It Happened One Christmas (TV Movie 1977) Poster

(1977 TV Movie)

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Great remake
kburden23 November 2004
While I do not argue with the fact that there is nothing

like the original classic, this remake has some wonderful

moments. I really like the twist that now it is a female who's life is turned up side down. It is a pleasure to see Marlo Thomas in the leading role. It is wonderful to see her act in a feature movie. Also, Orson Wells plays his part to

a tee. I do wish this film was availabe in some format or

at least some stations would run it again. The story is great no matter who is playing the part. I don't understand why it isn't shown around Christmas with so few good holiday movies out there.
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I wish I could get a copy
jllawrence14 October 2004
I totally disagree. This was and is a wonderful picture. I don't view things as whether they match up to the remake but if they are enjoyable and worth watching for my family. I would gladly show this to my family and have asked TCM to dig up a copy this Christmas so they can see it. Cloris Leechman is fabulous and Marlo does a great job.

I can't wait for my family to see it and enjoy both It's a Wonderful Life and It Happen One Christmas.

Go to this Christmas and search to see if they found it.

I always like to see both along with The Bishop's Wife and the new one The Preacher's Wife and I hope they will find a copy of Christmas Eve for us to enjoy. Love that Loretta Young.
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I loved this movie!! It happened One Christmas.
lmcmackin128 December 2006
I saw this movie when I was 15 years old. I never forgot it. It has remained in my heart all these years. I forgot the name of the movie but not that Marlo Thomas was in it. I have been trying to get a copy of this movie now, that I know the name of the movie. It is a great movie. I have Its A Wonderful life and its good too. I just like It Happened One Christmas better. It touched my heart and got into my soul. Some movies do that to you and this one did it for me. I loved that it was in color. I love the modern version. I liked the switch of gender. I related to the struggle in the movie. I was going through a hard time in my life at the time and it gave me hope.It also made me realize that perhaps our lives are not only for ourselves but for others as well. This movie is a real jewel. You can watch it alone or with your family. One movie is not hard to find and the other should be made available so more people can decide for themselves. I wish It happened One Christmas to everyone. We are not all going to be moved by the same movie.This movie did it for me. If you want a copy of this movie I just found a great website for those hard to find movies. Go to click on holiday movies. scroll down until you find the title of the movie,It Happened One Christmas. You can also try My and contact Toni and give him the name of the movie you are looking for.

I can't wait to see the movie after all these years. I have only seen it the one time. The impact of It Happened One Christmas is profound to me. I want it in my collection, and so should anyone who wants it.
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Weird enough to merit showing and DVD release
Pete Wagner27 November 2007
I saw "It Happened One Christmas" in about 1978, I think on Christmas Eve, while sitting alone waiting for my wife to get off work and join me for the holiday. I hadn't seen Marlo Thomas since the original airing of "That Girl" in the '60s. It was wierdly fun to see her on something, and I had never seen nor heard of Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." Later when I did see "It's a Wonderful Life," I immediately connected the story to that of "It Happened One Christmas," and thought it was scandalous how the original had been ripped off, and how geeky it was by comparison to the classic it had been "appropriated" from.

Today I wish I could find the knock-off on DVD. Now that I've seen Capra's original so many times, it would be fun to see the Marlo Thomas version again, if for no other reason than to bring back the nostalgic feeling of that evening that I first saw it. I remember that I was very touched by the story that night, geekiness of the treatment notwithstanding (or perhaps partly because of it!), and that it contributed to setting me up emotionally for a very special Christmas holiday with my spouse.
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I'll take THIS version EVERY time. If Universal was smart they should put it on DVD!
Moax42922 December 2006
I must admit, I liked "It Happened One Christmas" *much* better than "It's a Wonderful Life." As with a few other IMDbers, this was the first version of the story I ever saw; when ABC stopped running the film after 1978, and until Universal Television syndicated it to local stations in 1986, I had to settle for "It's a Wonderful Life" in the interim, which I think couldn't, and *never* will, hold a candle to "It Happened One Christmas" (for one thing, Marlo Thomas *doesn't* go screaming all the way through the scenes, like James Stewart did in the original, where she saw what life would be like without her (like Janet Burston in the later Our Gang shorts, Stewart's screaming gave me many headaches which lasted long after the film was over); for another, Ms. Thomas' version was in Technicolor; and for yet another, there was the novelty of the gender switch in the lead role, telling the story from Mary Bailey's point of view. And, there was yet another plus in seeing such up-and-coming stars as Doris Roberts and Christopher Guest in one of their earlier roles).

