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It Happened One Christmas (1977)

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own... See full summary »

Director:

Donald Wrye

Writers:

Philip Van Doren Stern (based upon a story by), Lionel Chetwynd (written for television by)
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3,225 ( 1,383)
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlo Thomas ... Mary Bailey Hatch
Orson Welles ... Henry F. Potter
Wayne Rogers ... George Hatch
Cloris Leachman ... Clara
Barney Martin ... Uncle Willie
Karen Carlson ... Violet
Dick O'Neill ... Mr. Gower
Doris Roberts ... Ma Bailey
Richard Dysart ... Peter Bailey
Cliff Norton Cliff Norton ... Martini
Archie Hahn ... Ernie
Christopher Guest ... Harry Bailey
Gino Conforti ... Sassini (as Gene Conforti)
Morgan Upton ... Bert
Robert Emhardt ... Judge
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Storyline

It's Christmas Eve 1944 in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York. A despondent and suicidal Mary Bailey Hatch is praying for guidance on what to do about an incident no fault of her own which threatens her name and the community standing of her longtime family business, the Bailey Building and Loan, which she took over after the passing of her father. What Mary does not know is that most in town, including her husband George Hatch and their children, are also praying for her. All the prayers are heard by Joseph, God's gatekeeper of prayers. As there are no other angels available on such a busy day, Joseph assigns Clara Oddbody, angel second class (i.e. she has yet to receive her wings), to Mary's case, which he reluctantly does as Clara has never been assigned a case on her own in the two hundred years she's been in heaven for good reason. As Clara learns about Mary's case, she sees a selfless woman who always wanted to explore the world but never did, while others around her were... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Christmas Tradition for the Whole Family to Enjoy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Happened One Christmas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles plays the villain, Henry F. Potter. Potter was played in the original It's a Wonderful Life (1946) by Lionel Barrymore. Barrymore played the role of "Ebeneezer Scrooge" on annual broadcasts of "A Christmas Carol" on Welles' Campbell Playhouse radio show. Barrymore had to back out of the 1941 broadcast due to illness, and was replaced by Welles. See more »

Goofs

Despite the fact this telefilm was produced and first broadcast in 1977, "It Happened One Christmas" carries a 1978 copyright date in the closing credits. See more »

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User Reviews

If all remakes were this good I would watch more of them.
12 December 2004 | by Gregsr-1See all my reviews

Not being a fan of "It's a Wonderful Life" may have made it easier for me to find "It Happened One Christmas" a refreshing change. I should first admit that I am not usually a fan of remakes. I almost always enjoy the original better, however in this case I felt that the remake was indeed done better. Even being a fan of both Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed could not keep me loyal to the original. And maybe being a fan of "That Girl" made it easier for me to be receptive to this particular remake. I thought that Marlo Thomas' portrayal of Mary Bailey was done rather well. I am not a chauvinist so having a woman play the part that may have been meant for a male did not bother me. I feel that "It Happened One Christmas" just seemed to move along better, even though it was virtually the same. I don't think because it was in color made a difference because I grew up on Black & White. I think Marlo Thomas did a better job doing Mary Bailey in the lead. I thought that Orson Welles as Mr Potter and Cloris Leachman as Clara the Angel did a fine job as well. I have looked for this to be re-aired each year since 1977. I enjoyed this movie so much that it should not have Happened only One Christmas.


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