The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)

The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Man Who Saved Christmas Photos

Movie Info

Jason Alexander stars as fabled toy manufacturer, A.C. Gilbert in this Capraesque TV movie. An overachiever since his school days, Gilbert surprises his stern father (Ed Asner) by forsaking a career in medicine to pursue an entirely different business. Creating the now legendary Erector Set, A.C. sets up his own toy company in 1913, an enterprise which is raking in millions within two years. But with America's entry into WWI, the U.S. government prevails upon Gilbert to convert his factory into a munitions plant. Though at heart a pacifist, Gilbert agrees to do so, secure in the belief that he will be able to return to toys once the hostilities have ceased. Alas, the Government has other plans. At their behest, Gilbert reluctantly mounts a "Buy Bonds, Not Toys" campaign designed to divert the money normally spent on Christmas gifts to the war effort. Is this the end of Christmastime as millions of children know it, or will Gilbert be able to salvage both the holiday and the spirit of giving? The Man Who Saved Christmas debuted December 15, 2002, on CBS.
Drama , Kids & Family , Television
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Alliance Atlantis Television Productions


Jason Alexander
as A.C. Gilbert
Kelly Rowan
as Mary Gilbert
Edward Asner
as Charles Gilbert
Ari Cohen
as Frank Gilbert
C. David Johnson
as Sam Ryder
C. David Johnston
as Sam Ryder
Jayne Eastwood
as Evelyn Gilbert
Jake Brockman
as Al Gilbert Jr.
Daniel Kash
as Hiram Harris
Kenneth Walsh
as Newton Baker
Jonathan Harris
as Franklin Roosevelt
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Man Who Saved Christmas

There are no critic reviews yet for The Man Who Saved Christmas. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for The Man Who Saved Christmas

I think I enjoyed the time period of the movie as much as the story itself. The fact it was inspired by true events makes this even more interesting. I was very hesitant knowing Jason Alexander was the main character but after giving it a shot I was pleasantly surprised. This is a good holiday movie to add to my collection.

rusty allen
rusty allen

This true biographical drama casts a short stocky Seinfeld (tv) comedic actor in the lead male role with a tall wife, Kelly Rowan. This rather odd casting makes for some awkward moments (like when they kiss) and I would assume most women would find this very annoying to watch. But this is really the only negative comment about this sentimental tale of a toymaker turned inside out by world current events. It turns his world upside down. Depicts a rather honest account of the business man AC Gilbert, not his entire life, but his formative years as an early toymaker in the U.S. (inventor of Erector sets) He is not so dumb or naive so as to pass up WWI and the windfall profits making ammunition and gas masks, among other things. His home goes to boarding with his parents to a mansion like residence. The film goes from the shakey start up of he and his brother's toy business to his phenomenal rise to toy industry spokesman. But profits bring misery to he and his workers as they start to grumble about the overtime. His brother ran a fine toy factory, but had to go to war. A replacement is found who runs a slave shop and is most unwelcome. This little film is perfect for the Christmas holidays. It is well done, well paced, and set in the early 1900's with nice costuming. It comes off a little too television like, even though shot in widescreen. No subtitles. The tension between his newborn son and himself is very realisticly portrayed. The boy comes off as a late 20th century person however, not as a person of the era. Ed Asner, the television actor of Mary Tyler Moore fame, does a reasonably fine job of portraying his role. Here is a toy genius who has a son who doesn't like toys, prefers reading the newspapers and conducting science projects in his room. This is very credible as many fathers probably could relate to the disappointment AC Gilbert experiences. When the Congress wants to suspend Christmas, AC sets out to end that and makes a rather passionate appeal. This is a true story by the way! , which otherwise would have come off as a lame and predictable good feeling plot. This film is worthy of being one of those perennial holiday favorites suitable for the family or anyone of any age that can understand the plot, since it does have a business angle to it. In this truth stranger than fiction story, AC Gilbert does, in fact, save Christmas celebrations for a WWI weary America. Only 88 minutes long too!!

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

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