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By Jim Manago, Biographer (Shirley Booth, Huntz Hall, and Kay Aldridge)

Monday, December 19, 2016

"THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE" HAS HEART!

The following post by D. Manago contains spoilers…


The 1972 telefilm The House Without A Christmas Tree is a heart-warming 1940’s story that is realistic without being overly sentimental. Based on a story written by Gail Rock, the program offers exceptionally good acting despite the low budget. 
  
Jason Robards superbly portrays James Mills, a widowed father who never got over his wife’s death. This puts a serious strain on his relationship with his daughter Addie (Lisa Lucas). 

Addie longs for a Christmas tree. Her father has been refusing to get one for years, and this year is no different. Patient and firm pleas from her grandmother (Mildred Natwick) are to no avail.

Briefly, she wins a tree at school. One of my favorite moments is when James loses his cool, and lashes out at Addie when he sees the tree she brought home. It is only after Addie gives the tree to a poor family that her father changes his heart.

Lucas offers fine subtleties in her expressive eyes when she displays anger, disappointment, humiliation and surprise. In addition, there is Addie’s expression of revelation when her father presents her with the treetop star her late mother made, and Addie realizes that is where her art skills came from.

Yes, The House Without A Christmas Tree is a touching drama, and it has heart! Highly recommended!


***** 

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