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Beyond Christmas (1940)

3.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This uplifting story begins on Christmas Eve in New York City as three elderly businessmen prepare to enjoy a festive dinner together. In a show of holiday spirit, they receive visits from two kind-hearted strangers — first a young man, then a young woman. Each has come to return a wallet they believe one of the gentlemen has lost. From this humble beginning, friendships are built, and romance ensues. The elderly gentlemen meet with a tragic mishap in a blizzard, returning to earth as benevolent ghosts who act as the young couple’s guardian angels. Before proceeding to Heaven, the spirits work behind the scenes to ensure that the couple’s love will endure forever. Filled with heart and soul, this charming 1940 holiday classic is perfect for the Christmas season — and beyond.

Special Features

  • Includes all-new color version and restored black-and-white version
  • Deleted scenes
  • Christmas trailers
  • Vintage holiday film rarities

Product Details

  • Actors: Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Alex Melesh, Maria Ouspenskaya
  • Directors: A. Edward Sutherland
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002PYSYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,974 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beyond Christmas (1940)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Reviewer VINE VOICE on November 5, 2004
Format: DVD
If you like old-timey Christmas movies, this is a sweet one. The three old gents are as endearing as can be. Since Amazon's sight lacks a synopsis, I'll include one here:

A holiday gem released in 1940, this is a classic tale of three elderly gentlemen who foster the love of a young couple. Without families of their own to celebrate with on Christmas Eve, three rich businessmen (Harry Carrey, C. Aubrey Smith, and Charles Winninger) invite a kindergarten teacher (Jean Parker) and a rodeo performer (Richard Carlson) to share the holiday meal with them. Both of the young people had approached the men in an attempt to return a wallet they found, and they develop a friendship with their hosts while beginning to fall in love with each other. The three gentlemen are tragically killed in a plane crash, however, but return to their home in order to help the young people through the rough spots of their love. Becoming the couple's guardian angels, the ghosts guide their love to ensure that it will last forever in this charming and romantic holiday fantasy.

FYI, this was originally entitled "Beyond Tomorrow."
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I think this movie (story wise) is worth watching. However, I wish I had purchased a version with all scenes intact. This version is 79 minutes and the deleted scenes only about 5 minutes. I can't imagine why they felt it necessary to take out 5 minutes, especially because as I watched, it was obvious that scenes were being skipped. After watching the deleted scenes, things made more sense and I felt the movie would have flowed better had they been left in.

If you are prone to cry at sad movies this one will probably get to you. It's about three older well-to-do gentlemen that toss 3 wallets out their window on Christmas Eve to see if anyone is honest enough to bring them back. Two come back, one via a young woman; the other a young man and romance ensues. Sadly the trio that brought them together meet with a tragic death. However, they then become guardian angels of sorts to the young couple. I recommend this to those who like vintage movies but do also recommend watching the black and white version before the colorized. I found myself distracted by the added fake color. Make sure you get the 84 minute version though.
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Format: DVD
This film is 1940's BEYOND TOMORROW, presented here as BEYOND CHRISTMAS in an edited version, removing several minutes of footage. Both colorized and B/W versions are included. The edited footage is presented as deleted scenes for some odd reason. The packaging states the film has been restored but don't believe it, it isn't a great print.

Instead of this, pick up the uncut BEYOND TOMORROW version for VCI. That version is a complete print with all scenes intact and in the correct place and is a much better print also.
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Format: DVD
I'd give the actual film - originally titled "Beyond Tomorrow" - 3-4 stars. It is a touching, sentimental, well-acted, well-directed, wonderfully scored little film about Life and Death and the bigger picture of both top priority topics. It even brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend this film, although only the first fifth of it deals directly with the Christmas season. Despite, LEGEND's retitling it to "Beyond Christmas" it is still extremely worth watching - but NOT the version released by LEGEND.

Oh, the cover of the DVD is beautiful! The couple of "Vintage Holiday Film Rarities" are very brief appeals from Bob Hope and Bette Davis to buy Christmas seals to aid in the fight against TB and war bonds to aid in the World War Two war effort. That's about it. The trailers are for "A Christmas Wish" a.k.a. "The Great Rupert" and ....yes, "Beyond Christmas"! The inclusion of the "restored black and white version" of the main feature is totally pointless - and for this reason: LEGEND actually had the guts to clip out 5 minutes of the full "Beyond Tomorrow" and add those deleted scenes as extras and claim them as "Deleted Scenes." Yes - they were deleted from this print - by LEGEND itself! Why? Just so the buyer believes he/she is seeing things left on the cutting room floor in 1940. It just ain't so. And it is especially pitiful because the film looks good in color - but what a shame that LEGEND can colorize the film decently...yet then go and chop-cut it just to add extras.

Get the movie, but not this purposefully truncated version. I have the full film (84 minutes compared to LEGEND'S 79 minutes)as put out by Westlake Entertainment Group.
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I liked most, that this movie was not a typical Christmas plot. Three men whom are stood up by their Christmas guest decide to make a bet. They each take a wallet with a $10.00 bill that were for gifts, and place a business card of their own inside of it. They open the window and through all the wallets out onto what is a typical busy sidewalk during the holiday season. They wanted to see if anyone would find and return the wallets. Then they would invite this person to join in a Christmas Dinner. Two of the wallets returned. One from a young man and the other a young women. It just so happens that both are away from home and family on this holiday season and accept the three mens offer of the Christmas Dinner. The group become great friends and spend all their time together, until a plane crash takes the lives of the 3 gentlemen whom had taken a business journey together. The three men's spirits return to the house where they had always gathered to share a cigar or brandy.

Throughout the movie, one by one the heavens call and a loved one appears to show them the way to heaven. All except one man who fights to stay a little longer to help the young couple through some trying times. He sacrifices what is to be his one chance at going to the heavens above to stay behind and help the ones he loves through some trying times. The rest you have to see for yourself. One thing is sure, when it is my time to go I hope it is just like this movie - just beautiful.
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