Christmas on Division Street (TV Movie 1991) Poster

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While you're having a Christmas party, there are some people out there homeless, freezing, dying
RachelLone18 January 2000
I haven't seen such an emotional and warm-hearted film for a long time. This is a GOOD movie.

The Atwood family has just moved to Philadelphia, but Trevor Atwood (Fred Savage), a high school student, is not very happy about it. One day, while Trevor is searching for books in a library for his school assignment on American History, he meets a homeless old man, Cleve (Hume Cronyn). Cleve has a detailed knowledge of history and a good sense of humor. However, Trevor doesn't like Cleve at first. When Cleve tries to talk to Trevor, Trevor says "Mister, haven't people told you not to talk to strangers?" Cleve replies "If you never talk to strangers, how can you ever get to know anybody?"

Cleve helps Trevor collect information for Trevor's report and gradually they become good friends. Looking at Cleve reminds Trevor of his late grandfather. And to Cleve, being with Trevor is comfort, too.

On Christmas Eve there comes a storm, it snows so hard and there are no electricity and no heating downtown. It is difficult for people on the streets to get through the night. Trevor takes a blanket and goes out looking for Cleve, trying to help him...

Eventually Trevor makes his parents see those homeless people differently, in a more sympathetic way.

Watching this film is an enlightening experience. "Christmas on Division Street" is a story about love, friendship and compassion. The actors' performances are marvelous. I hope this movie will be aired on TV again and again so more people can have the opportunity to see this wonderful film.
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Unforgettable and heart-warming movie
kittysix6 December 1999
A movie I saw about four years ago around Christmas time and have been looking for it since. The acting was great and believable. I am so glad that the networks air such movies as these. I would recommend it for all ages but especially the young. It serves as a great learning tool as to what real compassion and respect is all about and a reminder to all who are more fortunate to help those who are not. I loved the movie and wish they would air it yearly. Hats off to the creator of such an outstanding story and thanks.
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How portrating the role of Lupe in the film shaped my life
lesleytrot21 April 2003
Hello, my name is Virginia Bagnato. I had the privillege to work as an actrees in the film Christmas on Division Street and I am incredibly honored by the great reviews its gotten. I want to comment that being in the film made me change my perspective on life by experiencing situations that I would of otherwise not of experienced in real life. I got to play the role of Lupe ( a poor little girl struggling with poverty). It took me some time to really understand what Lupe felt, what she faced day after day, her work, her family situation, what the birth of a new baby meant to her family (the joy of a new born yet the worries it brought considering her family's situation). Yet it wasn't until many years after being part of the film, that I got to see first hand what people in extreme poverty conditions face. At the age of 18 I got a chance to visit my home country (Uruguay, South America) for the first time. Uruguay is a small but beautifull country with everything you could ask from nature (great coast, lands, sites, etc). Yet inside all this natural beauty lies a country with a divided economy of high,low and a vanishing middle class. For the first time I got to meet, talk with, and see hundreds of "Lupe's". Little girls and boys living in extreme poverty situations. I got to re-live my role through the eyes of these kids, through their experiences, through their situations and family life. Since then it has been a personal goal to one day be able to give something back to my people, a doorway of hope, a channel-way for their talents which are rich yet unexplored. I want to reach out just like Fred Savage did in the movie, to these people, and touch their lives in a positive way. It's the message the movie tries to portray and it's a philosophy 12 years later, I still try to live by.
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This will tug at your heart strings.
ipswich-216 May 2000
The comments from viewers on this site says it all. Sob! This is a touching and endearing movie that will leave a lump in your throat. Fred Savage plays a role not very different from Wonder Years, but it is the performance of Hume Cronyn as the homeless man with a big heart that deserves grand applause. This movie makes you remember that there are others out there who's got it worse -- whether they deserve it or not. Give them a thought when you are nestled in your warm home everytime you celebrate Christmas.

An excellent well directed TV movie that tugs at all heart strings, no matter who you are.
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The true meaning of Christmas
lastliberal12 December 2007
If you are not moved to tears at the end of this film, then you are as cold as a Philadelphia Winter.

First, you will experience tears of sadness as you see the plight of the homeless in America; then you will experience tears of joy as you see, at least in the movie, when some are moved to respond.

Fred Savage ("The Wonder Years") and Hume Cronyn (The Seventh Cross, To Dance with the White Dog, Broadway Bound) were simply outstanding in this tale of friendship between a new boy moving to Philly and a homeless resident. Tremendous support by Badja Djola and Virginia Bagnato made this a most enjoyable film for the holidays.
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One of the Greatest Holiday films you'll ever see
joeperrysbabe4 November 2007
You know, they say Sundays are the best days to curl up on your sofa and watch a good movie..and not just any movie, a sort of feel-good film that matches a Sunday mood. So i got up this morning and did just that. So i scroll down my movie list and come across this film, a holiday piece about a adolescent who befriends a homeless man he meets in a public library. I wasn't interested at first, so i scroll down some more until i could find no other film i liked. So i go back to this one. I reluctantly select...

