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Timepiece/Christmas Box

Richard Thomas , Maureen O'Hara , Marcus Cole    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Amazon.ca

Hallmark's warm, 1995 made-for-television movie The Christmas Box and its darker, 1996 prequel, Timepiece, are logically and delightfully paired in this DVD package. In the former, Richard Thomas plays Richard, a ski-shop owner consumed with work and unhappy about his family's insistence on sharing a lonely mansion with Mary, an icy, humorless widow (Maureen O'Hara). While Richard's wife and child develop loving ties with Mary, he suffers recurring dreams and grows convinced the house is haunted by a tragedy from the old woman's past. Timepiece jumps ahead 16 years from the resolution of that story, then takes us back to the 1940s, when Mary (Naomi Watts) and her late husband, David (Kevin Kilner), a wealthy arms supplier to America's war effort, marry and endure both a bogus murder trial and a crushing family loss. While it's wonderful to see O'Hara, Timepiece proves the grittier, more interesting film, helped mightily by a cast including James Earl Jones and Ellen Burstyn. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas movies Jan. 8 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great family viewing! Awesome to add to your Christmas collection! The two movies together, complement each other. Safe for the kids too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarmers Dec 14 2003
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
As incredibly sappy as it sounds, "The Christmas Box" and its prequel "Timepiece" are heartwarming. Now both are included on DVD, letting us into the bittersweet story of the Parker and the Evans families, from the 1940s to the 1990s.
In "The Christmas Box," the Evans family is interviewed by elderly, wealthy widow Mrs. Parkin (Maureen O'Hara) for a live-in status, since their apartment is too small for them now. To their surprise, they are brought in on a trial basis, and mom Keri (Annette O'Toole) and daughter Jenna (Kelsey Mulrooney) rapidly grow closer to the old woman. But Richard (Richard Thomas) is often busy -- so busy that he's almost never there for his family. But Mrs. Parkin's mysterious past, a cache of old letters, and a strange question lead him back to the first gift of Christmas.
"Timepiece" shifts back in time to the end of World War II. David Parkin (Kevin Kilner) is the owner of a successful, extremely busy company. He takes on a new secretary, Mary Anne Chandler (Naomi Watts), and begins to fall in love with her. But she has a secret: She's pregnant and unmarried. Undaunted, David marries her and they raise her daughter as their own. But when David's friend Lawrence (James Earl Jones) becomes the target of a gang's racism, something tragic will happen to the new family.
The films are rather different in tone, although both will probably leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, especially during the Christmas season. "Christmas Box" is a Christmas movie with a touch of mystery (who are the letters to? And what happened in Mary Anne's past?), whereas "Timepiece" is a straightforward family/friends story with a touch of tragedy and Christmas.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful stories Dec 17 2003
By Sevni
Format:DVD
"The Christmas Box" is my favorite Christmas movie. It's about a guy who works too much and doesn't spend time with his family around Christmas time, and who has to learn what is important for a Christmas miracle. Very sad and pretty.
And "Timepiece" is even better. It's a prequel, sort of, which tells the story about Mary Parkin and what happened to her family. Also very sad and pretty, and it has Naomi Watts and James Earl Jones as well.
Two wonderful TV movies that are just amazing to watch at Christmastime with your family.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy, only a little touching; horrible acting Dec 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
My review is in two parts - First 'The Christmas Box':
Summary:
Richard Evans (Richard Thomas) his wife, Keri Evans (Annette O'Toole), and their daughter, Jenna (Kelsey Mulrooney), are new to Salt Lake and are struggling to develop satisfactory lives for themselves. Richard has just started a ski shop, The Ski Company, and is spending long hours getting it up and running. Keri, meanwhile, is a stay at home mother, though she also manages their apartment complex. But Keri isn't happy with their current apartment and wants something better for Jenna.
When they see an advertisement for an elderly woman, Mary Parkin (Maureen O'Hara), who is looking to have a young family move in with her to help her out, Keri jumps on the opportunity and soon the Evans family has moved in with Mrs. Parkin, an extremely wealthy elderly lady who desperately needs someone to love.
Quickly, the Evans family, especially Keri and Jenna, become friends with Mary, but it isn't long before Mary begins experiencing serious health problems and begins a quick descent towards her to death. But before she can go, she is determined to help Richard not make the same mistake her husband made: losing sight of the importance of family by focusing too much on providing for them. Mary accomplishes this with the help of angelic visitations to Richard's dreams by Mary's deceased daughter, Andrea. Eventually, Richard does realize how important family is and ends up cutting back on his work to spend more time with his wife and daughter. And, to everyone's surprise, Mary ends up leaving her monstrous house to the Evans family.
My Comments:
You'll notice that my summary didn't include mention of a Christmas Box.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarmers Dec 14 2003
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As incredibly sappy as it sounds, "The Christmas Box" and its prequel "Timepiece" are heartwarming. Now both are included on DVD, letting us into the bittersweet story of the Parker and the Evans families, from the 1940s to the 1990s.
In "The Christmas Box," the Evans family is interviewed by elderly, wealthy widow Mrs. Parkin (Maureen O'Hara) for a live-in status, since their apartment is too small for them now. To their surprise, they are brought in on a trial basis, and mom Keri (Annette O'Toole) and daughter Jenna (Kelsey Mulrooney) rapidly grow closer to the old woman. But Richard (Richard Thomas) is often busy -- so busy that he's almost never there for his family. But Mrs. Parkin's mysterious past, a cache of old letters, and a strange question lead him back to the first gift of Christmas.
"Timepiece" shifts back in time to the end of World War II. David Parkin (Kevin Kilner) is the owner of a successful, extremely busy company. He takes on a new secretary, Mary Anne Chandler (Naomi Watts), and begins to fall in love with her. But she has a secret: She's pregnant and unmarried. Undaunted, David marries her and they raise her daughter as their own. But when David's friend Lawrence (James Earl Jones) becomes the target of a gang's racism, something tragic will happen to the new family.
The films are rather different in tone, although both will probably leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, especially during the Christmas season. "Christmas Box" is a Christmas movie with a touch of mystery (who are the letters to? And what happened in Mary Anne's past?), whereas "Timepiece" is a straightforward family/friends story with a touch of tragedy and Christmas. They both have some major differences from the original novels, but the spirit of them is still in there.
The acting is more or less spotless in both movies. Richard Thomas and Annette O'Toole are fantastic as the couple who bickers a bit, but love each other dearly; O'Hara is astounding as Mary Parkin in her old age. James Earl Jones (of "Star Wars" fame) and Naomi Watts (of "Ring" fame) are also wonderful in "Timepiece." The child actors are somewhat flat at times (especially the kid who plays Andrea) but they don't detract from the stories at all.
Tis the season to be mildly sentimental, which is why people watch "It's a Wonderful Life." For a couple of beautiful, lovable films with good acting and a bit of heartbreak and a dollop of romance, this is a must-have. Genuinely charming.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movies Jan. 17 2005
By Katherine Anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The Christmas Box and The Timepiece are both based on the books by Richard Evans. I have seen them both on TV and can't wait to get them on DVD. What is so interesting about the books are that they are based on true stories. Like one reviewer said the main character in the Christmas Box is named Richard Evans.

