Item description for A Christmas Wish (aka The Great Rupert) by Don Beddoe, Frank Cady, Candy Candido, Chick Chandler, Jimmy Conlin & Various...
DescriptionA charming and wholesome 1950 holiday film about a New York family (led by Durante) who are down on their luck at Christmas time. Shortly before Christmas, they move into a ground floor apartment building where Rupert the squirrel lives in the attic rafters. Just when it seems that the holiday will come and go without so much as a Christmas tree, Rupert acts as the family's beneficent guardian angel - not only saving Christmas, but changing their lives forever. (Originally titled The Great Rupert, the title has been changed to A Christmas Wish, which more adequately describes the story and showcases the delightful holiday theme.)
Outline Although it's now more of a curiosity and a quaint reminder of a time when movies possessed a quality of innocence that has long since vanished, The Great Rupert was something of a marvel when it was released in 1950. Produced by special-effects pioneer George Pal, who had delighted audiences of the 1940s with his innovative series of Puppetoon shorts, this charming comedy employs Pal's technique of animated puppetry to bring life to the title character--a lovable trained squirrel that comes to the rescue of a down-and-out family of vaudeville performers in the depths of the Great Depression.
Jimmy Durante leads the struggling clan, barely able to pay rent in a converted garage adjoining the home of a man who's been stockpiling lucrative investment dividends in the floorboard between the two homes. From his cubbyhole in the wall, resourceful Rupert has been tossing wads of $100 bills to Durante's wife, who thinks it's cash from heaven! Ol' Jimmy cracks wise with ancient puns and one-liners, making this a treat for Durante fans looking for squeaky-clean family entertainment. And once he's saved the day for all involved, furry-tailed Rupert goes back to his own vaudeville gig with his devoted owner, played by another veteran of vaudeville, Jimmy Conlin. It's all a bit too sweet by today's tarnished standards, but The Great Rupert stands as a testament to George Pal's optimistic spirit and creative imagination, which would later bless the productions of such films as The Time Machine and The Seven Faces of Dr.Lao. --Jeff Shannon
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Actors: Don Beddoe, Frank Cady, Candy Candido, Chick Chandler, Jimmy Conlin
Format: Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD, Full Screen, Live, NTSC
Region Code: 1 (USA & Canada Only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 88.00 minutes
Record Label 20th Century Fox
Format Dolby / DTS Surround Sound / DVD / Full
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Binding DVD Video
Release Date Oct 31, 2004
Publisher WORD MUSIC - CHRISTMAS #190
ISBN 5550244306 ISBN13 9785550244302 UPC 024543099383
Availability 0 units.
More About Don Beddoe, Frank Cady, Candy Candido, Chick Chandler, Jimmy Conlin & Various
Reviews - What do customers think about A Christmas Wish (aka The Great Rupert)?
The Great Rupert Jan 25, 2007
This was a very innocent movie and we enjoyed it...all ages were having fun with the film. The kids were interested in people they never heard of, cars they hadn't seen before, and the clothing people wore at that time in the 1950's. The plot was cute; no need for censorship with this one. What a delight.
destined to become a Christmas favorite at our house Jan 18, 2007
I love old movies, especially at Christmas time. We already had It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas in our DVD collection but decided to try some other oldies but goodies. I wouldn't put this one on the same level as the other two I mentioned but the squirrel (Rupert) in this picture is too funny. The story line is just hilarious. The landlord hides his money in the wall where the squirrel's nest is. The squirrel throws the money out a hole in the other side of the wall and the down-on-their-luck tennants receive "money from heaven!" just as the mom is praying for new shoes for her daughter.
The town's people can't figure out how these newcomers are making so much money - maybe they're gangsters? The police AND the IRS show up at their door asking questions. There is a romance involved between the poor tennants' daughter and the wealthy landlord's son. It was a very entertaining movie overall!
A CHRISTMASS WISH Jan 29, 2006
THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY IT MY BE AS THAY SAY AN OLD TIMER BUT IT IS A HEART FELT MOVIE,ABOUT A LITTLE SQUIRL THAT IS A LITTLE LIFE AND FREIND SAVER.
Very Mild Mannered and Entirely Inoffensive Nov 14, 2005
When a slightly miserly landlord takes to hiding his savings he inadverdently intrudes into a squirrel's nest--which wastes no time in shoving the money out of his nest and into the hands of the down-on-their-luck Amendola family, who rent an apartment below. Originally released under the title of THE GREAT RUPERT, in 1950 the film was primarily admired for its then-artful blend of live action and puppet animation to create Rupert, the squirrel; today, however, it is best regarded as a very mild mannered and entirely inoffensive little movie that just happens to offer the legendary Jimmy Durante one of his final film roles.
The script and story are as memorable as school cafeteria banana pudding, but the performances are reasonably engaging. As head of Amendola family, Durante is brash is only Durante could be, doing doubletakes and pounding out an occasional tune on the piano in his unique style. He is well supported by the likes of Terry Moore, Tom Drake, and such veteran character actors as Queenie Smith, Frank Orth, Sara Haden, and Jimmy Conlin. It's all in good fun.
The 20th Century Fox release consists of two versions of the film: the original black and white and a colorized version. There is nothing visually impressive about the film, so it is not hurt by colorization per se; as for the colorization, it is reasonably well done, at least so far as such effects go. Most astonishingly, the release includes a commentary track by Terry Moore and various people associated with the colorization and the DVD release.
The commentary track is not tremendously informative; Moore freely admits that she had seen the film only once before, and that some fifteen years earlier. Even so, Moore proves good company, offers the occasional insight into the cast, and now and then proves unwittingly amusing--with her comments on actor Tom Drake, who was both gay and deeply closeted, a case in point. On the whole, I'd say the commentary is actually more engaging than the film itself, but whatever the case Durante fans, Moore fans, and those in search of truly innocent family fare should find it pleasing.
GFT, this site Reviewer
A sweet and gentle family film Nov 3, 2005
"A Christmas Wish" (AKA "The Great Rupert") is a sweet and gentle film with a quiet reminder about the true meaning of Christmas. I recently found this film by accident, and I am glad I did. Most, if not all, contemporary "holiday" films are only marketing devices used to sell useless junk to kids. Fortunately, "A Christmas Wish" pre-dates this era, having been made in the late 1940's-early 1950's when Hollywood made many, many great kid-friendly films that had real stories and demonstrated great imagination. I am thinking of the "Lassie" films, "My Friend Flicka", "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T", etc. "A Christmas Wish", in my opinion, belongs with this group. I especially love the optimism and humor of the character played by the great Jimmy Durante. Where, in a contemporary film, will you find a father who isn't a drug dealer, or pimp, or hit man, or a crook of some kind? Or where parents, and kids, are not portrayed as morons who exist only to consume? No, you have to go back to films like "A Christmas Wish" for portrayals of human beings who have positive things to offer. I am so glad this film has been restored. The dvd edition offers the film in two versions, B&W and colorized. The B&W version is crisp and clear. I have not watched the colorized version, as I do not subscribe to the concept.