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Timepiece / the Christmas Box
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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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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
You'll notice that my summary didn't include mention of a Christmas Box.Read more ›