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A Child's Christmas in Wales (1987)

Denholm Elliott , Mathonwy Reeves , Don McBrearty  |  G |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Denholm Elliott, Mathonwy Reeves, Glynis Davies, Michael Fawkes, Jesse McBrearty
  • Directors: Don McBrearty
  • Writers: Dylan Thomas, Jon Glascoe, Peter Kreutzer
  • Producers: Gillian Richardson, Joseph Pierson, Michael MacMillan, Seaton McLean
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Henstooth Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEN90
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Child's Christmas in Wales" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This timeless tale is as wondrous as the story's snow globe, delivering with pristine gentleness a glimpse of a child's Welsh Christmas told from the remembrances of a kindly grandfather to his attentive grandson. Dylan Thomas' 1955 poem of the same name--originally written for radio--is richly adapted to the small screen by director Don McBrearty who brings to life an already masterful piece of prose, infusing it with even more grandeur through vivid costumes, scripting, and cinematography. Denholm Elliott is captivating, both as narrator and as Old Geraint, the grandpa who settles in on a rainy Christmas Eve to share with young Thomas (Mathonwy Reeves) his memories of Christmas past. Who can forget the fire in Mrs. Prothero's parlor; the unending snow, "a dumb, numb thunderstorm of white"; the Useless Presents, including the mewing moo; the Uncles "trying their new cigars"; and, always, the Aunties-- including Hannah, who customarily "laced her tea with rum." Gift-wrapped in delicate music by Lou Natale, the language, imagery, and subtle humor of this film--absent of stain and cynicism--makes for a suitably classic "annual family tradition." (All ages) --Lynn Gibson

Product Description

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES takes you on a lyrical journey back to the magic and marvel of boyhood where no two moments were ever alike and life was embraced with belief instead of doubt. On this special Christmas Eve, Old Geraint shares these heartwarming memories with his dearly loved grandson, Thomas. In one evening he does more than recall his cherished youth . . . he relives it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Gem October 31, 2005
By Aradia
I am really surprised that it took so long for "A Child's Christmas in Wales" to appear on DVD. The piece is an extraordinary immersion in nostalgia, which can be appreciated by all everyone who remembers what it's like to be a child at Christmastime.

The casting is perfection, the settings spot-on, and Dylan Thomas' work comes alive vividly before your eyes.

So well does this film conjure the savory smells coming from the Christmas-Day kitchen, when all the women are busy preparing the meal, that one's mouth waters. We can't help but laugh at the uncles, who having stuffed themselves to capacity, loosen their belts and fall asleep in that fine sleeping time post-revelry. And then there is that wonderful moment, at the end of the day, when Christmas carols are sung and a weary child is tucked into bed, head still full of Christmas pleasures...

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" is a warm and poignant treat for the senses and for the heart. I give it five stars enthusiastically, and look forward to our annual viewing. It has become a family tradition.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must see" each Christmas December 17, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is a delightful story of a young boy in Wales. It commences with the grandfather and his grandson at the home of the child's parents on a Christmas Eve.(The narrator and grandfather played by Denhom Elliott) The child is given a beautiful snowglobe by his grandfather as a Christmas gift. The grandfather had received the snowglobe many, many years earlier when he was a boy and the child asks "tell me about your life when you were young, Grandad" -- so the story begins of Christmas's long gone by in Wales, Gt. Britain. The story is simple, Dylan Thomas' words are beautiful, and this is a video that can be watched every holiday season by all the family. I encourage everyone with young children to see it. Life was much simpler in those days. Hopefully it will never go out of print.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living a CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES December 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This lovely, sensitive interpretation of Dylan Thomas's poem is loyal to the original, but adds appropriate dialogue and a wonderland of touching pictures and characters. We have viewed it for the first time and are drawn into the film at every new frame. It seems just right for all ages and makes one quite nostalgic for the days of our youth and those special times with family and friends when small towns and simple acts meant love was every where around us. We recommend it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of Christmas caught on film! August 25, 2005
You will love this!!

