouseoffilms.net/TVHOMEPAGE click on holiday movies. scroll down until you find the title of the movie,It Happened One Christmas. You can also try My Houseoffilms.net/ and contact Toni and give him the name of the movie you are looking for.

I can't wait to see the movie after all these years. I have only seen it the one time. The impact of It Happened One Christmas is profound to me. I want it in my collection, and so should anyone who wants it.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

I'll take THIS version EVERY time. If Universal was smart they should put it on DVD!

10/10
Author: Moax429 from United States
22 December 2006

I must admit, I liked "It Happened One Christmas" MUCH better than "It's a Wonderful Life." As with a few other IMDbers, this was the first version of the story I ever saw; when ABC stopped running the film after 1978, and until Universal Television syndicated it to local stations in 1986, I had to settle for "It's a Wonderful Life" in the interim, which I think couldn't, and NEVER will, hold a candle to "It Happened One Christmas" (for one thing, Marlo Thomas DOESN'T go screaming all the way through the scenes, like James Stewart did in the original, where she saw what life would be like without her; for another, Ms. Thomas' version was in Technicolor; and for yet another, there was the novelty of the gender switch in the lead role, telling the story from Mary Bailey's point of view. And, there was yet another plus in seeing such up-and-coming stars as Doris Roberts and Christopher Guest in one of their earlier roles).

"It Happened One Christmas" not only holds some cherished memories of my "wonder years" (I was 15 years old when this film was first shown on ABC; little did I realize December 1977 would be my family's final Christmas in Lansing, Michigan since my father capriciously decided to move us all to Illinois in June 1978), but four years later, in July 1981, my father and I took a trip to California, and we went on the Universal Studios Hollywood tour. When I saw "It Happened One Christmas" again in 1986, there were some parts of the Universal lot I recognized where the film was shot ("Leave It to Beaver" and "The Munsters" were also filmed on that same portion of the Universal lot where the exteriors of "It Happened One Christmas" were done), so yet another pleasant memory was encoded into it!

In mid-1987, shortly after my family bought their first VCR, I wrote to MCA/Universal Home Video (as the company was then known), asking if they would ever put "It Happened One Christmas" on videocassette; they sent back a form letter essentially saying, "not at this time," along with a catalogue of their then-current releases. Two years later, in December 1989, the film was rerun on USA (which Universal had a stake of ownership in at that time, and still does today); I was lucky to have taped "It Happened One Christmas" then (USA showed the entire film uncut, not edited to fit the time slot), but now the tape is beginning to deteriorate after 17 years. (I almost rerecorded "It Happened One Christmas" when it was shown on the ion Network December 22, but was glad I didn't after seeing the "hatchet job" they did on it - all the more reason Universal should put the film, uncut, on DVD!)

All I can suggest is: To those of us like myself who DID like and enjoy "It Happened One Christmas" better than "It's a Wonderful Life," and would like to see Universal Studios Home Entertainment (as they are now known) release the film on DVD, Universal's contact e-mail and snail-mail addresses should be given at their website. E-mail or write Universal and tell them to put "It Happened One Christmas" on DVD; remember: the more requests Universal gets about this film, the faster they'll unearth it and put it on DVD (one point to emphasize to Universal when writing: they NEVER even released this TV movie on VHS tape)!

I give "It Happened One Christmas" a perfect 10. And to those who thumbed their nose at this version, I'd like to rephrase a statement the late showman P.T. Barnum once made: "The critics be damned!"

Happy Holidays!

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Weird enough to merit showing and DVD release

5/10
Author: Pete Wagner (activist_art@hotmail.com) from United States
27 November 2007

I saw "It Happened One Christmas" in about 1978, I think on Christmas Eve, while sitting alone waiting for my wife to get off work and join me for the holiday. I hadn't seen Marlo Thomas since the original airing of "That Girl" in the '60s. It was wierdly fun to see her on something, and I had never seen nor heard of Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." Later when I did see "It's a Wonderful Life," I immediately connected the story to that of "It Happened One Christmas," and thought it was scandalous how the original had been ripped off, and how geeky it was by comparison to the classic it had been "appropriated" from.

Today I wish I could find the knock-off on DVD. Now that I've seen Capra's original so many times, it would be fun to see the Marlo Thomas version again, if for no other reason than to bring back the nostalgic feeling of that evening that I first saw it. I remember that I was very touched by the story that night, geekiness of the treatment notwithstanding (or perhaps partly because of it!), and that it contributed to setting me up emotionally for a very special Christmas holiday with my spouse.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Great twist on the old film "It's a Wonderful Life"

10/10
Author: Dolores from Pittsburgh PA
5 December 2003

I love the original movie "It's a Wonderful Life" but I also love "It Happened One Christmas". I loved the twist in using a female. Marlo Thomas was great in this film. I only wish there was a way of purchasing this film since it not on video. I watch my copy every Christmas and enjoy it more each year.

