A Christmas Memory (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Christmas Memory (1997)

A Christmas Memory (1997)

A Christmas Memory





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Made for television, A Christmas Memory is adapted from the wistful short story by Truman Capote, previously filmed in 1967 as a one-hour episode of ABC Stage 67. Capote himself narrated the original version, in which he recalled his lonely childhood and the strong bond between himself and his simple-minded older cousin Sook, a role brilliantly essayed in 1967 by Geraldine Page. The remake stars Patty Duke as Sook, with whom young Buddy (Eric Lloyd) (the Capote character) lives during one memorable Depression Christmas while his divorced (and detached) mother and father are otherwise occupied. Looked after by her unmarried sisters Jennie (Piper Laurie) and Callie (Anita Gillette), the warm, unfailingly cheerful Sook busies herself with preparing Christmas fruitcakes for everyone she can think of--including President Roosevelt and Jean Harlow!--and, with the innocence of the eternal child, she allows the impressionable Buddy into her own private world. When the time comes for Sook and Buddy to be separated, he prefers to remain with her. . .a decision, alas, that is not his to make. Bereft of Capote's eloquent narration, and including several subplot intrigues not to be found in the original short story, A Christmas Memory is a game effort, but in the end falls short of the 1967 classic. The remake aired December 21, 1997 on CBS.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Television, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Duane Poole
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 23, 2007
RHI Entertainment


Piper Laurie
as Cousin Jennie
Anita Gillette
as Cousin Callie
Jeffrey DeMunn
as Cousin Seabon
Esther Scott
as Anna Stabler
Jimmie F. Skaggs
as Haha Hones
Suzi Bass
as Rachel's Mother
Dan Biggers
as Rev. Dickson
Lala Cochran
as Lazy Wife
David Dwyer
as Farley Wood
Edith Ivey
as Customer
Frank Roberts
as Mr. Macafee
Alex Van
as Bus Driver
Truman Capote
as Narrator
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for A Christmas Memory

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Audience Reviews for A Christmas Memory


Not being exposed to this story in an older version, I can appreciate this story as one that reflects a simpler time, and yet reflects a writing style that we are in too much of a hurry to write today. This story is an example of the times, the love, and the heart of this era. It portrays people who lived in tough times, and made sacrifices to do good, even when the cost was high. I enjoyed this.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Pleasant enough but missing a certain magic, Patty Duke overdoes it just a bit although her final scenes are good. For a superior treatment of a Capote story watch the Grass Harp instead.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Surprisingly decent, as far as pretty much non-existent, apparently "award-winning" adaptations of famous pieces of literature go. "A Christmas Memory" is consistently enjoyable thanks to the fact that it's never too bad and never too good. Could it be better, considering what it's got? No, probably not? Could it have been worse? Oh yeah, it most definitely could have been. Nevertheless, the black-and-white imagery as well as good narration from Capote himself make "A Christmas Memory" anything but memorable, but still enjoyable to watch. If you've got time to kill, then maybe it's worth it. All that I know is: I haven't laughed at a movie/short film this much in a while, and at the same time know that it's moderately "well done". A drunk scene set near the end pretty much takes the cake, complete with both the boy and the family dog getting their share of whiskey. If they weren't drunk, then I don't know what the hell they were doing dancing around as they were.
If there were one thing I could ask for out of a short film such as this, it would be a little bit of emotion. The emotion here is mostly fake, and it's coming out of pretty decent actors as well. It's a shame, because a story like this should by all means be more tender than it is here. Nevertheless, when it ended I felt (sort of) satisfied. But one question remains: How does one achieve awards with mediocrity?

Ryan M
Ryan Marshall

Super Reviewer

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