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A Christmas Without Snow (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Music  |  9 December 1980 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 232 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

A divorced woman moves to a new city with her child, trying to build her life again. She joins the choir of a local church but has some personality conflicts with the choirmaster, a ... See full summary »

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Title: A Christmas Without Snow (TV Movie 1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zoe Jensen
...
Ephraim Adams
Ramon Bieri ...
Henry Quist
...
Reverend Lohman
...
Muriel
David Knell ...
Terry
Calvin Levels ...
Wendell
Ruth Nelson ...
Inez
...
Wendell's Grandma
William Swetland ...
Hartley
Ed Bogas ...
Seth
Daisietta Kim ...
Maisie Kim
Joy Carlin ...
Cora Newman
Anne Lawder ...
Evangeline Burns
...
Carol Thorpe
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Storyline

A divorced woman moves to a new city with her child, trying to build her life again. She joins the choir of a local church but has some personality conflicts with the choirmaster, a curmudgeonly old gentleman who will accept nothing but perfection from his group. As Christmas approaches and the choir practices for a big show and the director pushes them all to their emotional limits, she contemplates quitting the group. Written by Marta Dawes <smdawes@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Destined to be a Christmas classic. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Navidad sin nieve  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ephraim Adams: Mrs. Burns is right, of course; you are amateurs, unlike certain pseudo-professionals like myself who insist on slave wages. Your voluntary and steadfast attendance at these rehearsals fully qualifies you for any definition of the word "amateur". What Mrs. Burns and many others are wrong about is the meaning of the word, which has to do with motivation, not quality. Remember "amo, amat, amas", the Latin verb "to love". The meaning of "amateur" is "he or she who does a thing for the love of it"....
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Soundtracks

The Messiah
by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
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User Reviews

 
A Christmas with Transcendence
18 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In many ways, this wonderful movie shows its age, especially in its very hip portrayal of how modern people, albeit of the late 70's, should be acting. Fortunately, there is a great deal of traditionalism which is left standing, although one guesses that it is just as a warm fuzzy. As in the modern world, the people of the movie are overwhelmed with the difficulties of life. Perhaps, though, like the majestic pipe organ itself, the movie demonstrates how our being requires a complete overhaul, climbing out of the dirty reality of life into the beautiful world of the spirit.

The star of the movie is the music and it is warm and grand and as wonderful an occasion as one can possibly imagine. The movie itself is a wonderful enigma: it traces the sometimes empty and disillusioning physical reality of daily life and lackluster choir practices and somehow results in the very symbol of Christmas, much like that of the birth of Christ Himself. As He was born into this world, filled with sin and suffering, yet so we can transcend our physical reality into the spiritual reality of the greatest beauty. Handel wrote this wonderful music when he was almost unknown, didn't even become famous for it, and these unassuming, ordinary people perform it. There are always two levels to life and the movie lets you see them both.

I dislike how Zoë treats Henry and Muriel is certainly somewhat of a caricature. However, no one could imagine how difficult it must be to grow up as a pastor's son or daughter and the strain is something we should think about. Yet ultimately, we hear the glory of the music and we are raised to another level, despite Houseman's constant outward bitterness and overly irritating grousing at every corner. As in daily life, you often have to see beneath the surface to find the prize.

In the end, I felt sorry for Henry, Muriel and even Mrs. Burns. Their lives were, at the end of the movie, somewhat empty... except for the beauty of the music in which at least two of them were a part, singing glory to God and peace on earth. Even though the Messiah was first performed at Easter, one can't help feeling the Christmas spirit through Handel. This is a must-see for anyone who loves Handel and Christmas. God bless us everyone!


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