"It Happened One Christmas" not only holds some cherished memories of my "wonder years" (I was 15 years old when this film was first shown on ABC; little did I realize December 1977 would be my family's final Christmas in Lansing, Michigan since my father capriciously decided to move us all to Illinois in June 1978), but four years later, in July 1981, my father and I took a trip to California, and we went on the Universal Studios Hollywood tour. When I saw "It Happened One Christmas" again in 1986, there were some parts of the Universal lot I recognized where the film was shot ("Leave It to Beaver" and "The Munsters" were also filmed on that same portion of the Universal lot where the exteriors of "It Happened One Christmas" were done), so yet another pleasant memory was encoded into it!

In mid-1987, shortly after my family bought their first VCR, I wrote to MCA/Universal Home Video (as the company was then known), asking if they would ever put "It Happened One Christmas" on videocassette; they sent back a form letter essentially saying, "not at this time," along with a catalogue of their then-current releases. Two years later, in December 1989, the film was rerun on USA (which Universal had a stake of ownership in at that time, and still does today); I was lucky to have taped "It Happened One Christmas" then (USA showed the entire film uncut, not edited to fit the time slot), but now the tape is beginning to deteriorate after 17 years. (I almost rerecorded "It Happened One Christmas" when it was shown on the ion Network December 22, but was glad I didn't after seeing the "hatchet job" they did on it - all the more reason Universal should put the film, uncut, on DVD!)

All I can suggest is: To those of us like myself who DID like and enjoy "It Happened One Christmas" better than "It's a Wonderful Life," and would like to see Universal Studios Home Entertainment (as they are now known) release the film on DVD, Universal's contact e-mail and snail-mail addresses should be given at their website. E-mail or write Universal and tell them to put "It Happened One Christmas" on DVD; remember: the more requests Universal gets about this film, the faster they'll unearth it and put it on DVD (one point to emphasize to Universal when writing: they *never* even released this TV movie on VHS tape)!

I give "It Happened One Christmas" a perfect 10. And to those who thumbed their nose at this version, I'd like to paraphrase a statement the late showman P.T. Barnum once made: "The critics be damned!"

Happy Holidays!
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A turkey
ColinBaker1 August 2005
Allow me to correct two misconceptions from other posters. Firstly, to describe Marlo Thomas as more animated than Jimmy Stewart is fantasy of the highest order. Secondly, anyone who dares to describe It's A Wonderful Life as sickeningly sweet is missing the point completely. What's sickeningly sweet about a man who is frustrated at every turn in his efforts to leave his home town? What's sickeningly sweet about a man who is on the verge of suicide because of the threat of prison, bankruptcy..? What's sickeningly sweet about going around your home town and nobody knowing you, and your town has changed for the worse? Having asserted the brilliance of Jimmy Stewart (one of the greatest actors of all time) and It's A Wonderful Life, let's turn to It Happened One Christmas. The idea of turning the original concept on its head, so that Mary becomes the main character (with Peter Bailey as her father, and a younger brother called Harry who becomes a war hero) is interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn't avoid comparison with the original. Nevertheless, a reasonably gifted actress might have been able to convey some of the raw emotion evident - to most people - in Jimmy Stewart's portrayal. Alas, Marlo Thomas is so bad that she reminds me of the inadequacies of the worst of Demi Moore. But there are other problems. James Stewart was supported by other talented actors in 1946. Here, even the presence of Orson Welles as Mr Potter does not compare with the sheer nastiness which Lionel Barrymore brought to the part. Cloris Leachman gamely tried her best with Clara, but the whimsy of Henry Travers as Clarence is in a different league.