The Christmas box is a good family movie but the Timepiece I would save for older kids because there is a fire, a death, and a murder. Language is not a problem in either which in today's society is hard to find.

These movies are well worth your time.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful stories Dec 17 2003
By Sevni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"The Christmas Box" is my favorite Christmas movie. It's about a guy who works too much and doesn't spend time with his family around Christmas time, and who has to learn what is important for a Christmas miracle. Very sad and pretty.
And "Timepiece" is even better. It's a prequel, sort of, which tells the story about Mary Parkin and what happened to her family. Also very sad and pretty, and it has Naomi Watts and James Earl Jones as well.
Two wonderful TV movies that are just amazing to watch at Christmastime with your family.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Christmas Movie Nov. 21 2005
By Michael Wheeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a movie about a couple, Richard and Keri (Played by Richard Thomas and Annette O'Toole) and their young daugher Jenna. After living in a small apartment decide to move into a stately mansion in Salt Lake City to care for an elderly woman, Mary Parkin (played by Maureen O'Hara.)
Mary Parkin is older, and in declining health. As Keri takes care of her, she learns of Mary's illness. She finds Mary has not long to live. Mary and Jenna take a liking to each other. Jenna accidently breaks a vase and writes Mary a book about how sorry she was to have broken the vase, thinking the vase is very old and it not replaceable. Mary tells her she never liked the vase in the first place.
Richard is putting in long hours at a new Ski Supply business he and a friend have just opened.
Richard Thomas consequently is not spending enough time with his daughter during the Christmas season.
Jenna asks Richard to go find a Christmas tree with her and Richard is too busy, to find a tree with her. At this point Mary asks Richard what the first Christmas gift was. Richard cannot answer but says he will give it some thought.
Mary continues to ask him every few days, what the gift was, and Richard is not able to answer.

During the night all of the sudden Richard is having nightmares about a Christmas Box that is found in the attic.
This box begins to haunt Richard as he tries to unfold the mystery of the box. He is unable to sleep at nigt. He keeps seeing an angel that looks like a child. He goes to the box and finds letters and reads the love letters written about the angel (child)
In the process Mary Parkin who sees that Jenna needs to be with her Father more tries to make Richard understand the true meaning of Christmas.
I have to stop at that point because I will give the plot away.
This is an outstanding Christmas movie that will get you in the Christmas mood. This movie is very heartwarming and might even shed a tear or two. This is my favorite Christmas movie ever.
Timepieces is a prequal of The Music Box and it deals with David Parkin and how they meet and she goes to work for him and how they fall in love.
David gives her a timepiece, there is a tragic accident that David and Mary have to overcome.
The events lead up to the Christmas Box.
Both are very good movies, but in my mind the Christmas Box is much better
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT Family Movie! Aug. 27 2006
By B. Revels Yumart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It is wonderful to see that a movie can still be made that doesn't include sex & violence, and when that movie comes with such a heart warming story it makes it extra special! Thank you to whomever produced and financed this movie. Thanks also to Richard Paul Evans for writing such beautiful stories!!!

Barbara
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