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The Gathering


List Price: $14.96
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The Gathering + The Gathering II (1979 TV) + The Homecoming: A Christmas Story
Price for all three: $21.60

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Asner, Maureen Stapleton, Rebecca Balding, Sarah Cunningham, Bruce Davison
  • Directors: Randal Kleiser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DVIOXQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,075 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gathering, The (1976 TVM) (DVD)

Amazon.com

A fondly remembered holiday item from the latter phase of a great age of TV movies, The Gathering has an irresistible idea and a splendid central performance from Edward Asner, the actor for whom the term gruff but lovable was surely coined. We learn in the opening seconds of the film that Asner's character, a well-to-do businessman named Adam Thornton, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness; he's got three months left, at best. Time to make amends, and Adam reaches out to his ex-wife (Maureen Stapleton) and his mostly estranged kids for a final Christmas gathering. You won't find many surprises along the way, but the script by veteran screenwriter James Poe takes time for the small things, and gives Asner a believably conflicted character to play. It's directed by Randal Kleiser, who was just a year away from jumping to a big-screen career and scoring a smash with Grease. There's also some interest in watching a batch of young actors in the early stages of their careers: Bruce Davison, Gregory Harrison, Veronica Hamel, and Stephanie Zimbalist are in the Thornton extended family. If The Gathering has the basic look and feel of a TV movie (with wintry location work in Ohio), it nevertheless creates an honest, earned glow as it sorts through one man's final accounting of what has mattered in his life. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

The acting and story line are superb!
Patricia Thomas
Hopefully, a DVD will be released in time for this coming holiday season.
pingman
I have an ancient copy on VHS but would love to have it on DVD.
Shenandoah Andy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Arlene Ross, Miami, FL on December 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely little made-for-TV film, with a good script, sound acting, and the enjoyment of watching familiar faces. Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton head a cast that includes Lawrence Pressman, Veronica Hamel, Gregory Harrison, Stephanie Zimbalist, Gail Strickland, Edward Winter, and more. Yes, the "dying man making amends" plot seems a little weepy, but this family interacts in a way that reminds us how real families are: lots of ruffled feathers that are ignored when the chips are down. My husband and I have a rare VHS copy of this gem, and watch it every holiday season with a fresh box of tissues nearby.

With all the trash available on DVD these days, it's a shame that this film isn't similarly formatted for all to enjoy. In a nation supposedly concerned with "moral values," people are snapping up far lesser efforts. If you can find this one, it will become a part of you.
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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful By gellerfan on May 16, 2008
The Gathering is an excellent drama set during the Xmas season in a New England town; The family patriarch Adam Thornton, portrayed by Ed Asner, learns that "he's run out of time", and with his death looming shortly, he enlists the aid of his estranged wife, Kate, played by Maureen Stapleton, to have a traditional Christmas "gathering" of the estranged Thornton clan at the family home. The emotional subplots deal with the family's mixed feelings regarding their parents' separation and the potential fireworks which may occur, the reunion of the clan and the many fences Adam needs to mend before he dies- without telling the family of his illness. It does sound a little moribund and yet...the teleplay by James Poe brings the warmth of the holiday season to the fore, as each family member finds love and healing. The production won an Emmy award for outstanding drama and should have received more for the excellent performances by Asner and Stapleton.
This film has become a holiday viewing staple in my home since its premiere thirty years ago, and brings joy and tears with a profound holiday glow to my entire family. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on November 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I first became acquainted with this highly moving 1977 Christmas Television movie during one Christmas season in the mid 1980's when it was shown late on Christmas Eve. I immediately fell in love with its simple story filled with much identifiable human drama, great characters and first rate performances by all cast members. Christmas is often a time of reflection and efforts by families to come together despite their conflicts and differences during the past year and the storyline of "The Gathering", uses these very issues to perfection in its beautifully thought out screenplay. "The Gathering", centres its story around one man's recently diagnosed terminal illness which makes him reflect on his wasted life where ambition and the obsession to succeed in big business has cost him not only his wife, his children and his home, but also his inner sense of self worth. Ed Asner still best remembered for his role on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", here takes on a very different kind of role as driven business man Adam Thornton who with only a few months left to live enlists the help of his long estranged wife Kate, (a superb Maureen Stapleton), to gather together for one last Christmas, his four children whose love he sacrificed in his quest for business success. What unfolds is a beautifully crafted tale highlighting the power of forgiveness and family unity against all odds, and while it is indeed on the sentimental side ( which I love incidently!), the film also never shies away from illustrating many all too common human failings and the harmful effects they can often have on those we love.

I firmly believe that very few present day movies dealing with the often complex relationships existing within families come anywhere near the emotional impact that "The Gathering" delivers.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Charles Rohr on November 9, 2008
Verified Purchase
Each year I check to see if this fine movie has been released on DVD and each year I am disappointed--but maybe next year. If there are those who have not seen it I would like to whole heartedly recommend it. The story is poignant without being maudlin--it is full of hope without being corny. In addition to an excellent story, the directing, and acting are superb. The main characters played by Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton bring depth and sincere feeling to characters who are not perfect human beings, but who have a sincere caring and love for each other that has been misplaced but never lost. In the end it brings the hope of the season--that redemption is always possible and that family, whether "gathered" together or apart has a unity, caring and closeness that endures over estrangement, miles, and years --an excellent movie, and a Christmas Classic.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. R. Sappenfield on December 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite Christmas movie. I too wish it would come out on DVD. This is a classic, Christmas tear jerker, filled with forgiveness, redemption and love.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MAGGIE on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
ONE OF THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES MADE. THIS MOVIE KICKS OFF OUR HOLIDAY SEASON EVERY YEAR. I WILL NEVER TIRE OF THIS MOVIE.

THE FAMILY BONDS ARE STRONG AND ALL IS FORGIVEN IN LOVE.......SAD ENDING OR WHAT IS LEFT AS THE ENDING.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Margaret G. Schoenacher on July 5, 2008
It is a tradition for me to watch this movie every Christmas. My own
personal copy was recorded by me from a PBS channel years ago. I fear
it may not last many more years. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. I hope this
will become available.
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