The Man Who Saved Christmas

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The Man Who Saved Christmas
Written by Joseph Maurer
Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson
Starring Jason Alexander
Kelly Rowan
Ari Cohen
Edward Asner
Theme music composer Jonathan Goldsmith
Producer(s) Randi Richmond
Cinematography Paul Sarossy
Running time 100 minutes
Original release
  • December 15, 2002 (2002-12-15)

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.


During the First World War, A. C. Gilbert (Jason Alexander), a successful toymaker, is requested by the government to re-tool his factory to help produce goods for the war effort. After speaking with his father (Edward Asner) and his son (Jake Brockman), Gilbert initially agrees to this, but comes to regret his decision.

Things get the better of Gilbert as he learns that his brother Frank(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 Gilbert the name "The man who saved Christmas."

Ultimately, Gilbert's brother Frank returns from the war in time to celebrate Christmas.

Production notes[edit]

The film uses considerable "artisitc license" in telling its story, including the fact that A.C. Gilbert, Jr. wasn't even born within the film's timeframe, A.C. Jr. is also portrayed as an only child yet, in real life, he had two older sisters, Charlotte and Lucretia.[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.

External links[edit]