The Homecoming: A Christmas Story

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THE HOMECOMING: A CHRISTMAS STORY (1971)

A true television classic, The Homecoming was the second movie (after 1963's Spencer's Mountain) based on Earl Hamner's autobiographical writings about love, pride, faith, and survival in rural America during the Great Depression. The Homecoming introduced the Walton family, a 1930s mountain clan living a hardscrabble existence that forces patriarch John Walton (Andrew Duggan) to seek work, far from home, in the city. When John fails to return home, as promised, on Christmas Eve, his iron-willed wife Olivia (Patricia Neal) keeps a lid on their children's worry. Oldest son John-Boy (Richard Thomas), who privately dreams of becoming a writer but worries about disappointing his parents, is dispatched to find his dad. Graceful yet harder-edged than the subsequent TV series The Waltons (which recast several characters and ran for nine years), The Homecoming reveals, albeit understatedly, much about the pain of poverty even as the family draws strength and closeness through endurance.

Storyline

The Walton family is preparing for Christmas in the early 1930s. It's Christmas eve and they are waiting for father Walton to come home from his job in the city some 50 miles away. Since he is late, everyone is worried and over the radio the mother and grandparents hear about an overturned bus and hurt travelers but keep this news from the rest of the family. The story is really a coming of age story about the oldest son JohnBoy who must cut down the tree with his grandfather since his father isn't home and is eventually told about his missing father and sets out to find him. An all round heartwarming story, especially if you are a fan of The Waltons. A simple story about a simple family in simple times. Great family entertainment!

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