Director: Michael Switzer. Cast: Gary Sinise, Joely Richardson, Gordon Pinsent, Jordy Benattar, Michael Rhoades. 2003. Running time: 2 hours
Based on a novel by Don Snyder, Fallen Angel is about loss, return and reconciliation set against a Christmas background. Terry McQuin loses his mother at a young age and is brought up by his workaholic father who is a caretaker for the townspeople. He gets a fingerprinting kit as gift for his ninth birthday, around the Christmas season, when he makes friends with little Katherine Wentworth, the daughter of Charles Wentworth. The night before Christmas Eve, the two children are taken by Charles to a children’s hospital to give gifts to the invalid children. Returning home through the storm, the car slips on the icy road and kills a woman driver and her child. Charles flees and is thought dead. Katherine’s mother takes her and leaves to marry again and settle elsewhere.
The rest of the movie is about the children growing up, finding each other again, while Charles lives alone and poor. They meet and come together, and it is Christmas once again.
The Christmas Gift
Director: Michael Pressman. Cast: John Denver, Jane Kaczmarek, Edward Winter, Gennie James. Mary Wickes, James Callahan.1986. Running time: 97 minutes.
Presented and acted in by the celebrity musician John Denver, The Christmas Gift is a tribute to the spirit of Christmas. Mr Renfield, a New York real estate business man, sends his deputee George Billings, a widowed architect, to an idyllic little town to survey land for a new project under the pretext of a Christmas vacation. He takes his little daughter Alex along. They are still mourning the death of George’s wife, who had passed away the previous Christmas.
The people of the small town form a vibrant community life and everyone knows everyone. They believe in Santa Claus and miracles. Their belief springs from the legend of a little boy who was among the first settlers who came there a hundred years before. The settlers arrived on Christmas Eve in bitter cold and blizzard near starvation. There appeared a strange old man who was starving to death and begging for food. A little boy takes pity on him and goes around collecting scraps from the already starving settler community and feeds him. The next morning the settlers find their wagons all provided with plenty of food and provisions. The little boy knew it was Santa Claus. It inspires them to write letters to Santa every Christmas season and they believe they will experience miracles. The townspeople are preparing for the Christmas celebrations. Caught up in the lives of these people Billings does not want to carry out Renfield’s business proposition which will harm the Georgetown community. The story ends with a jovial Christmas celebration. The film celebrates the beauty and joyfulness of small Christian community founded on faith, neighbourly love, friendship, charity that makes miracles happen.
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