The Man Who Saved Christmas

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The Man Who Saved Christmas
Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson
Produced by Randi Richmond
Written by Joseph Maurer
Starring Jason Alexander
Kelly Rowan
Ari Cohen
Edward Asner
Music by Jonathan Goldsmith
Cinematography Paul Sarossy
Release date
  • December 15, 2002 (2002-12-15)
Running time 100 minutes

The Man Who Saved Christmas is a film based on the true story about the efforts of toymaker Alfred Carlton Gilbert (portrayed by Jason Alexander) of the A. C. Gilbert Company to continue making toys during World War I. First broadcast on CBS television in 2002, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2008, by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment in the US.


The movie revolves around A.C. Gilbert, his family and toy factory. The film is set during the First World War. Gilbert, a successful toymaker, is requested by the government to re-tool his factory to help produce goods for the war effort. Gilbert initially agrees to this, but comes to regret his decision. The movie also deals with Gilbert's relationship with his father (Edward Asner) and his son (Jake Brockman, not to be confused with Jake Brockman).

Things get the better of Gilbert as he learns that his brother (Ari Cohen) has been declared missing in action in the war. This and other factors cause Gilbert to confront the government over plans to encourage people not to celebrate Christmas in order to save resources for the war effort. Gilbert successfully lobbies the government to allow him (and other toy manufacturers) to resume the production of toys for Christmas. Thus earning him the name The man who saved Christmas.

In the final scene Gilbert's brother returns from the war in time to celebrate Christmas.

The film contains numerous errors and omissions: AC Junior is portrayed as an only child yet, in real life, he had two older sisters, Charlotte and Lucretia. Moreover, AC Junior wasn't even born when this film was set.[1]

The erector sets used in the film were the later, smaller versions not made until 1924 and not the original, larger pieces made from 1913 - 1923.[2]




The Gilbert family home was shot in Spadina House, located next to Casa Loma in Toronto with the Distillery District used for external locations.

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