One Magic Christmas (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

One Magic Christmas1985

One Magic Christmas (1985)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

One Magic Christmas Photos

Movie Info

The "magic" in One Magic Christmas is often (and surprisingly) of the "black" variety. Like Jimmy Stewart before her, worn-out wife and mother Mary Steenburgen wishes that she'd never been born. And like Stewart, Steenburgen is visited by a guardian angel, in this case the western-garbed Harry Dean Stanton. Instead of granting Steenburgen's wish, Stanton shows her what life would be like without Christmas--and that vision is as grim as anything you're ever likely to see in any Holiday film. Throughout the horrendous tragedies heaped upon Steenburgen, we are comforted in the knowledge that Stanton is working in concert with Steenburgen's young daughter. Steenburgen learns her lesson of course, but what a ride!

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Mary Steenburgen
as Ginny Grainger
Gary Basaraba
as Jack Grainger
Arthur Hill
as Caleb Grainger
Elisabeth Harnois
as Abbie Grainger
Wayne Robson
as Harry Dickens
Jan Rubes
as Santa Claus
Robbie Magwood
as Cal Grainger
Sarah Polley
as Molly Monaghan
Graham Jarvis
as Frank Crump
Timothy Webber
as Herbie Conklin
Joy Thompson-Allen
as Mrs. Monaghan
John Friesen
as Mr. Noonan
Debra McGrath
as Mrs. Noonan
Julie Beaulieu
as Noonan Child
Jeremy Dingle
as Noonan Child
Jane Schoettle
as Bank teller
Damir Andrei
as Bank manager
Amah Harris
as Girl in bank
Geremy Dingle
as Noonan Child
Rita Tuckett
as Mrs. Claus
Sam Malkin
as Garage mechanic
Garreth Bennett
as Harry Dickens' son
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Critic Reviews for One Magic Christmas

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

It's a godsend for parents, a movie you can take the kids to, but which won't leave you gnashing at the armrest halfway through.

January 3, 2018 | Full Review…

An affecting, well-played film.

May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

This is very unfortunate. What we have here is a movie with an intelligent screenplay, wonderful performances and skillful direction, but it is a tactical miscalculation from beginning to end.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Screenwriter Thomas Meehan seems to have had It's a Wonderful Life in mind; the results are closer to A Nightmare on Elm Street.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Far too downbeat for the festive season.

November 16, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Has the bite of a toothless old dog.

November 16, 2017 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for One Magic Christmas


From Disney comes the rather unusual holiday film, One Magic Christmas. The story follows an angel who's assigned to help a working mother find the Christmas spirit, and to do so he enlists the help of her daughter. Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton lead a somewhat eclectic cast. And the plot too has its share of quirks, with the angel teaming up with Santa Claus, and the use of a Christmas Wish to bring back the dead. The tone shifts so wildly that it's hard to tell what kind of film you're in half the time; fantasy, comedy, tragedy. Still, One Magic Christmas manages to come through with some heartwarming moments.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

"One Magic Christmas" is the complete opposite of what it's ridiculous title calls it out to be. As a little girl and her family are unsure of whether or not to believe in santa, a man comes, full of magic to bring christmas spirit. Events happen throughout the film that are random, tragic, and very cold hearted, but honestly, once that point came in the film, I truly did not care what happened to the characters. This film starts off simple and sweet, but completely falls apart in a random mess of bad acting and stupid plot points. Never have I been turned off from a christmas movie this much. The only thing it has going for it is christmas spirit, otherwise, it is one of the worst holiday films I've ever seen. Many shots are used over and over again, and the kids seem to have the same emotions and dialogue in ever scene, always asking a question. This film becomes very annoying, and particularly dark. I do not like this movie at all. It is a family film that no family should waste their time watching!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A depressing Christmas Tale about a family's loss during the season, and an Angel who can help them get through it. Not fun or magical!

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

One Magic Christmas Quotes

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