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Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory (1966)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Geraldine Page, Donnie Melvin
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Video Yesteryear
  • Run Time: 51.0 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BWZ4QC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Narrated by Truman Capote. Emmy Award winning adaptation of Capote's recollection of his youth in the rural South during the Depression. Living with a slightly dotty but loving "cousin," Capote remembers back to when he was about 10 years old and it was suddenly decided that "it was fruitcake weather." The task of baking 30 cakes for mostly far away friends and other rituals of Christmas time are painted with such loving and nostalgic strokes, this becomes a truly beautiful Christmas experience. The pverty of the 1930s fails to stop or even slow down a loving relationship at a loving time of the year. An Emmy Award well deserved!

Customer Reviews

I feel that same way when I watch this little film.
I. Sondel
I received a copy of this videotape as a gift last Christmas and found it to be of such poor quality as to be unwatchable.
David R. Moon
Buy it and watch it every year at Christmas with your kids!
Yankee in Texas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By I. Sondel VINE VOICE on November 14, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" is, perhaps, my favorite short story. I re-read it each Christmas. In 1966, at the height of his fame, Capote wrote this adaptation and provided the narration for this hour-long film.

Geraldine Page IS Sook Faulk. She's NOT acting. She simply IS her - and always will be as far as I am concerned. This film gets my vote for the most perfect hour of television - ever. The performances, the story, the narration - nothing could be improved upon. The final scene with the spinster and child flying kites becomes almost unbearable when Miss. Sook reveals her heart: "I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with sun pouring through, such a shine you don't know it's getting dark. And it's always been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I'll wager it never happens. I'll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are, just what they've always seen, was seeing him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes." I feel that same way when I watch this little film. It communicates so much, so simply.

Now, as for this black & white copy - what's up with that? This was filmed in color. The print I recorded is in color. It's beautiful. I've haven't yet seen "The Thanksgiving Visitor" - why doesn't some company release these two films together on one DVD - fully restored???? It would make a perfect Christmas gift for anyone who considers themselves a fan of either Truman Capote or Geraldine Page.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R. Penola on December 21, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This perfectly rendered adaptation of Capote's autobiographical story deserves a DVD reissue. It is perhaps the most beautiful Christmas movie you will ever see - simple, lovingly made, with performances that are astonishingly real - and heartfelt. Geraldine Page, who won the Emmy, is mesmerizing as Capote's eccentric cousin Sook - though we never hear her name in this movie version. Capote's distinctive voice provides some of the most emotional moments of the film - underscored by an enchanting musical score that is woven into the scenery. The relationship we come to experience in A Christmas Memory is its most memorable aspect - and you will undoubtedly make this a seasonal event, as I have for over 20 years. It never fails to move me to tears - perhaps more so as I grow older.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Jim Quist on October 27, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
"Whether baking a cake, prattling like two wise children or raiding a
pecan orchard, young Donnie Melvin and the remarkable Miss Page are
unforgettable. The authentic Southern setting looks so real that it
hurts, at least to one who raided a pecan orchard or two in his own
time. The color photography of the entire picture is muted and excellent."
-- from Howard Thompson's review of A Christmas Memory (in its
theatrical release) from the November 7th, 1969, New York Times.

It's a rare pleasure to watch this dramatization of a piece of great
American literature, and it has become a ritual in my home to watch
this movie with friends and family each year. Donnie Melvin and
Geraldine Page work so well together, they truly bring the story to life.
Hard to imagine, but the original short story was written while author
Truman Capote was vacationing in Hong Kong.

A Christmas Memory was filmed in direct collaboration with Mr. Capote,
and it won many awards, including a Peabody and three Emmys, after it
first aired on ABC Television's Stage67 series.

One problem: This VHS cassette is in black and white and thus offers a
diminished experience from what was created in the 1966 color original.
The story still shines through, but this small gem deserves
better. A color copy of A Christmas Memory of equivalent quality to the
above can be found online elsewhere.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jeff McGinnis on December 11, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
"A Christmas Memory" (ABC 1966) and the companion piece "The Thanksgiving Visitor" (ABC 1967) were films by Frank and Eleanor Perry. Geraldine Page won an Emmy for each production. The films were shot in Alabama in color and have rarely been seen since the original broadcasts.
This version is a very poor quality black and white kinescope . It does not include any special material such as Stage 67 title sequence or commercials, extras which sometime distinguish a kinescope. Excellent color prints were shown on the A&E cable network in 1993. See also "Truman Capote's Trilogy" (1969) for a slightly edited version of "A Christmas Memory" and the companion book by the Perrys (1969).
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Buddy's Master on September 18, 2007
Format: DVD
I read the licensee comment. I was one who purchased a BW copy - terrible copy - from someone on e-bay. I had a color copy on VHS that I had copied from the FAMILY CHANNEL about 10 years ago. As I watched it I removed the advertisements. I have just recently made a copy on DVD. My copy is better than any copy I have seen and I don't understand why the licensee or ABC or who ever owns the rights can't get a color copy from the FAMILY CHANNEL ( which is no longer the FAMILY CHANNEL - Is it TBS now?) or some PBS channel which also use to show the film around Christmas time!Maybe ABC could restore it to its original form. My copy is excellent compared to others I have seen but certainly not a restored copy type version.
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