For me, It Happened One Christmas fails on every level. Maybe there's a case for a remake of It Happened One Christmas. Unlike its illustrious source of inspiration, It Happened One Christmas can only improve with a remake.
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Great twist on the old film "It's a Wonderful Life"
Hoopie805 December 2003
I love the original movie "It's a Wonderful Life" but I also love "It Happened One Christmas". I loved the twist in using a female. Marlo Thomas was great in this film. I only wish there was a way of purchasing this film since it not on video. I watch my copy every Christmas and enjoy it more each year.
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If you like colorizing, you'll love this act of cultural vandalism
WoodrowTruesmith26 August 2005
This gender-swap vanity project goes one enormous step beyond colorization, inserting the usually-likable Marlo Thomas in place of James Stewart, in one of the great American films. If the copyright on the original had not lapsed, this crime against film history could not have occurred. It is certainly lovingly produced, and well cast...aside from the misbegotten lead and some terrifying scenery-chewing by Cloris Leachman. That Ms. Thomas' perky performance isn't up to Stewart's legendary portrayal isn't even the worst part; as producer, that she would inject herself into such a story without radically rethinking it is very much the point.

As it is, the teleplay by Lionel Chetwynd (whose contributions include such thudding, on-the-nose rephrasings as "You're just a spider, and I'm glad I didn't fall into your scurvy little web") slavishly follows the original except when it would be ridiculous not to notice that its hero is now a woman. In those scenes, the writing calls to mind Samuel Johnson's famous critique, "Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good."

If you are one of the few who have not seen the original "It's a Wonderful Life", please do yourself a favor and watch it first...even if it is in black-and-white. Warning: If you do, you will not be able to endure this one.
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Some Classics Should Just Be Left Alone
degibox214 July 2005
I accidentally caught "It Happened One Christmas" on television a few years back. It could very much be likened to an accident. It was horrifying. My stomach turned. But I couldn't look away.

If you'd like to see a fictional epic biography about a person caught somewhere between egotism and altruism that contains elements of fantasy and spiritual allegory and just happens to climax on a snowy Christmas Eve, then for Pete's sake watch It's A Wonderful Life. It's widely considered one of the greatest movies of all time and stars one of Hollywood's most admired stars, Jimmy Stewart (He was the Tom Hanks of our grandparent's generation).

Let's face it, folks. Once in a great while there comes along a masterpiece that cannot be recreated. Attempts of this nature should be considered blasphemous. No one can repaint the Mona Lisa or re-pen the speeches of Hamlet. Next, you'll be telling me that Hollywood is making a movie based on The Honeymooners...(Rats!)
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it
frankfob13 April 2002
Add another one to the "what the hell were they thinking?" list. This feminist remake of "It's a Wonderful Life" is anything but wonderful. There are several reasons for that. One reason is that it is impossible to improve on the original; after all, what could they POSSIBLY do to make it better? Well, Marlo & Co. thought they found a way--reverse the roles of the original and put a feminist slant on it.

Didn't work.

Another way they apparently thought to improve the original was to suck out every single trace of humor that the first one had.

Didn't work either.

Last, but not least, they decided the best way to improve on the original was to have Miss Thomas give the absolute worst, most obnoxious performance of her life.

That worked. I finally turned it off.

There's an old American saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Somebody should explain to her what that means. Otherwise we'll soon be seeing Marlo Thomas remaking "The Wild Bunch" and having General Mapache's Mexican bandit gang sitting around "sharing their feelings" and "getting in touch with their inner child."

Pardon me while I lose my lunch.
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If all remakes were this good I would watch more of them.
Gregsr-112 December 2004
Not being a fan of "It's a Wonderful Life" may have made it easier for me to find "It Happened One Christmas" a refreshing change. I should first admit that I am not usually a fan of remakes. I almost always enjoy the original better, however in this case I felt that the remake was indeed done better. Even being a fan of both Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed could not keep me loyal to the original. And maybe being a fan of "That Girl" made it easier for me to be receptive to this particular remake. I thought that Marlo Thomas' portrayal of Mary Bailey was done rather well. I am not a chauvinist so having a woman play the part that may have been meant for a male did not bother me. I feel that "It Happened One Christmas" just seemed to move along better, even though it was virtually the same. I don't think because it was in color made a difference because I grew up on Black & White. I think Marlo Thomas did a better job doing Mary Bailey in the lead. I thought that Orson Welles as Mr Potter and Cloris Leachman as Clara the Angel did a fine job as well. I have looked for this to be re-aired each year since 1977. I enjoyed this movie so much that it should not have Happened only One Christmas.
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Should not have been made
Samuel J. Tomaino11 August 2006
This is one of the most unnecessary remakes of all time. It is nothing but an ego trip by Marlo Thomas and should not have been made.

