6.7/10
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68 user 11 critic

One Magic Christmas (1985)

An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It's not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about.

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jack Grainger
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Gideon
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Caleb Grainger
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Abbie Grainger (as Elizabeth Harnois)
Robbie Magwood ...
Cal Grainger
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Betty
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Eddie
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Harry Dickens
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Molly Monaghan
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Frank Crump
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Herbie Conklin
Joy Thompson ...
Mrs. Monaghan (as Joy Thompson-Allen)
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Mr. Noonan
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Storyline

Gideon, a Christmas angel, is sent, by Santa, to help Ginny Grainger. Ginny is a cynic, and she hates Christmas. She and her family (husband, Jack and two kids, Cal and Abbie) have fallen on hard times, making it even harder to believe in anything that can't be seen. With help from Abbie, and a trip to see Santa Claus himself, can Gideon find a way to make Ginny believe again? Written by jwhale9382

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Miracles do happen! See more »

Genres:

Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarodziejskie Boze Narodzenie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the VHS release, Ginny's puffy winter coat is yellow. On the DVD release, her coat is pink. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Santa Claus opens the door to Abbie, from the back her hair is a markedly different color and texture to how it is from the front (and in all subsequent shots). The back shot was obviously filmed with a stand-in wearing a wig. See more »

Quotes

Herbie Conklin: Ginny, where do you think you're going?
Ginny Hanks Grainger: Herbie, I just have to go to the bank, just for two seconds, you can take my register until I get back.
Herbie Conklin: Me? I am the manager here and you're not going anywhere, we're in the middle of a Christmas rush here.
Ginny Hanks Grainger: If anyone says another thing about Christmas to me I'm gonna throw something at them and I mean it! Now I'm going to the bank, Herbie.
Herbie Conklin: Then that's it, you're fired, Ginny.
Ginny Hanks Grainger: Go jump in the lake, Herbie!
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Connections

References Gremlins (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Lost In The Stars
Words by Maxwell Anderson
Music by Kurt Weill (as Kurt Wiell)
Chappell & Co., Inc. and Richmond Organization
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User Reviews

 
Bittersweet holiday fantasy. Not for tots.
13 November 2001 | by (North Hemis) – See all my reviews

Exquisitely made holiday fable with a decidedly dark edge, not unlike "It's a Wonderful Life" in tone. Mary Steenburgen is very convincing as a woman whose heart has been hardened by life's harsh realities. Christmas has become an empty ritual to her and it takes a highly unusual angel named Gideon (played by a softspoken Harry Dean Stanton in a long cattleman's duster) to make her see the light. Her conversion requires some grim but realistic machinations by Gideon, as well as the simple and unquestioning faith of her optimistic husband and children. But the result is an emotionally powerful finale that is honestly earned, not the easy tearjerking of lesser films.

Special mention should be made of the two terrific child actors who play Steenburgen's kids, especially Elizabeth Harnois as the youngest, Abbie, whose unsticky line readings are a treat. Character actor Jan Rubes makes a wonderful, matter-of-fact Santa Claus. The production is further enhanced by Frank Tidy's meticulous cinematography, some imaginative art direction, particularly in Santa's toy shop, and a lovely score by Michael Conway Baker. Thomas Meehan's scenario delves into some dark territory for a genre that is all too often treacly instead of real, but its clear antecedents are treasures such as "A Christmas Carol" and the aforementioned Capra classic. A word of caution, however: this is not recommended for very young children. But for 8 and above, and adults, it's a Christmas tale that may well become a perennial in your house, as it is in mine.


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