Having never seen an adaptation of "Child's Christmas" on TV, I was really pleased to see a VHS of this a few years ago in the video shop. We rented it and loved it - and now its on DVD for all to see and cherish! Any human of 5 years age or older will not fail to be captivated by this.

The production shifts between a 'modern' family's Christmas eve and the half-remembered Christmas celebrations from the 'modern' grandfather's (Denholm Elliott) childhood. The family home is the same for both time periods, itself becoming a key character within the piece.

Dylan Thomas' poem is left intact and is BEAUTIFULLY and IMAGINATIVELY brought to life by a talented cast of Welsh actors, who act and sing their way with almost uncanny passion. The humor of the verse is actually improved by several visual gags.

For me, this is the best portrayal of Christmas ever filmed, with the possible exception of the last scene of a good "Christmas Carol". There is no suggestion of the ' freedom from avarice' theme that is key to "Crhistmas Carol", "Miracle on 34th St" and the newer Christmas productions. The spirit is entirely one of nostalgia, love and reflection -- surely those are the best emotions of all.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Christmas jewel December 15, 2005
We discovered this movie when it was first shown. It quickly becamse a family classic and we have watched it every Christmas Eve since. What a joy to find that this movie is finally available on DVD. I have bought a copies for my mother, four children, and a good friend.

It is hard to describe this movie. The poetry of Dylan Thomas combines with the images and story of the film in such a powerful imaginative way that I doubt I will ever want to just read the poem by itself.

There are so many classic moments. Perhaps one of my favorites is the four boys going up to the old man's door to sing carols. They try singing Good King Wenceslas but are frightened away by the haunting whispery singing on the other side of the door.

I strongly recommend this movie to everyone. Buy a copy for yourself and buy multiple copies to give to families, friends, and lovers. Let this movie become part of your Christmas.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas gem! November 30, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully realized film of Dylan Thomas's prose poem, "A Child's Christmas in Wales." The poem, wonderfully narrated by Welsh actor Denholm Elliott, is set within a framing story of a grandfather (Elliott) telling his young grandson about his own childhood Christmasses. The casting is marvelous and the cinematography is good, but it is Dylan Thomas's words and Elliott's narration of them that lifts this film into the ranks of Christmas classics. I saw it first on PBS, and was delighted to see it come out on video. Watching it each year has become a family tradition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A treasure - we lost ours when we moved - so very thrilled to get this!
Published 2 days ago by Barbara Kinney
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remembered Christmas
If you love this charming short story by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas you should also enjoy this well done video version. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maggie Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon came through again!
Have looked for this story on film for years! I'm so glad I found it! My Christmas movie collection is now complete!
Published 1 month ago by hillary kimmel
4.0 out of 5 stars Your Grandparents WIll Love This
Item arrived in less than perfect condition (the box), but the DVD played fine. My grandmother loved it, watched it twice it brought back many memories of her childhood.
Published 2 months ago by AmaGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly done
This is standard viewing for my Christmas season. Had a VHS copy, but was delighted to get the DVD version.
Published 5 months ago by Dukke
2.0 out of 5 stars A very episodic story
Very episodic, by which I mean, one thing happens, then another thing happens, then another, and before you know it the story's over. And you say, so why did I read that? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Molly Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic
An absolute classic, our family looks forward to it each year; beautiful images and Dylan Thomas's language bring to life Christmas as it was when today's grandparents were... Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Gilby
5.0 out of 5 stars A family favorite
I love this film. Denholm Elliott was a great actor. It has become our number one Christmas film. I have shared this film with friends and colleagues and they all loved watching... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julia Hoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
A great Holiday movie for kids of ALL ages! It would make a great gift for just about any one.
Published 6 months ago by Jan TerVeen
5.0 out of 5 stars New favorite
I heard from a friend about this video, and how special it was. I tried finding it else where, but couldn't. Am very happy to have my copy!!!
Published 7 months ago by lorelei lawyer
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