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The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | Family  -  15 December 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 312 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

A.C. Gilbert figures out a way to keep Christmas alive after the war threatens to take it away in his name.



(teleplay), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Man Who Saved Christmas (TV Movie 2002)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
A.C. Gilbert
Frank Gilbert
Sam Ryder
Mrs. Gilbert
Hiram Harris
Jake Brockman ...
Al Jr.
Charles Gilbert
David Talbot ...
Brad Borbridge ...
Secretary Daniels
François Klanfer ...
Craig Gardner ...


Although their own father, bank Charles, refuses them a loan to start a novelty American toys company to rival the established German import, the brothers A.C. and Frank succeed, especially with constructive and educational products. When the US gets dragged into Word War I, Frank enlists and Franklin Roosevelt's government recruits A.C. as consultant to convert factories like theirs for the war effort. Yet his gifted preteen son, whose schoolmates meanly turned on the 'Christmas killer's kid', ends up convincing him to refuse canceling Christmas and even resume toy production. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He couldn't stop the war, but he wouldn't let the war stop Christmas.


Biography | Drama | Family | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem Que Salvou o Natal  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In a scene set during the 1910s, the "A. C. Gilbert" logo on the truck door is printed in Aachen Medium, a font that was released in 1977. See more »


Frank Gilbert: [after giving a Christmas gift to A.C. Gilbert] You don't know how hard it was finding you something you didn't invent!
See more »


Deck the Halls
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User Reviews

Touching True Story appropriate for the time
16 December 2002 | by (Morris Plains, NJ) – See all my reviews

What a pleasant surprise this movie was. Those of you used to seeing Jason Alexander as George Costanza will be amzed by the totally different character he plays here. Unlike the selfish neurotic he is known for, Alexander plays Gilbert as a wonderful boss, marketing genius, and CEO with a conscience.

If anything the movie does not go into enough detail about this amazing man. AC Gilbert was a Olympic gold medal pole vaulter (nope I wouldn;t have bought Alexander in any scenes from the Olympics), Harvard cum laude med student as well as a toy maker. The Erector set was considered "The Greatest Toy Ever". It was only the first of many toys that Gilbert invented.

The movie's story is simple but touching. Man invents toy, becomes a success. He is asked to put aside his toymaking to support the war effort. The movie is very fair in presenting this issue. The Gov't types who ask Gilbert to support the war effort did not do it to rob kids of Xmas. The US got into WW1 quite suddenly and was behind the eight ball is producing supplies to support the troops. Asking factories already in production for other goods to reconfigure was teh quickest was to do it. Gilbert is forced to chose between doing what he loves and supporting his country in time of need. He does so with a heavy heart and is equally successful as an arms maker. However, the horrors of war and it's impact on one his staff as well as his own family makes him re-think his decision. How he comes around to the man of the title of the movie probably didn't really happen that way in real life, but it makes for a touching story anyway.

At a time now when many of us are torn between supporting a war overseas as opposed to enjoying the comforts of home, this moview is especially timely. I taped it for my family and it will be a moview we will enjoy during the holidays for years to come.

That God we didn't see Jerry or Kramer as a couple of Gilbert's toy makers...

10 out of 10

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