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Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980)

An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.

Director:

Kieth Merrill

Writers:

Alan Henderson (story), J. Scott Iverson (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
James Stewart ... Mr. Krueger
Beverly Rowland Beverly Rowland ... Lead Caroller
Kamee Aliessa Kamee Aliessa ... Clarissa
Tamara Fowler Tamara Fowler ... Clarissa's Mother
Tyson Lewis Tyson Lewis ... Baby Jesus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darro Glissmeyer Darro Glissmeyer ... Caroller
Rolando González Rolando González ... Caroller
Leslie Peery Howa Leslie Peery Howa ... Salvation Army Lady
Rita Jensen Rita Jensen ... Caroller
Gordon Jump ... Narrator
Alan Nash Alan Nash ... Mr. Hathaway
Oscar Rowland ... Tree Salesman
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square ... Themselves (as Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
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Storyline

Willy Krueger, a lonely and aging widower, lives in a basement apartment with only his cat George for company. Finishing his work for the day as the custodian for the building, he ventures out on Christmas Eve to buy a tree and on the way, he imagines he is a well-dressed gentleman while peering at some fine tailoring in a shop window along the snowy street. Returning home, he falls asleep listening to an LP by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, dreaming that he is conducting them in carols of the season. Awakening to find some carollers outside his window, he beckons them to visit him offering hot chocolate, but they leave after only one song. In trimming the tree, he places upon it the mittens left behind by Clarissa, the youngest of the carolling group. Handling figures of the small nativity beneath his tree, Willy finds himself in the manger for the very first Christmas. He also finds the true reason to celebrate as he prayerfully thanks the infant Jesus for being his closest, finest ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Krueger's Christmas See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bonneville Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Mr. Kruger hears the tennat banging on the pipes for heat, he says "That's Mrs. McLean again she'd freeze in the Sahara Desert." Michael McLean was the writer/producer. See more »

Goofs

(at around 27 mins) After Mr. Krueger fixes the pipes, he returns to his apartment and begins to pet his cat. As he talks about be "all by himself" on Christmas Eve, you can clearly see a crew member standing to the right of the screen with his arms folded. See more »

Quotes

[George the cat meows]
Mr. Krueger: Yeah, I guess you're right George, we better trim that tree. If we don't hurry, we'll be too late !
See more »


Soundtracks

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin (uncredited)
Performed by The The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square under the direction of Jerold Ottley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Christmas For the Old and Lonely
29 December 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Unlike so many stars James Stewart was careful and choosy with the material he did when he became a senior citizen. No slasher flicks, no self caricatures capitalizing on his image for Mr. Stewart. This film that Stewart did for the Church of Latter Day Saints is a perfect example of his good taste.

Jimmy Stewart is Willie Krueger, senior citizen and widower, who works as an apartment building janitor and lives alone except for his cat named George. With his wife dead and children scattered if any, Christmas is a lonely time for the elderly and particular this elderly. But he's a man content with the life he's led, it was a good if obscure one.

He still would like some human company though and in his imaginings he finds himself directing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their Christmas holiday show and then in the presence of the baby Jesus in a nativity scene. Viewers will find that a most moving scene as he thanks the Babe for his life and the faith that he had to sustain him.

Stewart's performance reminded me very much of Tyrone Power in The Long Gray Line. In that one Power aged almost fifty years and the scenes in that basement apartment reminded a lot of Power as an old man after the death of Maureen O'Hara. Of course Stewart did not need any aging makeup at this point in his career. I really believe that the folks at the LDS church who produced Mr. Krueger's Christmas were influenced by that John Ford classic.

Mr. Krueger's Christmas has become a minor holiday classic in the tradition of that most famous of Jimmy Stewart films, It's A Wonderful Life. It's a simple and profound story and a great tribute to that most beloved of American players.


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