The movie ended 10 minutes ago and i am still in tears. I have never felt this good since i saw "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time and i STILL cry at that one. Not only did Fred Savage and the rest of the cast give brilliant performances, but the film delivers an important life lesson: Love and companionship are two of the most greatest gifts you can give anyone...and they don't cost a thing.

I highly recommend this movie to people of all ages and parents should definitely sit down and enjoy this film with their children. I give you my personal guarantee you will love it!
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"He's not a bum. He's my friend!"
Len987627 December 2011
This movie is not just a "tear jerker," it is an honest depiction of the homeless plight in America (right in our own home towns). People, some who are young children, are starving and dying. And, even those who are surviving become "invisible" (quote from the film). 'Paul Newmannites' continually teach me, more and more, about what real charity is (Paul Newman was a master of the acting craft--and a person, for charity, who 'put his money where his mouth is').

The most important lesson I learned from this film was Fred Savage openly and proudly declaring "He's not a bum. He's my friend!" Not surprisingly, Hume Cronyn (a great and legendary actor), gives a magnificent portrayal of an "invisible" homeless man who gives love and gets love. The end of the film sums up the plight of those who are homeless. We must trust some strangers, or we will never get to know anybody. To do this, I am required to come out of my "comfort zone," and share with others less fortunate than myself.

I am a physically-disabled man, living on a fixed budget, but I give every spare dollar to the homeless. And, I give to Westport Country Playhouse (one of Paul Newman's many causes), so that the poor can enjoy live theater at its best (Paul Newman once said that "theater is a sacred place").

This movie should be a classic, and shown on television every year, just like "The Wizard of Oz".
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Too true to life tale
0932226 December 1998
An made for TV movie with wonderful performances by Hume Cronyn and Fred Savage. Trevor(Savage) moves to a new city and has trouble with the adjustment. When visiting the libary for some research work, he meets a homeless man(Cronyn)and reacts the way most act towards the homeless. But soon the memory of Trevor's grandfather surfaces and he looks at Cronyn differently. He disregards Clive's appearance and begins to appreciate the man for his knowledge. A friendship and bond soon forms. With Christmas fast approaching and a storm on the way, Trevor soon learns about the plight of the homeless and the hopelessness they face.
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Nice Film
Christmas-Reviewer23 April 2019
I Have Reviewed OVER 500 "Christmas Films and Specials". Please BEWARE Of films and specials with just one review! For instance When "It's a POSITIVE" chances are that the reviewer was involved with the production. "If its Negative" then they may have a grudge against the film for whatever reason. I am fare about these films.

Fred Savage stars as a 14-year-old shy boy named Trevor Atwood who befriends a homeless man named Cleveland Meriwether, played by Hume Cronyn. The film is loosely based on actual events in the life of Trevor Ferrell.

The film is is very enjoyable. The plot moves along at a nice place. Most of all the message of compassion is not lost and you are not hit over the head with it. Worth watching
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Division, an interesting metaphor in the title.
mark.waltz18 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Overly concerned parents, uppity library clerks and security guards; officious social workers; vicious teenagers, malicious street thugs. Fred Ward finds life in his new school in Philadelphia to be quite difficult to adapt to, bullied by the class golden boy, then humiliated by him, and finally used by him for higher grades. He happens to meet the homeless Hume Cronyn in the library while trying to find a subject for his history class.

Cronyn ingratiates himself with Ward, giving him an honest overview of life of Benjamin Franklin, and soon, Ward is searching him out for advice and mature friendship. As he learns about Cronyn's past, he sees him in a different light, and as Christmas approaches, Cronyn faces different obstacles, but Ward finds his own humanity tested, quite a challenge for an embittered teen.

This complex drama of human nature shows Ward growing up because of the lessons he learns both on his own and from the street, including the aide Cronyn provides a homeless pregnant woman on the street. The interference of the social service agent in trying to keep Ward and Cronyn from hanging out is disturbing, and the uncaring nature of the library employees is disgusting.

There's more heart coming from the homeless community, reaching out to aide each other, while those who have a home, a family and a livelihood are mostly judgmental and heartless. Cronyn and Ward are excellent together, and you can see how Ward comes to see Cronyn as his grandfather. The film is a combination of social issue drama, strong character study and a few pathos that tug at the heart. Everybody has their story, Cronyn tells Ward, and if Ward doesn't remember anything but that, he's still come out a better person.
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Book report on life
bkoganbing26 December 2017
Young prep school kid Fred Savage late of The Wonder Years is a preppy kid who has to write a book report on the how the other half lives. So this would be Jacob Riis goes to Philadelphia's skid row for some live derelicts. He finds one in Hume Cronyn.

The two bond in some interesting ways and the scenes between Cronyn and Savage make this holiday film something special. No sugarcoating here in describing what goes on with the daily lives of the homeless. as portrayed by Cronyn and his companion Badja Djola who is a saxophone player who has seen some better days.

Old age is tough enough and I'm now old enough to experience it first hand and for me it's with a state pension and social security and an apartment I can afford at this point. For Cronyn he had a tragedy that scarred him permanently and now he is a derelict in the sense he has no real direction.

The young and old have a memorable Christmas together in this wonderful and surprisingly not that sentimental holiday tale.
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