The biggest flaw was that since MARLO was producing this, her character was spotlighted so much that we got a lot less of the supporting characters like Bert & Ernie. Thus, we cared less about them.

Orson Welles is just sleepwalking through his part as Potter. He's not a patch on Lionel Barrymore.

I watched this when it first premiered and was already a fan of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. I was appalled that the original scriptwriters received no credit despite the fact that large parts of their dialog was used. This was because the movie had gone into the Public Domain at that point. The only credit was for the original story by Philip Van Doren Stern. I've read it and it can't be used as the source for the stolen dialog in this movie.

I think film classes should be shown both versions as an example of how to make such a movie and how NOT to.

I'm glad it's not available on legitimate VHS or DVD.
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Message to Marlo, The Producer, Universal, whomever has the rights to get this back on -- loved it -- on a scale of 1 to 5, a
Steve Matrai30 December 2007
I don't know if it was because of the time in my life but this movie was so special in my heart. It's a wonderful life might as well been the remake of this. I love, love, loved this movie.. just one question --were did it go, it fell off the face of the earth, I think it came out again maybe 2 years after, then gone for good.

I would love to know why this movie isn't around anymore, never replayed on TV anymore, I don't know what kind of rating it got but if it was a poor rating, that was unjust! I stand behind the many comments you see here. What I would love to see in this order is, at best to at least...

At best: A faithful 1080p (1920x1080) release of this movie in HD with 5.1 sound as a blue-ray or HD-DVD release. I don't know that even the original master, even if it had this resolution has the color quality but if it could look great, it would be extra special.

That it starts to come up on, at least, a cable channel such as, maybe, TBS or USA or even just regular television during the pre-Christmas season or just about any time of the year.

At least: As a standard DVD release.

Please, please somehow bring this back.

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Surely the worst, most audacious remake of all time!
Victoria22 December 2006
Mr. Truesmith and ColinBaker are the only sane reviewers of this film. Who could possibly never have seen the original? Who, having seen the original, could possibly give any credibility to this preposterous remake? Has everyone gone loony? I just watched my video copy of "It's a Wonderful Life," and am even more impressed with it today, in 2006, than I was when I first saw it a zillion years ago. Yes, it is sentimental, as are some of the greatest novels, but it offers a wonderful message about gratitude. What's more sentimental than "A Christmas Carol," yet its message is still timeless.

I never heard of this remake until I stumbled across it on some obscure TV channel. I found myself wondering if all the heirs to Frank Capra were dead, since I figured this was the only way the producers of this version would dare mimic his original. Thanks, Mr. Truesmith, for clearing this up -- the copyright has run out, hence, what you call this "crime against film history." And crime it is, indeed. Surely, Marlo Thomas is embarrassed by the very existence of any prints of this film! Oh, and I add to the list of sane reviewers, who know the difference between a classic and junk when they see it: digibox2, Leone, frankfob, Clement. Thanks for your insights and tidbits of history.

To the rest, all I can say is, Oh, my God, are you kidding?!
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Worst remake ever.
xxxray6924 December 2006
The people that thought that this was a good remake must be smoking crack.

This whole "reverse" concept was dumb and the acting was horrible. The main reason why the original movie was so good and special was that for the duration of the movie I had a complete suspension of disbelief. I believed that I was watching George Bailey not Jimmy Stewart. In the remake, all I could see was Margo Thomas and not "Mary" Bailey.

All I could think while I was watching the movie was, "Why is Marlo Thomas ruining her career by doing this movie and why is she hanging out with 'Trapper' from 'MASH'?" Everyone, do yourself a favour and DO NOT watch this movie and ruin your Christmas. Stay with the original Jimmy Stewart version--It's a Classic and should not be tampered with.

