One Magic Christmas
|One Magic Christmas|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Phillip Borsos|
|Written by||Phillip Borsos
Harry Dean Stanton
|Walt Disney Pictures|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|Running time||89 minutes|
One Magic Christmas is a 1985 American holiday film from Walt Disney Pictures directed by Phillip Borsos and starring Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. It was filmed in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Ginny Grainger (Steenburgen) is the mother of two children, Abbie (Harnois) and Cal (Magwood). Her husband, Jack (Basaraba), has been out of work since June, and the family has to move out of the company house by January 1. Jack fixes bikes as a hobby in the basement and hopes to give a bike to his children's poor friend, Molly Monaghan, for Christmas. Although Jack would like to open a bike shop of his own, doing so would use up all their savings, which Ginny sees as a foolish move. In order to make ends meet, Ginny works as a cashier at a grocery store.
One night, Abbie goes across the street to the mailbox to send a letter to Santa Claus. After she mails it, Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), an angel who has been watching the Graingers, retrieves Abbie's letter from the mailbox and returns it to her saying that her mother should mail it. She agrees, and as she's crossing the street to return to the house, a car barrels down the road towards her. Gideon stops the impending accident and allows Abbie to cross the street without incident.
The next day, the Graingers visit Jack's grandfather. He gives the children presents: Cal a Christmas book and Abbie a snow globe of the North Pole. That night Gideon visits Abbie in her room only to learn that Ginny did not mail Abbie's letter to Santa Claus. Gideon warns Abbie that some things are going to happen tomorrow and not to be afraid. Meanwhile, Ginny and Jack are in the kitchen talking about their finances. He reiterates his desire to open a bike business, but she feels that he should find a new job, as the time to start turning a profit from a business would be too long. Frustrated, Jack storms out of the house to go for a walk. Ginny races after him to try to work things out. Ominously, all the Christmas lights begin turning off all around her, as to show that the last of the Christmas spirit has been drained from her.
The next day, Christmas Eve, Ginny gets a ride to work from a friend. While at a gas station, she sees a man trying to sell a camp stove in order to support himself and his son, with little success. She shrugs off the situation and goes on with her day. Meanwhile, Jack, along with the children, go to the bank to take some money out of their savings to do some Christmas shopping. He tells the children to wait in the car, but Abbie leaves to visit Ginny at the grocery store across the street. Abbie informs Ginny that Jack is at the bank which causes Ginny to storm to stop Jack, only to have her boss see her leave and he fires her. Ginny returns Abbie to the car and enters the bank only to discover that the man from the gas station, named Harry, is holding up the bank. Jack attempts to quell the situation, but Harry shoots him. In a panic, Harry flees the bank and steals the car with Abbie and Cal still inside. Ginny chases after him in Harry's car, but the car runs out of gas before she can catch up with him. Harry comes to a bridge where the police have set up a road-block and tries to swerve around it, but skids off the bridge into the river below.
After learning of the death of both her husband and children, Ginny returns home to an empty house and weeps in the bathroom. Soon after, Jack's grandfather comes to the house to inform her that the kids have been found standing on the side of the road. The police believe that the gunman dropped them off before the crash, when in reality Gideon rescued them from the river. When they return home, Ginny informs them that Jack has died and is not coming back.
Later that night, Abbie runs away to the town's Christmas tree in hopes of finding Gideon to ask him to bring back her dad. Gideon tells her that he can't fix things like what has happened to her dad and that the only person who can bring him back is Santa Claus himself. Gideon takes Abbie to the North Pole to meet Santa. Santa informs her that he too cannot fix what has happened nor can he bring the Christmas spirit back to Ginny, but Abbie can. Santa then takes her through his factory which is run by "ordinary, nice people," not elves. In the mailroom, he retrieves an old letter that Ginny had written when she was a child, and tells her that the letter may hold the key to helping her mother.
Gideon returns Abbie to her house and she gives her mother the letter. Ginny reads it and finally realizes the true meaning of Christmas: to celebrate what you have and not what you want. She walks outside to the mailbox and mails Abbie's letter to Santa. Just then, all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood come back on and Jack reappears and Ginny hugs him much to his confusion as he is only returning from his short walk the previous night.
The next day, Ginny re-lives the events of that Christmas Eve, but this time with a different attitude. At the gas station she buys a camp stove from Harry who thanks her and wishes her a Merry Christmas. That evening, she writes a check to Jack for the bike business and the kids give Molly a bike. That night, she hears something downstairs and finds Santa putting presents under the tree. He then stops and looks at her and says, "Merry Christmas, Ginny." She smiles and with tear-filled eyes, finally says the words she has been unable to speak for so long: "Merry Christmas!"
- Mary Steenburgen ... Ginny Hanks Grainger
- Gary Basaraba ... Jack Grainger
- Harry Dean Stanton ... Gideon
- Arthur Hill ... Caleb Grainger
- Elisabeth Harnois ... Abbie Grainger
- Robbie Magwood ... Cal Grainger
- Michelle Meyrink ... Betty
- Elias Koteas ... Eddie
- Wayne Robson ... Harry Dickens
- Jan Rubes ... Santa Claus
- Sarah Polley ... Molly Monaghan
- Graham Jarvis ... Frank Crump
- Timothy Webber ... Herbie Conklin
- Joy Thompson ... Mrs. Monaghan
- John Friesen ... Mr. Noonan
- Official website
- One Magic Christmas at the Internet Movie Database
- One Magic Christmas at the TCM Movie Database