|Index||7 reviews in total|
This is a heartwarming holiday classic created by the same folks that gave us The House Without A Christmas Tree. It is the touching story of a little girl's unlikely friendship with a lonely old man during the holidays. It stars Lisa Lucas, Jason Robards and, the late, Mildred Natwick. The setting is a small town in Nebraska in the late 40s. It gives us some true insight about human kindness. This was released as a movie for television in 1973 after the success of The House Without A Christmas Tree.
The same cast that had previously appeared in the made for TV movie THE
HOUSE WITHOUT A Christmas TREE was reunited for this Thanksgiving
movie. They seemed to have picked up without a hitch.
This one focuses on the feud between two incredibly stubborn old farts--Jason Robards and Barnard Hughes. Apparently, Robards had dug a pond for Hughes and had never been paid and they'd been arguing back and forth about it for some time.
Robards' daughter, Addie, has her curiosity peaked by all this and bicycles by Hughes farm after school one day. There, she discovers he has a horse in need of care. Despite the NO TRESPASSING signs and his repeated threats, she approaches him and offers to take care of the horse if he lets her ride it. All this is done WITHOUT telling her father.
Later, she feels sorry for Hughes as he is all alone and the holidays are approaching. When she asks her father if Hughes can come for Thanksgiving, she is told a loud and firm NO! So, she has her dinner and sneaks a plate to her new friend.
What happens next is best for you to see for yourself. The movie is so real and poignant, you can't help but fall under its spell.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing this "Special" when it first aired in 1973. Some 30 plus years later I tried to recall what it was called but I could not. However, there were several things about it that stuck out in my mind: The main character was a little girl named "Addie", the father had a nemesis named "Mr. Rhenquist", the story took place in rural Nebraska, and there was a great scene where Addie filled her cousin's jacket pockets with mashed potatoes! With that information, I logged onto IMDb.com and did a search for characters named "Addie" and I found it. I also recalled that I had seen the same characters in another holiday special, and thanks to IMDb, I learned that one was "House Without a Christmas Tree." I found VHS copies of both on ebay. Watching this again 33 years later was very enjoyable and I really remembered what it was I liked about it. Unlike sappy shows like the Brady Bunch where everyone gets along and loves everyone, Addie is portrayed as a bossy, sometimes obnoxious, yet always lovable little girl. This seemed much more realistic, especially the tension between her and her younger cousin Henry. She gets him in the end though. Jason Robards does a fine job of playing the, often stern, widower father and Mildred Natwick provided the compassion Addie so needed but never seemed to get from her father. This movie was clearly geared toward children and it was the first special of that type that I recall seeing which used the words "hell" and "damn" (even said once by 10 year old Addie!) in it. In 1973, it seemed much more realistic than the sap that TV was offering at the time. In 2006, this movie now seems sappy too but enjoyable just the same. It has that atmosphere of the "cheap set CBS movies" that many TV movies had in the mid 70s. Much of the acting isn't that good and the sets are not that convincing either but the story still stands. The story is also told with much more humor than I remembered. There are a lot of laughs to be had while watching it. All in all a touching story but today, the settings and characters likely would not connect well with the 21st century audience. One of the reasons it was so popular in 1973 is because most baby boomers had relatives that still lived in small towns, and had parents that grew up on farms and therefore spent time in the rural Midwest - they could relate to the sets and characters. The MTV generation has no clue about any of this so it probably would not work well today. If you saw it in 1973, you'll likely enjoy it again today. If you were born post Watergate, you'll likely find the humor pleasant and the story poignant but it may be difficult to sit through as the sets, and overall atmosphere are very dated which makes it most suitable for nostalgia as opposed to pure entertainment.
I watched this movie as a kid and sure would like my kids to see it. Why isnt it on anymore? Very touching! Cast played great roles.I Also enjoyed the movie "The House without A Christmas Tree". Same Cast..same great performances.
The Holiday Treasure (1973), The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972), The Easter Promise (1975) and Addie and the King of Hearts (1976) are the four CBS TV stories about Addie Mills based on books by Gail Rock. Set in post-World War II Clear River, Nebraska. On the Platte River, I guess. In The Holiday Treasure, Addie's dad Jamie, played by Jason Robards, is an earthmoving contractor. He once dug a stock pond (called a "dugout" in the Northern Plains, a "tank" in Texas) with his dragline for a Mr. Walter Rehnquist, who refused to pay for the pond because it never filled with water. Jamie claimed that he dug it where Rehnquist wanted it and that Rehnquist should pay. However, Addie befriends Rehnquist's horse named Treasure, and eventually befriends the cranky old codger who lives alone on a rundown farm, even taking him food for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember that Addie had a bratty little boy relative at Thanksgiving whose suit coat pockets she filled with mashed potatoes. The four stories cover Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Valentine's Day and grief, grudges, alcoholism and teenage crushes.
I sought this movie out because it was the sequel to The House Without
a Christmas Tree, another movie that I greatly enjoyed. I had hoped
that it would equal the quality of the first film, but it actually
surpassed it. Like its predecessor, this movie uses a holiday (in this
case, Thanksgiving) as a backdrop to the story, but the movie is not
about the holiday itself.
From reading the brief plot summary, I had thought this was going to be a typical morality tale, something like "Love your enemies and they'll become your friends and everything will turn out hunky dowry." Although the element of showing kindness toward one's enemies does form the heart of the narrative, the plot is actually more nuanced than that. There is no neat resolution to the characters' problems. Addie, especially, experiences some of the jarring losses that are bound to occur when one is growing up. Although her initiative and iron nerve initially pay off, they are not enough to cushion her from the blows that are to come.
As in the first movie, Mr. Mills is far from understanding Addie's actions--it is kindly Grandma who bridges the gap between the two of them. The movie also occasions many opportunities for adults to reflect on how their behavior affects children. One sees how Addie is greatly affected by all of the adult main characters in the movie. Her father, her grandmother, her teacher, and Mr. Rehnquist all influence her in different ways.
This movie is a great movie for parents to watch with their children. The movie deals with some pretty heavy topics, and children who empathize with Addie's great sadness near the end of the movie will likely have a lot of questions. Although the movie contains nothing grossly inappropriate, children under 5 or 6 are unlikely to get much out of it.
The production values are similar to The House Without a Christmas Tree. This is a made-for-television movie, and was apparently filmed on videotape instead of film. Although it has interspersed action scenes, it is mostly dialog-driven. Unlike its predecessor, this movie makes copious use of authentic rural, outdoor settings.
Overall, seeing this movie makes me wish that the Mills family could have had their own television series. However, whether or not the good writing that we see here could have held up for season after season is a matter open to debate.
Watched these specials back in 1973 with my new husband, 36 years later this Christmas we still remembered them and how much we enjoyed them. There was something so heart wrenching about the little girl Addy. her father played by Jason Robards was less than loving and sympathetic to a little girl that was as strong in spirit as her father. I am sure they would be less polished than the movies we have now but life was not politically correct back then, but much more real. They need to blow the cobwebs off some of these old specials it would blow the minds of the young people of today. I for one would love for my children and grandchildren to watch them.
|Ratings||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|