A Very Brady Christmas
|A Very Brady Christmas|
|Written by||Sherwood Schwartz
Lloyd J. Schwartz
|Directed by||Peter Baldwin|
|Theme music composer||Frank De Vol (main title)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Sherwood Schwartz|
|Producer(s)||Lloyd J. Schwartz
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Sherwood Schwartz Company
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||December 18, 1988|
|Preceded by||The Brady Brides|
|Followed by||The Bradys|
|Related shows||The Brady Bunch|
A Very Brady Christmas is a 1988 American made-for-television comedy-drama film based on the 1969–1974 sitcom The Brady Bunch starring original cast members Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb and Mike Lookinland, along with Ron Kuhlman and Jerry Houser, who reprised their characters from the short-lived series The Brady Brides, and Jennifer Runyon, who played Cindy, as Susan Olsen was on her honeymoon at the time of filming.
A Very Brady Christmas premiered on CBS on December 18, 1988 and was the highest-rated television film of 1988.
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 Philip 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 Nelson-Franklin
- Barry Williams as Dr. 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 Philip Covington III, Jan's husband
- Caryn Richman as Nora Brady, Greg's wife
- Zachary Bostrom as Kevin Brady, Greg and Nora's son
- Jackie Bernstein as Jessica Logan, Marcia and Wally's daughter
- G.W. Lee as Mickey Logan, Marcia and Wally's son
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 made-for-television film on Fox in 2002.
A Very Brady Christmas was released on VHS by Paramount Home Video in 1993 and has long been out of print. On April 3, 2007, the film was included as a bonus feature on The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series 21-disc DVD set by CBS and Paramount.
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