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Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A. (1977)

Based on the true story of coal miners who became trapped underground in a cave-in on Christmas Eve, 1951.


Jud Taylor


Dalene Young


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitchell Ryan ... Matthew Sullivan
Kurt Russell ... Johnny
Andrew Prine ... Arthur
John Carradine ... Grampa Sullivan (as John Carradine Sr.)
Barbara Babcock ... Rachel Sullivan
Don Porter ... Caufield
Karen Lamm ... Matilda Sullivan
Melissa Gilbert ... Kelly
Bill McKinney ... Willie
Shelby Leverington ... Carrie
Rossie Harris ... Tim (as Ross Harris)
Stephan Early Stephan Early ... Bob
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Clay (as Jim McKrell)
Phil Adams Phil Adams ... 1st Member Rescue
Sean Fallon Walsh Sean Fallon Walsh ... Bartender


Tragedy strikes a small mining community one fateful Christmas Eve in 1951 when a series of explosions strike a mine notorious for its unsafe conditions. The miners and their families work desperately to rescue the trapped men before an even larger, more deadly explosion can occur. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

26 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christmas Coal Mine Miracle See more »

Filming Locations:

Ronan, Montana, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Closing credits: The events depicted in this motion picture are fictitious although suggested by the history of mine disasters. See more »

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User Reviews

8 April 2006 | by aspergersforlifeSee all my reviews

Well there's a number of things I liked about this movie and a few major things I didn't. I'll talk about the things I didn't like first.

I flat out HATED that mother. Who I thought was so ugly and unpleasant. She was constantly ordering her better half (her 11 year old daughter) around, mistreating her, and keeping her from being a kid, at every chance she could get. And so I wanted to bitch slap her at every chance *I* could get.

In reality though the girl looks NOTHING like her movie mother. And the character who plays her "18 year old" sister looks a lot more like her mother... and even looks more like they could be sisters, who are practically the same age in real life. So some people were obviously miscast in this fairy tale.

Now the good things... Melissa Gilbert as Kelly!! The 11 year old, rebellious, bundle of joy who put up with so many bad people, including: her monster mother, her ungrateful sister, and unfair townspeople... and still managed to maintain her dignity. Her performance is the highlight of the movie and she is too cute in it.

We also get to see Kurt Russell as a young man who is brave & slick. And on the other end we see John Carradine as an OLD man, who you keep around in the family to watch him smoke his pipe and sometimes give you wise words. They are both great and interesting to see in their stages of life.

It was also interesting to see what life was like in a small, coal mining town in 1950. That is something I haven't seen before. One question kept arising though that was never answered... what state was it in???

My favourite scene is when Kelly breaks down a window of the store. Thats justified revenge. Haha. But a really stupid, uncomfortable scene is when the mother goes into her older daughters room to talk about sex.

So apart from every excruciating scene with that dreadful woman, the other elements of this film were rather good. But I insist, if she wasn't in this movie it would have been so much better.

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