I approached this one with some caution but was pleasantly surprised. I'm generally not a great fan of movies with strong religious & moral themes & this is one of them, being firmly on the bible-thumping Christmas bandwagon. Get past that though & it's actually a very good movie. Cute kids abound, with & without freckles & it's a first movie appearance for Fairuza Balk. Humourous, with some decent acting, it gets my recommendation. It's also short at only 48 minutes long, so boredom shouldn't be a problem!
Warm and wonderful holiday special stars Loretta Swit as the "caretaker" for several delinquent youngsters. How she keeps them in line while staging the town's annual Christmas play makes for a heartfelt story of love and faith.
They're the nastiest, dirtiest kids you could ever meet and they've just decided to be in this year's pageant. But the town thinks they belong in the care of the local police. When the curtain finally goes up, a miracle begins.
Today I'm reviewing the made-for-TV movie of that book, which is a must-see for me each and every holiday season.
Our narrator is Beth Bradley (Fairuza Balk), a serious-minded young lady who has a wide-eyed view of life and is learning to be a little cynical. She's the daughter of Grace (Loretta Swit) and Bob (Jackson Davies) devout members of their local church. She and her brother Charlie attend Sunday School every week and are looking forward to the Christmas pageant, although Charlie really doesn't want to be a shepherd this year.
The Herdmans are about as different from the Bradley's as you can get. Their father, we are informed by Beth, took off one day and hasn't been heard from since. Their mother works double shifts to try and keep them fed, and the kids run wild. And I mean, wild. They get into all sorts of trouble and there's no one there to keep them out of it.
When Charlie gets the wild idea to invite the Herdmans to come to church, no one realized that they would end up taking over the Christmas pageant. Grace has the unfortunate - I mean, the wonderful - assignment of directing the pageant this year, and before she knows it, the Herdmans have taken over all the main parts. What's worse, they're smoking in the church bathrooms and drinking the communion wine! The pastor is sure they should cancel the event for the year, but Grace is determined to pull it off, and wouldn't you know it, but it turned out to be the best Christmas pageant ever.
The best moment is when the Herdmans, playing the three Wise Men, donate their own Christmas ham to the baby Jesus, feeling that frankincense and myrrh just aren't good enough. That one gets me every single time.
File Name .......: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever 1983.avi
File Size .......: 700.10 MB
Duration ........: 00:48:04
Video Codec .....: XviD MPEG-4 codec
Video Bitrate ...: 1930 KB/s
Resolution ......: 640 x 480
Aspect Ratio ....: 1.33:1
Framerate .......: 23.976 FPS
Audio Codec .....: MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3)
Audio Bitrate ...: 105 KB/s (VBR)
Channels ........: 2 Ch
Not my rip......thanks to the originator.
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