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Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980)

An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.


Kieth Merrill


Alan Henderson (story), J. Scott Iverson (story) | 2 more credits »


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Credited cast:
James Stewart ... Mr. Krueger
Beverly Rowland Beverly Rowland ... Lead Caroller
Kamee Aliessa Kamee Aliessa ... Clarissa
Tamara Fowler Tamara Fowler ... Clarissa's Mother
Tyson Lewis Tyson Lewis ... Baby Jesus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Mormon Tabernacle Choir ... Themselves
Darro Glissmeyer Darro Glissmeyer ... Caroller
Rolando González Rolando González ... Caroller
Leslie Peery Howa Leslie Peery Howa ... Salvation Army Lady
Rita Jensen Rita Jensen ... Caroller
Gordon Jump ... Narrator
Alan Nash Alan Nash ... Mr. Hathaway
Oscar Rowland ... Tree Salesman


Willy Krueger, a lonely and aging widower, lives in a basement apartment with only his cat George for company. Finishing his work for the day as the custodian for the building, he ventures out on Christmas Eve to buy a tree and on the way, he imagines he is a well-dressed gentleman while peering at some fine tailoring in a shop window along the snowy street. Returning home, he falls asleep listening to an LP by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, dreaming that he is conducting them in carols of the season. Awakening to find some carollers outside his window, he beckons them to visit him offering hot chocolate, but they leave after only one song. In trimming the tree, he places upon it the mittens left behind by Clarissa, the youngest of the carolling group. Handling figures of the small nativity beneath his tree, Willy finds himself in the manger for the very first Christmas. He also finds the true reason to celebrate as he prayerfully thanks the infant Jesus for being his closest, finest ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

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Not Rated






Release Date:

21 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Noël de Monsieur Willy See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bonneville Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James Stewart approached the scene where Mr. Kreuger talks to the infant Jesus very seriously. Before filming this scene, he told the producer Michael McLean, "I've got only one of these in me. Everyone who doesn't need to be here, get them out. Tell them I want this to go well. I can do other takes, but this will be the right one. There will only be one." After the scene was finished, McLean asked the cameraman, "Did you get it?" "I hope so," was the reply, "because I was crying." See more »


(at around 27 mins) After Mr. Krueger fixes the pipes, he returns to his apartment and begins to pet his cat. As he talks about be "all by himself" on Christmas Eve, you can clearly see a crew member standing to the right of the screen with his arms folded. See more »


Mr. Krueger: Hello there... I-I-I-I... Oh dear... Oh... Oh, you're-you're... I'm Willy Krueger and I'm custodian over at the Beck Apartments, but, but you know that, don't you. You know that. I guess nobody here can see me or hear me except you. I didn't bring a gift, I, but I, I guess that's not important. Thank you for everything you've done for me. As long as I can remember you've been right by my side. I'll never forget when you walked with me right in those first few hours after I lost Martha. I-I've ...
See more »


Sleigh Ride
Written by Leroy Anderson (uncredited) and Mitchell Parish (uncredited)
Performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Jerold Ottley
See more »

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User Reviews

Fills me with nostalgia
3 November 2000 | by Tug-3See all my reviews

I must have watched way too much TV growing up, because today I associate nearly every special event of my childhood with one program or another. On Christmas Eves when I was a wee lad, my family would return home from the seven o'clock service, my mother would begin cooking desserts for the next day's festivities, and we would turn on WPIX New York to watch the "Yule Log," a two-hour loop of a burning log accompanied by yuletide music. (Sounds kind of strange, I know, but it was a holiday tradition for many New Yorkers.)

After the yearly Yule Log broadcast ceased at 11:30 or so, WPIX would air this gem of a Christmas special. By this time of the evening, I would be drowsy, but filled with anticipation for the morning. Watching "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" meant that the holiday, around which the entire kid year revolved (to quote Jean Shepard), had finally arrived.

Jimmy Stewart is wonderful in this understated and poignant show. It's impossible to describe without using the word "heartwarming." It has been years since WPIX broadcast the Yule Log or this special (though the Yule Log is now available for downloading on their website [!]), so when I watch my old videotaped copy it really takes me back. Folks who are looking for a copy of this show should know that even though it has not been widely released on video, it is available for purchase through the Jimmy Stewart museum (www.jimmy.org).

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