But for those of us who's already seen this remake, we are all now more dumb and more retarded for having watched it.
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The worst remake of all time? You bet!
Thomas Clement (Mr. OpEd)23 January 2000
Sure, they remade King Kong and it stank (except for John Barry and Rick Baker's work). They tried to re-work Gone With the Wind and it was putrid. But it took Marlo Thomas to turn one of the most beloved films of all time and into something that smells worse than all the other remakes put together. How did she accomplish this? First, she liberalized it, putting herself in the Jimmy Stewart role. This in and of itself was not a crime to humanity, but MT's acting in this role was (and she WAS cute in That Girl). Then she sucked all of the humor out of the story. No humor? Might as well chuck the simmering sensuality and romance between the two leads. Done! And while MT's at it, she waters down the religious aspect until nothing's left but flavorless gruel (perhaps this was underwritten by the ACLU). Really, I can't say enough bad things about this celluoid stain. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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Simply Dreadful!
mike2431522 December 2006
This was the first version I saw of this story back in the 70's as well, but I got to see the classic Jimmy Stewart version in the 80's and THAT is the ultimate version. The acting in this TV version is just horrible, all the actors walk through the scenes like it was a high school play and the emotion and passion of the original is wiped away. Horrible! Jimmy Stewart gave the best acting perhaps ever in It's a Wonderful Life and never got enough credit since he made it seem so effortless. One thing that amused me in this version watching it again tonight was seeing a young Christopher Guest as Harry Bailey. Who knew???
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I've been looking for a copy of this movie
dikommer11 December 2008
I Love It Happened One Christmas movie ever since I saw it as a child and would love to obtain a copy of it.

It has been years since I have seen it and look every Christmas for it to be seen on TV so I can watch it.

I have seen the original movie It's a Wonderful Life and didn't like it as well as this one.

Marlo Thomas does a great job on acting and she did pull it off as a woman!!!!!!

Any ideas where I can find the It Happened One Night movie please let me know, I would be very interested in having my own copy!
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A Cheap Remake of A Classic Story
gavin694223 December 2010
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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Loved it as a child
TAF61917 December 2003
I was 11 when it came out and looked for it on television every year since. I thought it was a nice twist on the original and more up-to-date. If you like one, you'll like the other.. If you didn't like the Jimmy Stewart version, you prob will not like this one either
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IT HAPPENED ONE Christmas; "It" being well intentioned, well made example of LEGALIZED Plagiarism, plain and simple!
John T. Ryan14 December 2007
We can all understand just why the practice of remaking certain movies was and will always be a common practice in Hollywood. During this time of year (December) we are treated to at least 6 o 8 different versions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas CAROL.

We can view as many version of this Dickens Classic as there items on a Chinese Restaurants Menu. Among other actors in the role, we have: Allastair Sim 1951 & 71, George C. Scott 1984, Patrick Stewart 1999, Kelsey Grammar 2004, Reginald Owen 1938 and Seymour Hicks 1935. Additionally from time to time we see special variety character productions, such as: MR. MAGOO's Christmas CAROL (UPA/NBC 1962), MICKEY's Christmas CAROL (Disney 1983) and THE MUPPET's Christmas CAROL (1992). And there are many others.

One can well understand all of this interest in doing, re-doing and re-re-doing a work of true classic literature, like the Dickens story. And being so widely known all around the World, ever since its being published December 19, 1843 in London, gives it a second reason. And being that the work is in public domain for some time and required no securing of screen rights, nor payment of any royalties, makes the best argument So brings us down to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) and this IT HAPPENED ONE Christmas (1977). And we have only one question to ask of Universal Television and the American Broadcasting Company; WHY??

A remake or even a rework is fair game. A remake being an all the way re-doing a story, like The 3 Musketeers, Last of the Mohicans or Moby Dick. A re-working is an act of taking certain the elements of the story to use in an otherwise storyline. This practice is quite common in the comedy field, especially the old short subjects. Take for example the following.

We have 3 different Hal Roach Studios' Laurel & Hardy Short Subjects. First we have ANGORA LOVE (silent, 2 reeler, 1929), next LAUGHING GRAVY (sound, 2 reeler, 1931) and THE CHIMP (sound, 3 reeler, 1932). Each is a story in a different setting, with a different set of circumstances. And yet, all films take a certain set of circumstances central to the plot line and crucial to the exercise of our funny bones. The re-worked bit of business is the Boys having to hide an animal of theirs from their Landlord. The animal progressively and chronologically changes from a Goat, to a Little Pet Dog and finally to a Chimpanzee.

So, just what is IT HAPPENED ONE Christmas? Would it be a remake? Or, how many vote for a re-work? Could it be "Neither of the Above"? Come on now, don't be shy, cast your vote.

