Best Movies by Farr
The House Without a Christmas Tree Poster
Released Runtime Category
1972 75 Drama, Family
Director Language
Paul Bogart English
Jason Robards, Lisa Lucas, Mildred Natwick

The House Without a Christmas Tree

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What's it About

Director Bogart's deceptively spare and simple story, adapted from Gail Rock's autobiographical book, involves one transforming Christmas in 1946. Precocious Addie (Lucas) badly wants a Christmas tree, but for James (Robards), her widower Dad, such beauty only brings back his lost wife and past Christmases he feels he must forget. He sternly forbids a tree in the house, but underestimates Addie's determination and cunning, bolstered by her loving, understanding grandmother (Natwick).

Why we love it

You won't watch "House" for its production values — using simple sets, it was shot on video for TV over thirty years ago, and virtually forgotten since then, until some genius thought to re-issue it on DVD. Thank you. As much for adults as kids, what sets this "House" on its solid foundation is its fully credible and moving premise, combined with understated, finely wrought performances from pros Robards and Natwick. You can see grief etched on every line of Robards's face, until the spirited Addie (nicely played by newcomer Lucas) snaps him back to the present, and his responsibilities as a father. If you seek quality relief from noise, action, and effects, open your door to this "House."

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"