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While newspaper writer Church struggles with the death of his wife, he receives a "special" assignment. He must answer a little girl's question about whether Santa Claus really exists. Based on a true story. Written by
Charles Jarrott, who directed The Last Flight Of Noah's Ark, also directs this wonderful tv film that teaches the young and young at heart the true meaning of Christmas. Virginia O'Hanlon wrote probably the most famous letter to the editor of all time and Francis Church the most famous reply. This delightful movie captures turn of the century New York and the hardships it's people endured perfectly. Its a beautiful film to look at. The little girl playing Virginia is a delight as is Richard Thomas as her father. The biggest surprise of all is casting Charles Bronson as Francis Church. Believe it or not, he really does a fine acting job. I have always enjoyed Bronson's action films, but I never thought he could really "act" in the traditional sense. He proves me wrong with his sensitive portrayal. Bronson plays a man who recently lost his wife and there is even one scene where he is getting ready to kill himself. Charles Bronson really had lost his wife Jill Ireland to cancer the year before this film was made and I feel it helped him in his role. In a sense, he is able to find himself again writing to this little girl. This wonderful film is viewing for the whole family. In fact it is too good just to be shown at Christmas. It reminds us of a simpler time when families were loving and kids really appreciated the true meaning of Christmas. The message this film teaches will never go out of style.
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