A Very Brady Christmas
|A Very Brady Christmas|
|Written by||Sherwood Schwartz
Lloyd J. Schwartz
|Directed by||Peter Baldwin|
Ann B. Davis
|Music by||Laurence Juber|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Lloyd J. Schwartz
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Paramount Television|
|Original release||December 18, 1988|
|Preceded by||The Brady Brides|
|Followed by||The Bradys|
A Very Brady Christmas is a 1988 made-for-television film based on the series The Brady Bunch (1969–1974) starring original cast members Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb and Mike Lookinland, except for Susan Olsen, who was on her honeymoon with her first husband at the time of filming; she was replaced by Jennifer Runyon. The film also incorporated two cast members from The Brady Brides – Jerry Houser and Ron Kuhlman – who portrayed their roles from the earlier series.
Mike and Carol Brady have a savings account, which both spouses planned to use to bankroll a vacation for the other; Carol wanted to take Mike to Greece, while Mike wanted to treat Carol to a trip to Japan. When they realize their ideas collide, they use the money to try to reunite the entire family for Christmas by paying for airline tickets for their children, grandchildren and their children's spouses.
However, all of the Brady kids are facing personal obstacles that might keep them from enjoying the festivities: Greg's wife Nora is spending Christmas with her family. Peter is romantically involved with his boss Valerie and his inferior position and salary is affecting his self-confidence. Bobby has dropped out of college to become a race car driver but has not revealed this to his parents. Marcia's husband Wally was fired from his job at a toy company, Jan is separating from her husband Phillip and Cindy is fighting for her independence since she is the youngest and still gets treated like the baby of the family. Cindy is currently a college undergraduate and in an issue similar to Bobby's, Cindy lies to her parents about overwhelming college student issues, when in actuality she plans to go skiing in Aspen with her roommates.
Even their former housekeeper Alice is dealing with a serious issue: her husband Sam has recently left her for another woman. Through each child deciding to spend the holiday and eventually opening up about their issues, Mike and Carol are able to help them out. However, the family's Christmas dinner is disrupted when Mike learns that a ruthless businessman he designed a building for has cut corners, resulting in the building collapsing and trapping two security guards inside. Mike manages to free the trapped employees, but an aftershock results in Mike getting trapped in rubble himself.
In the end, Mike gets out of the debris after Carol and the entire family sings "O Come All Ye Faithful" (a nod to Carol singing it in the original series' episode "The Voice of Christmas"). After returning home, the family's dinner is again interrupted, this time by a man at the door dressed as Santa Claus. The kids ask where his bag of presents is, but he tells them that he only has one present, for Alice; it turns out to be Sam, in disguise, who has seen the error of his ways and pleads for Alice's forgiveness. After she takes Sam back, the family invites him to stay for dinner, and the film ends with everyone singing a chorus of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".
- Robert Reed as Mike Brady
- Florence Henderson as Carol Brady
- Ann B. Davis as Alice Franklin
- Barry Williams as Greg Brady
- Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady Logan
- Christopher Knight as Peter Brady
- Eve Plumb as Jan Brady Covington
- Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady
- Jennifer Runyon as Cindy Brady
- Lewis Arquette as Sam Franklin (Alice's husband)
- Jerry Houser as Wally Logan (Marcia's husband)
- Carol Huston as Valerie Thomas (Peter's fiancée)
- Ron Kuhlman as Phillip Covington (Jan's husband)
- Caryn Richman as Nora Brady (Greg's wife)
- Zachary Bostrom as Kevin Brady
- Jackie Bernstein as Jessica Logan
- G.W. Lee as Mickey Logan
When the movie first aired, it was the highest rated TV movie of the season with a 25.1 rating and a 39 share but ultimately finished as the second highest rated TV movie of the season. Thanks in large part to the movie's success, CBS and Sherwood Schwartz created a new television series in 1990, The Bradys, based on the characters' adult lives; only six episodes were produced. However, since the tone of the new series dealt with adult issues the former Brady kids had to deal with, it was nicknamed "Brady-something", after the TV Show Thirtysomething which dealt with similar issues.
After The Bradys was cancelled, two theatrical films were made later in the 1990s: The Brady Bunch Movie in 1995, and A Very Brady Sequel in 1996. A second sequel - The Brady Bunch in the White House - aired as a TV movie on Fox in 2002.
- "Brady reunion a ratings gift for CBS". Toronto Star. December 21, 1988. p. C.3. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Burlingame, Jon (December 22, 1989). "'Brady' movie rerun promotes new movie". Times-News. p. C.3. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Zuckerman, Faye (February 9, 1990). "Feel-good family returns". Star-News. p. 5D. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "'BRADYS' ARE BACK WITH A BIGGER BUNCH". Philadelphia Inquirer. February 9, 1990. p. D01. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "A VERY BRADY BUNCH `BRADYSOMETHING'". Deseret News. February 9, 1990. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Wertheimer, Ron (November 29, 2002). "TELEVISION IN REVIEW; 'The Brady Bunch in the White House'". The New York Times.