16 December 2002 | broadfoot
a perfect holiday film
After his latest series bombed and he was reduced to doing Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials, Jason Alexander makes a refreshing return to TV in this true story based on the life of toy inventor A.C. Gilbert, who created the now-famous Erector Set. During World War I, Gilbert was persuaded to have his factory staff produce weapons and ammo for American troops fighting overseas instead of toys. The decision caused him to forget about the true meaning of the holidays and neglect his wife and son. With their persuasion, however, and his older brother missing in action in Europe, Gilbert and his staff decided to start marketing toys again and took their decision all the way to the Supreme Court.
Alexander gives a wonderful performance, and Ed Asner does a remarkable job playing Gilbert's father, who also tends to have a Scooge-like attitude during Christmas but is finally rejuvenated at the end of the movie, when his presumed-dead son returns home from Europe after the end of the war.