6.2/10
574
50 user 2 critic

It Happened One Christmas (1977)

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own... See full summary »

Director:

Donald Wrye

Writers:

Philip Van Doren Stern (based upon a story by), Lionel Chetwynd (written for television by)
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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlo Thomas ... Mary Bailey Hatch
Orson Welles ... Henry F. Potter
Wayne Rogers ... George Hatch
Cloris Leachman ... Clara
Barney Martin ... Uncle Willie
Karen Carlson ... Violet
Dick O'Neill ... Mr. Gower
Doris Roberts ... Ma Bailey
Richard Dysart ... Peter Bailey
Cliff Norton Cliff Norton ... Martini
Archie Hahn ... Ernie
Christopher Guest ... Harry Bailey
Gino Conforti ... Sassini (as Gene Conforti)
Morgan Upton ... Bert
Robert Emhardt ... Judge
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Storyline

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own which threatens her name and the community standing of her longtime family business, the Bailey Building and Loan, which she took over after the passing of her father. What Mary does not know is that most in town, including her husband George Hatch and their children, are also praying for her. All the prayers are heard by Joseph, God's gatekeeper of prayers. As there are no other angels available on such a busy day, Joseph assigns Clara Oddbody, angel second class (i.e. she has yet to receive her wings), to Mary's case, which he reluctantly does as Clara has never been assigned a case on her own in the two hundred years she's been in heaven for good reason. As Clara learns about Mary's case, she sees a selfless woman who always wanted to explore the world but never did, while others around her were... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Happened One Christmas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a result of the gender switch, the character of Violet (Karen Carlson) is significantly truncated in this version, appearing as a generic townsperson with no role whatsoever in the storyline. See more »

Goofs

When the townspeople sing Auld Lang Syne in the Baily/Hatch house, there is no attempt to sync the song with their lip movement. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Cheap Remake of A Classic Story
23 December 2010 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

This film is a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life", with Marlo Thomas taking the spot of Jimmy Stewart. The angel is now also female, being played by Cloris Leachman, Aside from a nice homage to Frank Capra, it really does not serve much purpose.

The best thing about this film is Orson Welles, but even that is a bit sad because he is too great a talent to appear in such a film. Why is he in made-for-TV fare? He is a legend and should be treated like one. Beyond that, the film is a bit tedious... of the group I watched it with, I was the only one who stayed awake. Indeed, it takes pretty much forever to get to the point. (They tell you early on all the events shown will be important. In some sense, this is true, in another sense it's rubbish.)


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