Manhattanite Catherine O'Mara (Heche) bonds with a young man who has run away from his father. When the father returns to New York a year later to sell his Christmas trees, he and Catherine cross paths.
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Peter H. Hunt
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Widower Christopher 'Christy' Byrne makes his preteen son Danny and daughter Bridget help out on the family tree farm, top priority. His year's highlight is selling their Christmas trees in New York. When Danny is sixteen, he runs away there to pursue his own dream, photography. Museum employee Catherine O'Mara securely helps him with assignments and study facilities. Christy and friendly cop Rip keep looking for Danny. But when contact is finally made, Christy still hasn't learned his lesson and Danny pays another cruel price. Written by
There is a point where "Rip" says to "Christy" that they are doing all they can (to find Danny) - however, he calls "Christy" Christian and then acts like he made a blooper, but I guess they decided not to redo the scene. See more »
[Speaking to son, Danny]
I should have listened to you more. I had dreams for your future. Trouble was they weren't yours.
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"Silver Bells" was billed as the 225th presentation in the Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-television film series. Sadly, this effort was not among the strongest of their offerings.
The likable cast included Anne Heche and Tate Donovan, whose characters were a widow and widower, and who inevitably became the central romantic couple. Unfortunately, the plot focused on a teenager runaway problem, as opposed to joys of the holidays, which should have been the film's central preoccupation.
As played by Donovan, the young runaway's father was a hard-working Christmas-tree dealer and decent man, and it made no sense that the boy would take to the streets of New York City following an argument with his father. The runaway story bogged down the film as a lugubrious, mechanical plot device.
The film should have celebrated the holidays with more joy in the lives of the characters. The most heart-warming scenes were the ice-skating sequence and the singing of the children in the church choir. The son Danny (Michael Mitchell) was an aspiring photographer. The film should have been about the photos, the great New York scenery, and the young man's love of photography, not the maudlin, melodramatic, and ultimately unconvincing story of a runaway.
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