6.7/10
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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
...
Gideon
Arthur Hill ...
Caleb Grainger
...
Abbie Grainger (as Elizabeth Harnois)
Robbie Magwood ...
Cal Grainger
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Betty
...
Eddie
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Harry Dickens
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...
Molly Monaghan
...
Frank Crump
...
Herbie Conklin
Joy Thompson ...
Mrs. Monaghan (as Joy Thompson-Allen)
John Friesen ...
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

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Miracles do happen! See more »

Genres:

Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarodziejskie Boze Narodzenie  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were many scenes filmed in Owen Sound, Ontario, also: Owen Sound City Hall, the former Kirk's Texaco on 6th Street East. See more »

Quotes

Abbie Grainger: My brother's never going to believe this.
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Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Is Hollywood Selling War to Kids? (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Stop! In The Name of Love
Words and Music by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland
Jobete Music Company, Inc.
Performed by Vivian Williams, Yvonne Murray and Bobbie Lee Davenport
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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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