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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Herdmans Strike Again!
Based on the children's novel by Barbara Robinson, with teleplay by the author of the book (hurray!), this video remains true to the book by the same name. A local church is doing the Christmas pageant for Christmas, and the family of 6 unsupervised, undisciplined children decide to get involved. They bully the other children so that they will get the main roles...
Published on December 15, 2001 by Donna

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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Adaptation of the book
I was more than a little surprised when I discovered that there had been a film version of Barbara Robinson's beloved short story AND that (even more surprising to me) the only attempt to bring it to film was made 20 years ago...this year.

Since I have always loved the book (and make a point to read the story every Christmas), I put my $20 down on the cyber...
Published on December 14, 2006 by Steven Becker


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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Herdmans Strike Again!, December 15, 2001
By 
Donna (Poway, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Based on the children's novel by Barbara Robinson, with teleplay by the author of the book (hurray!), this video remains true to the book by the same name. A local church is doing the Christmas pageant for Christmas, and the family of 6 unsupervised, undisciplined children decide to get involved. They bully the other children so that they will get the main roles. Everyone is worried that this will be the WORST Christmas Pageant because the Herdmans are involved. The mother, played by Loretta Swit (MASH), shows patience and diligence, with unending hope that the whole thing will have a great ending. Despite the fact that I've been reading this book aloud to my elementary school students for years, I ended up in tears during the scene where Imogene discovers what Mary is all about. Definitely, OWN this video if you love what Christmas is really about!
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas Pageant Movie Ever, August 21, 2003
The Herdmans are the worst kids ever! They cuss, they smoke, they torture animals and people. AND they want to be in the church Christmas pageant, even though they have never heard the story of Christmas. This movie truly captures the true meaning of Christmas. See Faruza Baulk as a little girl as she narrates the story. I highly recommend reading the book first. It's a fast and easy read. It makes the movie SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching movie, October 18, 2007
This review is from: Best Christmas Pageant Ever (DVD)
When I was in the third grade my teacher, Ms. Curtis, read this book to our class. I completely fell in love with the story and the characters. A few years later, around the Christmas season, this movie was on tv. It follows the book very closely. It has such a good message regarding tollerance of others. The real lesson in this movie is learned by the mom(played by Loretta Swit). I bought this dvd for my parents, myself, and my in-laws a few years ago. We have all made it a tradition that when things get to crazed and we seem to loose our Christmas spirit,in the process of creating "the perfect Christmas", we pop in this DVD and get a good reminder of the most important part to the season. I cannot wait until my three are old enough to really enjoy this movie and understand the message behind it. I highly recommend this DVD to someone of any age.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great Christmas movie!!!, December 5, 2005
This review is from: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever DVD (DVD)
One of the great Christmas movies. The Herdman's really can teach you the true meaning of Christmas. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!!
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Adaptation of the book, December 14, 2006
By 
Steven Becker (Lady Lake, FL. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever DVD (DVD)
I was more than a little surprised when I discovered that there had been a film version of Barbara Robinson's beloved short story AND that (even more surprising to me) the only attempt to bring it to film was made 20 years ago...this year.

Since I have always loved the book (and make a point to read the story every Christmas), I put my $20 down on the cyber counter...without thinking...and purchased a copy. The DVD arrived in the mail today and as soon as I possibly could, I sat down to watch it...

Hmmmm...what can I say? Yes...I know...the movie was made in the 80's, and for television no less. BUT even with that in mind, I was still a little dissappointed with the production.

I agree with other reviewers that the acting was for the most part, quite excellent...but first rate performances were not enough to offset the second rate quality of the film itself, which had a faded, almost murky feel so common with television shows in the 80s (as I watched, I swear to you, images of "Little House on The Prairie" kept flashing before my eyes)...

Would I have purchased the DVD if I had known what I was going to see? The answer is: NO...I wouldn't have. Perhaps it's true that some stories just can't be translated to the screen. Or maybe, more true to the point, it's just that most people do not love this story as much as I do, and therefore are not interested in putting some real money behind it (and give it the production it deserves)...

We have a ka-zillion film and stage versions of "A Christmas Carol" out there...will someone please make JUST ONE more adaptation of this not-as-popular holiday classic...a film version that I can truly give five stars for...

FIVE STARS because to date, it's the only adaptation on Barbara Robinson's book, MINUS TWO STARS because the film production was so unworthy of such a great story...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I wanted and was looking for!, January 24, 2010
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As a teacher, I had read this story to my classes for years. I had recorded the tv version of it on VHS years ago, but I was looking for a DVD copy of it, and when this popped up, I just knew it was exactly what I wanted. And it is! Great story, great movie, great DVD. Thanks!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, January 21, 2010
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This review is from: Best Christmas Pageant Ever (DVD)
This is an awesome movie based on the book. I read the book when I was 7 or 8 and loved it and was really excited to see the movie over 20 years ago. I was even more elated to see that this movie has finally been released on DVD as my VHS copy of it was pretty much done. This movie is a great example of the Christmas Story and what it really means in the Christian community.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars right up there with the classics, April 1, 2009
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This is a great Christmas movie. The characters are potrayed in an endearing way. When Imogene comes to understand the importance of the real STORY, tenderness floods the scene. I liked this movie so much, I gave copies as gifts, and will again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The greatest christmas movie ever? Maybe not, but it's still a LOT of fun...don't miss out on this one!, December 15, 2009
By 
ARH (The Shadow of the Tetons) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever DVD (DVD)
This made for ABC television special is a pretty faithful adaptation of Barbara Robinson's short book (80pp) of the same name The Best Christmas Pageant Ever [BEST XMAS PAGEANT EVER] [Mass Market Paperback]. Loretta Swit (of TV's M*A*S*H* fame) is the headliner of this film. She does a great job as the woman who has to take on the job of directing her church's annual Christmas pageant when another woman has an accident and can't do it. She bucks up and marches in to take on the task, but she didn't count on the Herdmann children showing up.

The Herdmanns were a gaggle of 6 completely unruly unsupervised kids that terrorize their school and town and all the kids in it. When they volunteer to be the 6 main characters in the pagent none of the other kids dare speak up, so there Loretta Swit is, saddled with the Herdmanns as Joseph, Mary, the three wise men, and the Angel of the Lord, only they don't know ANYTHING about the real Christmas story.

Just imagine what you would have thought if you were hearing the Christmas story for the first time!

This film is well worth watching. Of course, some of the acting leaves a bit to be desired, but I have to say that my favorite characters are Jackson Davies who plays Loretta Swit's husband and the youngest Hermann, Gladys.

The movie has plenty of comedic moments, but more importantly it shows that no matter what a child's background may be, there is an innocence there even though it may be masked by layers of dirt and bruises.

A solid 4-star offering!
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HEY! HEY! HEY! Unto you a child is born!, December 6, 2001
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This has got to be one of the funniest Xmas stories ever. Where else can you find a gang of pre-homicidal teenagers living in a garage? And, they want to put on the school play? Nice. (...) It's a really good book too. Read the book first before you see the movie, you'll thank me later according to the prophecy.
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