8.9/10
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13 user 1 critic

The Spirit of Christmas (1950)

In this family film short, a nearly all marionette cast perform a dramatization of "The Night Before Christmas" and a performance of the Nativity.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mabel Beaton Marionettes ...
Most of the characters in the film
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Clement Moore / 'Nativity' Narrator
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Storyline

In this family film short, a nearly all marionette cast perform a dramatization of "The Night Before Christmas" and a performance of the Nativity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nativity | marionette | christmas | See All (3) »

Genres:

Family | Short

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Details

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Release Date:

December 1953 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A made-for-TV color film, rare for 1953, as color television was only being introduced gradually in the United States beginning in 1953 and most sets were black-and-white. See more »

Connections

Edited into Retro Christmas Classics (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from 'The Nutcracker'
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very Old Fashioned But Well Made
21 June 2017 | by (Reno) – See all my reviews

Doing research on this special I saw there is two dates. Some people states its from 1653 others 1950. I am willing to be the real date is 1953.

The Spirit of Christmas is a Christmas television special performed by marionettes. It first aired in 1953 in the United States.[1] Its half-hour showing time is divided into two segments, one dramatizing "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (AKA THE NIGHT BEFORE Christmas) and one telling the story of the Nativity.[1] The live-action part of the film features Alexander Scourby, who narrates and also plays Clement Moore in the Visit from St. Nicholas segment. The jacket of the DVD version calls it "The Philadelphia Holiday Classic," which refers to the region of the United States where it was originally broadcast. The jacket also describes it as a "50s TV Christmas classic, which has led it to being mis-dated as first being shown in 1950.

After its initial 1953 showing and into the 1960s, this special was aired multiple times per Christmas season, without commercial interruptions except for opening and closing remarks by "your telephone company" (Bell Telephone). It was also available as a 16mm film licensed to schools for showings to students.

It is very unusual for its time in that it was made in color at a time when there were no color TV sets in existence, so viewers of the time saw it in black-and-white.

This is a very special program. Yes its done with puppets but there is depth. You can tell this was made with MAJOR TLC.

Now the DVD that I have has a making of feature and its very informative. What would be nice that whoever owns this film would have is restored to its original color brilliance.

This is well worth watching. On Christmas Eve you should gather everyone around and watch it with your family and close friends. The special is magic. It is the perfect way to end the night.


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