6.6/10
2,512
68 user 12 critic

One Magic Christmas (1985)

An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It's not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about.

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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ON DISC
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ginny Grainger
... Jack Grainger
... Gideon
... Caleb Grainger
... Abbie Grainger (as Elizabeth Harnois)
Robbie Magwood ... Cal Grainger
... Betty
... Eddie
... Harry Dickens
... Santa Claus
... Molly Monaghan
... Frank Crump
... Herbie Conklin
Joy Thompson ... Mrs. Monaghan (as Joy Thompson-Allen)
... Mr. Noonan
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Storyline

Gideon, a Christmas angel, is sent, by Santa, to help Ginny Grainger. Ginny is a cynic, and she hates Christmas. She and her family (husband, Jack and two kids, Cal and Abbie) have fallen on hard times, making it even harder to believe in anything that can't be seen. With help from Abbie, and a trip to see Santa Claus himself, can Gideon find a way to make Ginny believe again? Written by jwhale9382

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Miracles do happen! See more »

Genres:

Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

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Release Date:

22 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarodziejskie Boze Narodzenie  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,662,241, 24 November 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,677,222
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Abbie is in her room writing her letter to Santa, she is talking to her doll Elizabeth. Elizabeth is Abbie's real name. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Santa Claus opens the door to Abbie, from the back her hair is a markedly different color and texture to how it is from the front (and in all subsequent shots). The back shot was obviously filmed with a stand-in wearing a wig. See more »

Quotes

Caleb Grainger: Ginny, the police just called. They found the children standing by a roadside, they're fine. They must have been dropped off by the man, before he went in the water the police said.
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Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleigh Ride
Words by Mitchell Parish
Music by Leroy Anderson
Mills Music Inc.
Performed by The Ronettes
Courtesy of Spector International, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Bittersweet holiday fantasy. Not for tots.
13 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

Exquisitely made holiday fable with a decidedly dark edge, not unlike "It's a Wonderful Life" in tone. Mary Steenburgen is very convincing as a woman whose heart has been hardened by life's harsh realities. Christmas has become an empty ritual to her and it takes a highly unusual angel named Gideon (played by a softspoken Harry Dean Stanton in a long cattleman's duster) to make her see the light. Her conversion requires some grim but realistic machinations by Gideon, as well as the simple and unquestioning faith of her optimistic husband and children. But the result is an emotionally powerful finale that is honestly earned, not the easy tearjerking of lesser films.

Special mention should be made of the two terrific child actors who play Steenburgen's kids, especially Elizabeth Harnois as the youngest, Abbie, whose unsticky line readings are a treat. Character actor Jan Rubes makes a wonderful, matter-of-fact Santa Claus. The production is further enhanced by Frank Tidy's meticulous cinematography, some imaginative art direction, particularly in Santa's toy shop, and a lovely score by Michael Conway Baker. Thomas Meehan's scenario delves into some dark territory for a genre that is all too often treacly instead of real, but its clear antecedents are treasures such as "A Christmas Carol" and the aforementioned Capra classic. A word of caution, however: this is not recommended for very young children. But for 8 and above, and adults, it's a Christmas tale that may well become a perennial in your house, as it is in mine.


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