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This movie is a little gem for the most part. And a welcome change from the usual Christmas fare. The only fault is with the ending which appears rushed and we are left to grieve the characters a little. Rather like a dessert that gets whisked away before one is quite finished. Unsatisfied. It tells the story of a widowed parson and the family members who come home for the holidays to a quaint old village. Father, played wonderfully by Ralph Richardson, has always been shielded from the facts of life by his three - now adult - children. For the era in which it was made (1952)the secrets one of the three carries is quite a shocker. A flaw is that Celia Johnson, an actress I enjoy, is far too old in this to play a thirty one year old. Margaret Leighton's brittle charm is never more appealing than here. However, the two aunts steal every scene in which they appear, two wonderful stage actresses, Margaret Halstan and Maureen Delaney. A great script, a little stagey, and ending far too swiftly, I gave it a 7 out of 10.
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