An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

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An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
Written byShelley Evans
Louisa May Alcott (short story)
Directed byGraeme Campbell
StarringJacqueline Bisset
Helene Joy
Theme music composerJames Gelfand
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Michael Prupas
Steve Solomos
CinematographyMitchell Ness
Editor(s)Jean Beaudoin
Running time90 minutes
Original networkHallmark Channel
Original release
  • November 22, 2008 (2008-11-22)

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is a television film based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott. Filmed on location in Canada, the film premiered on Hallmark Channel on November 22, 2008. It is followed by the sequel, An Old Fashioned Christmas which aired on December 11, 2010.[1]


Widow Mary Bassett (Helene Joy) and her 3 children have hit difficult times on their farm; it is especially apparent when they cannot even afford a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. Oldest daughter Tilly (Tatiana Maslany) writes to Mary's wealthy and estranged mother Isabella (Jacqueline Bisset), exaggerating their situation in a lengthy letter. Isabella comes to the farm to offer her help and finds a kindred spirit in Tilly. However, Mary resents her mother's attempts to help them out of their financial difficulties.



The film did very well for Hallmark Channel when it premiered. It gained 5.2 million viewers, delivering a 3.2 household rating and nearly 2.8 million homes, making it the highest-rated cable movie of the premiere day and week. It also ranked #1 in the time period for household and total viewer ratings and deliveries, and boosted the network to rank #1 in Prime Time for the day. This made Hallmark Channel rank #6 for the week. This made the film the fifth-highest-rated original movie in the network's history to its date, and its fourth-most-watched original movie among households. It is also the network's most watched and highest-rated November original movie ever.[2]

Critics' reviews, however, were mixed. Star magazine called the film "stuffy,",[3] while the TV Examiner claimed "Hallmark Channel has cranked a sweet, ultimately uplifting old school holiday film" and called it an "old style of made-for-TV film."


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