An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.An elderly widower relies on his daydreams and faith to get through a lonely Christmas.
Jimmy Stewart is Willie Krueger, senior citizen and widower, who works as an apartment building janitor and lives alone except for his cat named George. With his wife dead and children scattered if any, Christmas is a lonely time for the elderly and particular this elderly. But he's a man content with the life he's led, it was a good if obscure one.
He still would like some human company though and in his imaginings he finds himself directing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their Christmas holiday show and then in the presence of the baby Jesus in a nativity scene. Viewers will find that a most moving scene as he thanks the Babe for his life and the faith that he had to sustain him.
Stewart's performance reminded me very much of Tyrone Power in The Long Gray Line. In that one Power aged almost fifty years and the scenes in that basement apartment reminded a lot of Power as an old man after the death of Maureen O'Hara. Of course Stewart did not need any aging makeup at this point in his career. I really believe that the folks at the LDS church who produced Mr. Krueger's Christmas were influenced by that John Ford classic.
Mr. Krueger's Christmas has become a minor holiday classic in the tradition of that most famous of Jimmy Stewart films, It's A Wonderful Life. It's a simple and profound story and a great tribute to that most beloved of American players.
- Dec 29, 2006