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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on January 14, 2004
I saw this movie when it was first on in 1971 and have watched it at Christmas most every year since. Years ago it was usually on TV around Christmas and I taped it in the early 80's and have been watching this tape in recent years. This year I purchased the DVD (for only about $11! - I think blank VHS tapes were that much in the early 80's). The quality is outstanding, even when viewed on my 19-inch computer monitor from a couple of feet away. You can clearly see every detail (1933 on the car license plate, prices on the wall in Ike's store, even snow flakes melting on someone's face). Picture quality on most DVDs made from TV shows or TV movies is nowhere near this good. Believe me, this DVD is a real bargain.
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on July 2, 2014
I watched this movie about forty years ago and loved it.I am so glad that I found it so I can added to my collection.I even bought my aunt one as well.It's delightful to watch how a family work together at Christmas despite all their hardships.
Janette M Chamberlain
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on November 19, 2003
Ignore the warning about this 98-minute version being "edited" down from 120 minutes. Those supposed missing 22 minutes are from commercial breaks when this production was televised in a two-hour slot. Nothing has been edited out in this great movie.
And if you think 11 minutes of commercials an hour is a lot, hey, those were the days. It's closer to 16 minutes now.
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on December 15, 2013
My spouse has never seen this movie; I have and love it. I bought this as a gift for Christmas. He now has the entire Walton's Movie Collection. He has been trying to watch the movie on TV Networks but I keep coming up with excuses why we can't. Want him to wait until Christmas.
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on July 29, 2003
Starring Richard Thomas and Patricia Neal, this made-for-TV-movie was written by Earl Hamner and led to the popular series, "The Waltons." The stories were based on Hamner's childhood.
(Note: This movie features a somewhat different cast than did the series. While the Walton children are the same, many of the other adult roles in this film, except Grandma Walton played by the late Ellen Corby, were recast for the series.)
A homespun tale, the movie focuses on rural life during the Great Depression and the anxiety a family feels one Christmas when their beloved Father is overdue after being forced to travel to the city to find work and earn money for his family's survival.
Each of the characters reacts to his departure in different ways. Ultimately, the oldest son, John-Boy, portrayed by Richard Thomas, takes important steps to manhood and toward his ultimate career as a writer.
This film has a harsher, more real feel than did the series, and tackles such difficult subjects as racial bigotry and the economic underclass.
The great Patricia Neal is spectacular in her portrayal of the mother. Tougher than the portrayal that came later by the gifted Michael Learned, Neal's Olivia Walton is a genuine force of nature who rarely displays her softer side. Life is very difficult, but love is always present in the Walton home.
If you've never seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to view a more unvarnished, less "suburban" rendition of life in this beloved family. A scene in which little Elizabeth, who desperately wants a doll for Christmas, receives one -- with a cracked and broken face -- from a "charity" Missionary only after having to "perform" scriptures, is so raw that it hurts. "It's dead," the little girl sobs into her brother's comforting arms.
This film is anything but dead. There is real life in every panel that reaffirms true family relationships and the Christmas spirit without being heavy-handed. Look also for a gifted supporting performance by the talented William Windom, who plays a Depression-era Robin Hood.
If ever a TV-movie deserved to be released on DVD, this is it.
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on January 8, 2014
The "Homecoming: A Christmas Story" brings back so many happy memories from my childhood. Not only remembering as we sat as a family, watching this movie, but triggering memories of our similar life experiences. I lost both of my parents in 2013 and looked everywhere for this Movie, in particular, because of the memories. Amazon, once again came through. Thank you.
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on December 22, 2014
The pilot for the TV series "The Waltons", this movie is the wonderful, heartwarming story of a depression era Christmas Eve, and a family crisis that highlights the courage, tenacity and endurance of love and loyalty. The story centres around the Walton family one cold Christmas Eve as they eagerly await the homecoming of their husband and father from his job in a town 50 miles away. The tension rises as the day wears on and their anticipation increasingly turns to worry as John Walton fails to arrive and news is delivered of a bus accident. Their worry is apparent, but still the family struggles, each in their own way, to go about their daily routines while interacting with a series of interesting and somewhat eccentric peripheral characters. Richard Thomas gives a moving and uplifting performance as John-boy, the sensitive and conflicted eldest of the Walton siblings and the rest of the young cast also give excellent performances as the younger Waltons. Having come from a large family of 9 siblings, I immediately recognized the authenticity of the interactions between the Walton children and Patricia Neal as Olivia portrays just the right amount of no nonsense mothering, combined with a loving and accepting spirit of family unity. When resolution to the crisis finally comes, we are left with a feel-good belief in the power of love and family. This timeless, classic movie is sure to become a perennial family Christmas favourite, to be enjoyed over and over again.
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on November 27, 2003
The Homecoming was one of my favorite christmas movies growing up.I remember seeing when it debuted in 1971.It was totally unlike any other holiday movie.I ordered the dvd because I haven't seen it in over 15 years because for some reason no network or cable stations will air it anymore.This is totally sad while stations are airing such "classics" as Home Alone 3, A Christmas Story,National Lampoons Thanksgiving Reunion and countless others pieces of crap.
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on November 21, 2003
This is an absolutely fantastic Christmas movie in my opinion. This made-for-TV movie from the 70's has it's own little niche in the Christmas specials, and it is unlike other Christmas movies. It's got a little bit of everything. . . it's family, it's funny and humorous without being slapstick - we have to laugh at ourselves for how we really are and how we really can be, it educates us, and it brings forth some issues that sometimes we don't want to really see. It turns everyday life into an adventure, and in the end, of course, it's comforting.
After having seen the TV series for years before seeing this, I had to adjust to the acting/portrayal differences between the mothers that played the role of Olivia Walton. As the mother, Patricia Neal is a bit more emotional and less gentle than Michael Learned.
This movie is a tradition in our family.
I will suggest that the "language" that makes this PG rated might be when Mary Ellen uses a derogatory and somewhat archaic reference to 'p-ss ants' (calls her siblings this term), and maybe when John Boy makes a statement concerning Mary Ellen's 'bosoms'. . . He says, "They'll grow." Then there are the two sisters with Papa's Secret Recipe (obviously, a homebrewed liquor concoction). That's just for your information in case you are hoping to show this to a particular group of people.
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on November 13, 2003
Nothing fails to get me in the Christmas spirit more than "The Homecoming." As other reviewers have indicated, this was a pilot for "The Waltons" and Patricia Neal is absolutely marvelous as Olivia...I just never felt Michael Learned could replace her. In fact, I am really not a fan of "The Waltons" TV series, but this is truly beautiful. I love the backdrop of the Virginia mountains in winter, the characters are lovable as well, and I love the story line. But my absolute favorite aspect of the movie is Patricia Neal as Olivia...she does a great job and is totally believable as a depression era mother from the Appalachians who is trying to keep up the Christmas spirit in her family, although she has some heavy burdens to bear. Neal's portrayal of Olivia somewhat "harder," some might say, than Michael Learned's version...but this is really why it adds that extra bit of realism (I always though Michael Learned was a bit too sugary and had the "wrong" kind of southern accent for this role.) In any case, I *highly* recommend this to put you in that Christmas mood. Truly heartwarming.
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