All of you who voted for "Neither of the Above", go to the head of the class and get a Gold Star. The correct answer is that it is NEITHER! It's a plain and simple case of Plagiarism! Oh, they surely secured the rights to do the thing, but Lordy, it's a virtual Carbon-copy of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

But, enough of this foolishness. It's time to get down to reviewing the Story, without our giving away too much. So…….

OUR STORY………There is no original Story here. Just go and see IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE's page. Then, after changing George and Mary's Surnames and their family positions you'll have the idea. Right family roles get switched. That makes Mary Bailey Hatch (Marlo Thomas) the Breadwinner and George Hatch (Wayne Rogers) as a 1940's Mr. Mom.

And please, don't think that there wasn't a solid effort put out here by the former Documentary Film Oscar Nominee Director, Donald Wrye and his Crew. And an energetic community performance by the cast. As well as Miss Marlo Thomas and Mr. Wayne Rogers, the cast included: Orson Welles, Doris Roberts, Cloris Leachman, Barney Martin, Karen Carlson, Dick O'Neil, Cliff Norton and even Orson Welles.

Didja say Orson Welles? Hey, that gives me an idea for a new Made For TV Movie of the Week Special. We could "re-do" CITIZEN KANE (RKO 1941) as an "updated" TV Production. We could call it "WHERE'S ROSEBUD?"
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Remake much less dated
seduffy1 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I assume slamming "It's a Wonderful Life" is probably like knocking the book "A Christmas Carol"--both are sacred, no matter how sick people actually are of them (are the round-the- clock showings of "Wonderful" really necessary?). I'm another one who saw this remake first, and then attempted to watch the original. I suspect that 1930s-era film may be one of the most difficult periods for modern audiences to appreciate. I found the original "It's a Wonderful Life" impossible to watch--saccharine and sappy in the extreme.

The characters in the remake were much more believable, and to me this was a very successful update. The pain of both the main characters--Rogers' character, returning from WWII with a permanent injury, and Thomas' lead, who is trapped in a life she didn't plan for-- are quite realistic. Thomas seems *genuinely* suicidal; the causes of her depression are clear, and also, like a depressed person, she has become isolated from her family and is snapping at those around her. The premise of the original film, if you think about it, is quite serious; it has a kind of "Our Town" melancholy hanging over it, but this seems lost amid layers of hoke in the very dated original.

I haven't seen "It Happened One Christmas" in years, and keep hoping in vain that it will be re-released, or at least shown at Christmastime.
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Great Movie
vml16 November 2005
I thought this was one of the best re-makes I have ever seen. I watch this faithfully each holiday season, it wouldn't be Christmas without it. I have almost worn out the VHS tape that I originally taped this on. Just found it on DVD through E-Bay and ordered it, hope it's good quality. I thought Marlo Thomas played her role beautifully. To me this is as much of a classic as the original movie. It really brings home the good old fashioned values in life and brings back great memories of when I grew up. Don't get me wrong, I think the original version is a great classic, but if I had to choose I would rather watch the re-make with Marlo Thomas and all the other great actors and actresses.
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better than the original
mrkendoll16 December 2004
I first saw this movie in 1977. I was very moved by it, and felt that it was better than the original. I loved the first one, but i thought this movie with Marlo Thomas had more heart. I still watch it every Christmas Eve. My own tradition.

I have shown this to many of my friends and told them to view it with open minds, and 35 out of 48 liked it better as well. They have now gone to making my tradition their tradition as well.

I know Marlo is not Jimmy Stewart, but watch it with the twist, and I feel that you will like it just as much. There are subtle nuances that I feel were not in the original. I feel that it was more moving for a mother to leave her children on Christmas Eve.
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One of the Best Holiday Movies Ever
cagleheadinor24 December 2004
This reworking of "It's A Wonderful Life" is one of the best holiday movies I have ever seen. In fact, I think "It Happened One Christmas" is a superior film. I am fortunate to have an uncut copy of the movie transferred to DVD so I am able to watch it every year.

Marlo Thomas gives an Emmy-worthy performance and Cloris Leachman gives her usual spot-on performance. The whole cast is in top form. Watch for cameos from "Everybody Loves Raymond"'s mom Doris Robets and future "Spinal Tap" actor, Christopher Guest.

The movie is both funny and heartwarming. It is a must for anyone who loves a great holiday movie. Check it out and you will be glad you did. Hopefully, Universal will come to their senses and release this gem on DVD.
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