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Guess Who's Coming for Christmas? (1990)

The visitor that you might expect for Christmas is not who shows up in this film. Instead, a mysterious stranger (Bridges) befriends a small-town eccentric (Mulligan) and confides in him ... See full summary »


Paul Schneider


Beth Polson (story), Blair Ferguson (teleplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Mulligan ... George Walters
Beau Bridges ... Arnold Zimmerman
Barbara Barrie ... Delores
Paul Dooley ... Doc
James McEachin ... Frank
John Furey ... Michael
Betsy Randle
Michael Patrick Carter ... Sam
Dion Anderson
Gary Bayer Gary Bayer
Ronnie Claire Edwards ... Martha
Troy Evans ... Les
Charles Stransky ... Ernie
Janni Brenn Janni Brenn ... Marge
James Ashley James Ashley ... Terry


The visitor that you might expect for Christmas is not who shows up in this film. Instead, a mysterious stranger (Bridges) befriends a small-town eccentric (Mulligan) and confides in him that he is from another planet. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | new jersey | alien | See All (3) »


Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi







Release Date:

23 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

UFO Café See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Lone Wolf McQuade (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

A Cup of Coffee with E.T.
29 November 2008 | by elshikh4See all my reviews

There is one important opinion which says that Steven Spielberg's (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - 1982) defined the 1980s' cinema. I totally agree. Here, at the end of the era, you'd find some distinct popular icons of these innocent days : the believing in the dream so the clinging to it, there is a kind UFO after all, the greatness of the friendship especially between different races, the childhood is valuable thing in the human, and how the sense of miracle exists in our daily life.

Lovely days.. huh ? Because for instance, after 2001, Spielberg himself would make (The War of The Worlds) where E.T. returns as evil this time !

The thing about this kind of movies is that it shows the fairytale's sense of prodigy, yet in the usual contemporary American suburb, where the middle-class characters live reality without much to imagine.

The best of (Guess Who's Coming for Christmas) or (UFO Café) was its dealing with the resistant neighbors, whom consider dreaming an equivalent to madness! Let alone representing the lead (the middle-aged super cute Richard Mulligan) as a friendly man who still has a childish spirit, still wonders, questions, and dresses like (Abraham Lincoln) in occasions ! "At least, he knows who that was !" which's the most memorable line in the movie. It's so similar to another debate in another 80's dreamy dream (Field of Dreams - 1989). I loved too the scene in which (Mulligan) finds no solution better than (Ethel Merman) to escape from the police interrogation. There are no chases, hot thrill, or even big special effects. This one has a tender personality of its own. You'd love the ending too, it's so symbolic when it comes to the movie's core and its real message.

Else (E.T. - 1982), you've got to recall the second segment of (Twilight Zone: The Movie - 1983), or movies like (Cocoon - 1985), (Batteries not included - 1987). Actually, they represent the era's lovely manifesto. As life can literally end if one stops dreaming, or how you become old already if you let your habitual reality beats you, and cancels your own incredible individualism. It assures that the dream is something out of this world (aka metaphorically : aliens). And if you give your dream much faith and fight for it, it might come true, and equal your love at the end miraculously.

It's a delightful movie. One plain TV production that's perfect as my afternoon one. And I think it's kind of rare to find anything like it among the American movies or TV shows of today.

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