The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 1971 (USA)
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The Walton family is preparing for Christmas in the early 1930s. It's Christmas eve and they are waiting for father Walton to come home from his job in the city some 50 miles away. Since he... See full summary »



(teleplay), (novel)
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Title: The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (TV Movie 1971)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Walton
Edgar Bergen ...
Ebenezer Walton
Esther Walton
Dorothy Stickney ...
Emily Baldwin
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Mamie Baldwin
Hawthorne Dooley
John Walton
Sheriff Ep Bridges
Ike Godsey
Sally Chamberlin ...
City Lady
Erin (as Mary McDonough)


The Walton family is preparing for Christmas in the early 1930s. It's Christmas eve and they are waiting for father Walton to come home from his job in the city some 50 miles away. Since he is late, everyone is worried and over the radio the mother and grandparents hear about an overturned bus and hurt travelers but keep this news from the rest of the family. The story is really a coming of age story about the oldest son JohnBoy who must cut down the tree with his grandfather since his father isn't home and is eventually told about his missing father and sets out to find him. An all round heartwarming story, especially if you are a fan of The Waltons. A simple story about a simple family in simple times. Great family entertainment! Written by Norm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | See All (1) »







Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le retour au foyer  »

Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When John Boy enters Hawthorns church, the last pew is empty. When the camera looks away and then back someone is sitting on that pew. The person keeps appearing and disappearing repeatedly from camera shot to camera shot. See more »


Featured in 25 Most Heartwarming Holiday TV Moments (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

A country family is living in Virginia during the depression and is awaiting Christmas
20 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am an old farm girl who grew up in central PA. I remember when this movie came out. I was around 8 years old. Of course it led to the very popular series the Walton's that ran for many years on CBS. I just love this movie for it's simplicity, authenticity and staying true to the roots of Earl Hamner's (and many country folks) life. It stars a young Richard Thomas who became a great character and Broadway actor and the great late Patricia Neal. About 5 years ago I bought a copy of this video and I watch it religiously every Christmas season just like "It's a Wonderful Life". If you want a wholesome family video that has a nice ending - try this movie - you won't be disappointed!

26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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