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Book Vs Movie “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” (1971)

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs Movie: “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” (1971)

The Basis of the Waltons TV Series Started as a TV Movie!

The Margos decided to get into the Depression-era holiday spirit with a look at “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” which was written by author & creator of The Waltons TV series–Earl Hamner, Jr. 

Hamner has a fascinating career as a writer with several scripts of “The Twilight Zone” including the famous The Bewitchin’ Pool, (the very last episode of the original American series.)

He also created 80s TV nighttime soap, Falcon Crest!)

In between, he wrote the 1961 novel Spencer’s Mountain which became a movie starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara as Clay and Olivia Spencer. They play a couple living in the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming and their eldest son “Clay-Boy” is set to become the first in his family to go to college. 

Ten years later he wrote, “The Homecoming” which told a similar story with a twist–the Walton family was based in the Blue Ridge mountains during the depression. The TV movie was on December 19, 1971, in the U.S. and was such a big hit–it was immediately turned into a TV series. 

Hamner narrated every episode which ran for almost ten years and started the phrase “goodnight John-Boy!” 

In this episode, the Margos talk about the author, his original novella, the 1971 TV movie, and try to decide which we like better. Have a listen!

In this ep the Margos discuss:

Clips used:

  • The Homecoming  trailer 
  • An early ad for The Homecoming
  • Olivia Walton is suspicious of John-Boy
  • Earl Hamner, Jr opening scene narration

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Margo D. @BrooklynFitChik www.brooklynfitchick.com brooklynfitchick@gmail.com

Margo P. @ShesNachoMama https://coloniabook.weebly.com/ 

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Discussed in this episode...

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971) Poster
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)
The Walton family is preparing for Christmas in the early 1930s. It's Christmas Eve, and they are waiting for Daddy Walton to come home from his job in the city some 50 miles away. Since he is late, everyone is worried and over the radio the mother and grandparents hear about an overturned bus and hurt travelers but keep this news from the rest of the family. The story is really a coming of age story about the oldest son John-Boy who must cut down the tree with his grandfather since his father isn't home and is eventually told about his missing father and sets out to find him. An all round heartwarming story, especially if you are a fan of The Waltons. A simple story about a simple family in simple times. Great family entertainment!

More details at TMDb.