Journal, June, 2006
DVD. color. 56 min. Luminous Films. 2005. ISBN 0-9773287-0-8. $14.98.
Gr all levels
-- It's December 1941 and money is tight in the Carter household.
Christmas is fast approaching, and Joel knows that he will not be able to
afford the bicycle his young daughter has requested. With war impending, he
doesn't receive a decent Christmas bonus from his boss. In desperation, Joel
tries to obtain a $25 bank loan, but is denied. Finally on Christmas Eve, he
unsuccessfully attempts to persuade a local merchant to sell him a bicycle
on credit. Thoroughly discouraged, he walks home and reluctantly accepts the
fact that Carol Lee will not get her bicycle. A stray dog follows Joel home,
and when Carol Lee discovers the dog in the morning, the mood in the house
changes from misery to jubilation. A dog was the second item on Carol Lee's
list to Santa Claus, and she's thrilled to welcome "Mr. Christmas"
into their family. Joel's pain and frustration of not being able to provide
for the happiness of this family is clearly evident. The acting is
natural and the two girls are charming. Much attention to historical detail
is evident in the Carter home, the neighborhood, and the town (Eureka
Springs, AR). This
heartwarming film will be a holiday classic.
- Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN