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Tom Wopat and John Schneider team up again -- post-Dukes of Hazzard -- for
this made-for-TV movie. This time they play feuding brothers who both
for the same trucking company.
The owner of the company is a native of the small Alaska town of Willow Creek and each year he sends a truck of presents back to the folks at home. This year he plans on making the trip himself, but his health keeps him bedridden in sunny California. Ray (Schneider) is already scheduled to make the run with him, but the owner insists that Pete (Wopat) go along too.
Along the way the two face many obstacles that force them to think over their differences. Pete is the older, dependable, sensible one (think Luke Duke), while Ray is the younger, undependable, irresponsible one (think Bo Duke). Finally they work their differences out in time to bring the Christmas spirit to Willow Creek.
Wopat and Schneider fall easily into their roles and turn out admirable performances. Schneider is at his best as his character grapples with giving up the carefree, reckless life for doting fatherhood. Notice the dramatic turnaround his character has made by the end of the movie. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast, especially the Willow Creek townspeople. Their characters are underdeveloped and overacted, bringing the movie down with them. The story is a good one, but the miserable performances of the supporting cast destroy the impact the movie could have achieved.
Still this movie is a must for any die-hard Dukes of Hazzard fan. It is the only project Wopat and Schneider have done together that isn't related to The Dukes. And it is a good family film. It has the nice happy ending, with the re-affirmation of the importance of family that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. This film proves that you
don't have to use profanity every other word, endless scenes of
meaningless violence, and that hope does still exist. Yes, it does look
like a Dukes Of Hazzard reunion, but they make this film work. Hoyt
Axton is excellent as Al Besinger.
The scenery is beautiful to view. The plot is wonderfully set, with a heart-warming ending. It is a perfect film to watch at Christmas time. I would not be worried about letting my young children watch this film because of the message it sends out.
I wish that movies made today would take some lessons.
This is one of those Christmas movies about modern day redemption and
reconciliation. The plot of "Christmas Comes to Willow Creek," is good.
The script, acting and direction are just fair. Improvements in any of
these areas would lift the rating of the film a notch or two. John
Schneider and Tom Wopat of "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV fame are two
brothers on the outs over a woman. The plot jumps between the brothers
in California at the trucking firm they drive for, headed by Hoyt Axton
as Al; and Al's hometown, Willow Creek, Alaska.
I enjoyed the scenic shots, especially once Ray and Pete hit the road, with Pete's son, Michael, in tow. The incidents they get into on the trip add some zest to the movie. The northern end of the trip was filmed in the Yukon Territory. All in all, this is an OK movie that most will enjoy. Those who remember watching The Dukes of Hazard on TV may think they're watching scenes from that series in some of the skirmishes Ray gets into. Minus Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco Coltrane, of course.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have watched this movie every year that I have had it at Christmas
time. I feel that it really shows the true meaning of Christmas.
While I really enjoy the performances of Tom Wopat and John Schnieder, I think that the actor who plays Mike, Zachary Ansley, does the best job as he transforms from rebellious Juvenile Deliquent to a dependable, and upright young man.
There are several other good scenes, including the poetry-spouting policeman, the delivery scene, and the final scene at Al's house.
I would recommend this movie to all families, but there is some bad language and violence.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A couple of brothers hash out there differences on an annual Christmas
run to a remote village in Alaska.
Bo and Luke Duke in a trucker movie!!Im normally not into sappy movies like this. But there are certain actors who make this kinda thing bearable. John Schneider and Tom Wopat are two such actors.And the wrighting also made this movie worth your time. The jackknife scene was a little intense also.
John Schneider and Tom Wopat driver the Freightliner 18 wheeler.
John Schneider and Tom Wopat are permanent A list actors.
Kim Delany,Lelani Marrell,Barbera Russell,Francis Cooper, and Joy Coghill and the two damsells in distress at the truck stop diner are hot!!
This movie centers around a very dysfunctional family. One one hand, we have two brothers, Ray and Pete who had a disagreement over a girl (Jessie) years ago, and can hardly stand each other now. They lost their father when very young, and were raised by Al, the owner of the trucking firm they work for now. Pete has a teen age son (Mike) who he is struggling with, trying to raise alone, and getting nothing but resentment and trouble from the boy. Mike resents the fact that his mother is no longer with them, and that his dad has spent most of their Christmas's on the road, hauling freight. Ray brother has his own struggles, having had his wife Jessie walk out on him after finding out he did not want any children. He didn't know she was expecting at the time. Now let's bring Willow Creek into the story, way up in Alaska, Al's hometown. It seems the town is on it's last legs, having lost all hope of bringing in any industry to replace the now closed cannery. Al has a special plan, but a near heart attack keeps him from being able to go. Someone has to deliver the load, and for reasons Al won't divulge, Ray has to be there too. So we head for Alaska, two brothers who can't stand each other, with Mike hand-cuffed in the back seat of the truck. They meet up with a very pregnant Jessie on the way, and as the baby arrives, find out that there are things more important than the things they have been fighting about. They put their differences aside, and a family is restored. Al's surprise brings about not only the salvation of the town, but a new start for Ray and his new family. Pete and Mike also manage to have the heart to heart communication that they needed to have had years before, and become a father and son again. I have to watch this one every year. If you can get past seeing Pete and Ray as the "Duke Boys) you'll love it.
This is the title of a famous radio show in France and this applies to this movie. Sure it's strange to have country songs for Christmas season, Kim's character is a bit flat as well as the road trip ; the magic of the season is a bit ridiculous but at the end, no one can deny that the movie has good intentions, is full of loving feelings and just for that, it's refreshing ! for one time, no guns, no violence, no blood, no terrible villain, no gratuitous nudity, no discrimination quotas, just the simple life with simple people, happy to be together ! In addition, it offers a new meeting with faces i know from my childhood : the « gremlins » father, the « dukes of Hazzard » and the future Billy Miles from « X-files » . So it's not the movie of the century but it's worthy to be on the good side of the rating !
From LA to tiny Willow Creek Alaska with a semi-load of holiday cheer!
I just found this movie in my favorite Seattle video store, and loved
it. On the first viewing the acting seemed a little rough, but maybe
that's OK - after all it is a truckers film. And a 1987 made for TV one
at that. The cinematography is especially good with nice scenes of
Alaska and cool long shots of the road. The story is appropriately
warmhearted, with maybe just a bit too much brawling, but that's the
Hollywood and LA television world for you.
Some really nice incidental moments in this film..... the lonely harmonica solo on a quiet wintry street, the Reno cop quoting Sir Walter Scott, his swish partner wiggling out of the scene in sexy police "tights", and Homer, the town sage, sitting atop the Willow Creek water tower like a four year old in his Santa suit, 'til the spirit of Christmas returns. And it does! The music is fun too. Lots of Opera and opera bashing! Some nice bluegrass, and the Willow Creek holiday band clunking their way through "Good King something or other"..... throughout the show.
Also quite nice, is the way the writer and director portrayed the Christmas miracle/fantasy, just letting it be a part of the ongoing story without making a big deal out of it. The actors handled this very well.
I have to say, if the scene with Jessie and her newborn baby coming out of a snowbound semi with three rowdy, desperate characters doesn't remind you of a modern day Alaskan Highway Nativity.... you need to get your butt back into church this Christmas.
Well, a belated 2013 thank you to all who contributed to the making of Christmas Comes To Willow Creek, a 1987 gem.
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