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23 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

A turkey

1/10
Author: ColinBaker
1 August 2005

Allow me to correct two misconceptions from other posters. Firstly, to describe Marlo Thomas as more animated than Jimmy Stewart is fantasy of the highest order. Secondly, anyone who dares to describe It's A Wonderful Life as sickeningly sweet is missing the point completely. What's sickeningly sweet about a man who is frustrated at every turn in his efforts to leave his home town? What's sickeningly sweet about a man who is on the verge of suicide because of the threat of prison, bankruptcy..? What's sickeningly sweet about going around your home town and nobody knowing you, and your town has changed for the worse? Having asserted the brilliance of Jimmy Stewart (one of the greatest actors of all time) and It's A Wonderful Life, let's turn to It Happened One Christmas. The idea of turning the original concept on its head, so that Mary becomes the main character (with Peter Bailey as her father, and a younger brother called Harry who becomes a war hero) is interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn't avoid comparison with the original. Nevertheless, a reasonably gifted actress might have been able to convey some of the raw emotion evident - to most people - in Jimmy Stewart's portrayal. Alas, Marlo Thomas is so bad that she reminds me of the inadequacies of the worst of Demi Moore. But there are other problems. James Stewart was supported by other talented actors in 1946. Here, even the presence of Orson Welles as Mr Potter does not compare with the sheer nastiness which Lionel Barrymore brought to the part. Cloris Leachman gamely tried her best with Clara, but the whimsy of Henry Travers as Clarence is in a different league.

For me, It Happened One Christmas fails on every level. Maybe there's a case for a remake of It Happened One Christmas. Unlike its illustrious source of inspiration, It Happened One Christmas can only improve with a remake.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Cheap Remake of A Classic Story

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
23 December 2010

This film is a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life", with Marlo Thomas taking the spot of Jimmy Stewart. The angel is now also female, being played by Cloris Leachman, Aside from a nice homage to Frank Capra, it really does not serve much purpose.

The best thing about this film is Orson Welles, but even that is a bit sad because he is too great a talent to appear in such a film. Why is he in made-for-TV fare? He is a legend and should be treated like one. Beyond that, the film is a bit tedious... of the group I watched it with, I was the only one who stayed awake. Indeed, it takes pretty much forever to get to the point. (They tell you early on all the events shown will be important. In some sense, this is true, in another sense it's rubbish.)

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Message to Marlo, The Producer, Universal, whomever has the rights to get this back on -- loved it -- on a scale of 1 to 5, a 6..lol.

10/10
Author: Steve Matrai (smjm1982@hotmail.com) from United States
30 December 2007

I don't know if it was because of the time in my life but this movie was so special in my heart. It's a wonderful life might as well been the remake of this. I love, love, loved this movie.. just one question --were did it go, it fell off the face of the earth, I think it came out again maybe 2 years after, then gone for good.

I would love to know why this movie isn't around anymore, never replayed on TV anymore, I don't know what kind of rating it got but if it was a poor rating, that was unjust! I stand behind the many comments you see here. What I would love to see in this order is, at best to at least...

At best: A faithful 1080p (1920x1080) release of this movie in HD with 5.1 sound as a blue-ray or HD-DVD release. I don't know that even the original master, even if it had this resolution has the color quality but if it could look great, it would be extra special.

That it starts to come up on, at least, a cable channel such as, maybe, TBS or USA or even just regular television during the pre-Christmas season or just about any time of the year.

At least: As a standard DVD release.

Please, please somehow bring this back.

Thanks

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Surely the worst, most audacious remake of all time!

1/10
Author: Victoria from United States
22 December 2006

Mr. Truesmith and ColinBaker are the only sane reviewers of this film. Who could possibly never have seen the original? Who, having seen the original, could possibly give any credibility to this preposterous remake? Has everyone gone loony? I just watched my video copy of "It's a Wonderful Life," and am even more impressed with it today, in 2006, than I was when I first saw it a zillion years ago. Yes, it is sentimental, as are some of the greatest novels, but it offers a wonderful message about gratitude. What's more sentimental than "A Christmas Carol," yet its message is still timeless.

I never heard of this remake until I stumbled across it on some obscure TV channel. I found myself wondering if all the heirs to Frank Capra were dead, since I figured this was the only way the producers of this version would dare mimic his original. Thanks, Mr. Truesmith, for clearing this up -- the copyright has run out, hence, what you call this "crime against film history." And crime it is, indeed. Surely, Marlo Thomas is embarrassed by the very existence of any prints of this film! Oh, and I add to the list of sane reviewers, who know the difference between a classic and junk when they see it: digibox2, Leone, frankfob, Clement. Thanks for your insights and tidbits of history.

To the rest, all I can say is, Oh, my God, are you kidding?!

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