Home 1980s 1985 Movies One Magic Christmas

One Magic Christmas

Photo scanned from an original press kit in the Northernstars Collection

88 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Release date: November 22, 1985
DVD release date: September 7, 2004
Distribution Company: Buena Vista Pictures

One Magic Christmas and the classic It’s a Wonderful Life have a few things in common. For example, both films have central characters who wish they had never been born and both are saved, in a way, by a guardian angel. In both films the guardian angels appear like anything but, and both films resolve their plot lines by showing what life would be like if the main characters had be granted their wish. But there are vast differences. While Jimmy Stewart is brilliant, It`s a Wonderful Life reflects the time in which it was made as well as the time in which it was set. His performance is mellow-dramatic in many scenes and is frankly over-the-top in others. But that`s what audiences wanted in 1946. It must be remembered that it was released less than a year after the end of the Second World War. Fast forward almost exactly 40 years and Mary Steenburgen is the exact opposite to Stewart`s frenetic portrayal of a man who has lost his will to go on. She plays her role with a calm resolve that sometimes borders on defeat and helps paint a truer picture of how a difficult life can change an otherwise happy person. She is truthful to her character and comes to rediscover life itself while she also rediscovers the joy and beauty of Christmas, thanks to the unshakable faith of her daughter Abbie played by American actor, Elizabeth Harnois. Gideon, the “cowboy” Guardian Angel played by Harry Dean Stanton, deserves special mention. You could easily watch this movie for his performance alone. One Magic Christmas may be a bit too treacly for some, but it`s a fine film. The other thing it shares with It`s a Wonderful Life is the fact that it is deserving of the term “classic.” More than twenty-five years after it was made, it stands the test of time and should be part of any network schedule at Christmas.

The above image was scanned from an original press kit in the Northernstars Collection.

One Magic Christmas, movie, poster,



Peter O’Brian

Executive Producer:

Phillip Borsos

Associate Producer:

Michael MacDonald


Phillip Borsos


Thomas Meehan


Frank Tidy


Sidney Wolinsky


Michael Conway Baker

Production Designer:

Bill Brodie

Art Director:

Tony Hall

Costume Designer:

Olga Dimitrov

Cast: Roles:

Mary Steenburgen
Harry Dean Stanton
Gary Basaraba
Elisabeth Harnois
Arthur Hill
Wayne Robson
Geneviève Appleton
Damir Andrei
Julie Beaulieu
Garrett Bennett
Geremy Dingle
John Friesen
Amah Harris
Graham Jarvis
Elias Koteas
Robbie Magwood
Sam Malkin
Debra McGrath
Michelle Meyrink
Sarah Polley
Jan Rubes
Jane Schoettle
Joy Thompson
Rita Tuckett
Timothy Webber

Ginnie Grainger
Jack Grainger
Abbie Grainger
Caleb Grainger
Harry Dickens

Bank Manager
Noonan kid
Harry Dickens’ son
Noonan kid
Mr. Noonan
Woman in bank
Frank Crump
Cal Grainger
Garage mechanic
Mrs. Noonan
Molly Monaghan
Santa Claus
Bank teller
Mrs. Monaghan
Mrs. Claus
Herbie Conklin