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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever movie was released in 1983 and stars Loretta Swit as Grace Bradley. Based on a book by Barbara Robinson, this special premiered on ABC in 1983 and also featured a screenplay by Robinson. This is a made for tv adaptation of Barbara Robinson's novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H stars as Grace Bradley who inherits the job of running her church's Christmas pageant when the woman who usually does it breaks her leg. Grace is indifferent about running the pageant. While she doesn’t want one more thing to do, she also understands that she is needed, and so she takes on the challenge.
And a challenge it is sure to be! Not only does Grace inherit this disaster, but it gets worse when the Herdman kids - all six of them - decide they want to be in the Christmas pageant as well. The Herdman children are notorious for abusing each other and stealing from and bullying other kids as well. They smoke, steal, lie, bully and generally create havoc in their town. Needless to say, this is going to present a whole new series of challenges for Grace as she tries to pull together The Best Christmas Pageant Ever DVD.
The Herdman’s father disappeared years earlier and their mother works two shifts at the shoe factory to support herself and the kids while the kids run wild around the town. With no one to discipline them, there’s no one to stop the Herdman kids from getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. When they decide to take on the Christmas pageant, everyone knows that they’re only there to cause mischief. But as they begin to get more into their roles, they begin to discover more about the true meaning of Christmas. In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will this be the year that the Herdmans turn around and begin to understand the importance of this holiday season?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever movie is a classic made for TV special from the 80s with a delightful cast and fun child actors delivering most of the humor content of the film. If you grew up watching this when you were younger or when it first aired, it’s sure to bring back memories and it has really earned its status as a wonderful classic. It originally aired during the Christmas season of 1983 and was instantly successful and well-loved. Families enjoyed the clean content and overall humorous and clean nature of the film.
This television special was adapted from a book of the same name by Barbara Robinson. With classic illustrations by Judith Gwyn Brown, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever book was originally published in 1971. It became classic book very quickly and even spawned a couple of sequels themed around other holidays. By 1982, this was a well-received and well-known title and it was then turned into a play that was first performed by the Seattle Children’s Theatre. Due to the success of the book and the play, it was decided by the next year, it would be turned into a television special starring Loretta Swit.
Grace (played by Loretta Swit) is tasked last-minute with putting on the yearly church Christmas pageant. When the lady who normally runs the pageant breaks a bone and is out for the rest of the Christmas season, Grace takes over the job. But she immediately runs into trouble at their very first casting meeting.
While Grace had planned on this being a relatively straightforward process, it’s made much more difficult when the Herdman kids arrive and want parts in the play. The Herdman kids are known for being difficult and have always terrorized the kids in the town. When they basically threaten their way into receiving roles in the pageant, Grace is faced with a dilemma – should she keep these kids in the play and try and put on the pageant anyway? Or should she simply call the whole thing off? In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever movie, Grace, the kids, and the whole church learn an important lesson about welcoming the Herdman kids with open arms and showing them what a God-honoring church looks like.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever film also teaches an important lesson about the purpose of the church and loving those who may be hard to love. When the Herdman children first arrive at the church, Grace doesn’t know what to do with them. She knows how difficult they can be and she doesn’t particularly want them to have a part in the play. But when no one else volunteers for the roles and she is left with only the Herdman kids, she decides that she will put them in the play. The children are opposed to this, as none of them like the Herdmans. Many adults in the church are equally turned away by this prospect. They advise to either cancel the Christmas pageant or refuse to let the Herdmans in. But by putting them in the play, Grace helps teach both the kids and adults in the church the importance of reaching out to others.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever movie teaches an important lesson that the point of the church is to be a welcoming place for any and all to come to, no matter how difficult they may be. In the end, the people at the church learn this lesson and they are able to see the good they did in the Herdman kids’ lives and how it changed their attitudes and perspectives.
This film has been given the Dove foundation seal of approval and has been approved for all ages. There is nothing objectionable in this film, as most of the cast is made up of kids. This is a great film to share with your family, and could be the start of an enjoyable Christmas tradition for you and your family. If you grew up with this classic as a child, you won’t be disappointed by this high-quality DVD version of this 1980s classic.
I read the book to my first grade class and then we watch the movie. We just love it! What Christmas is all about. (Posted on 11/28/16)
I love this Christmas movie. I bought one for each of my kids' families. (Posted on 12/12/15)
This is our family's all time favorite Christmas story. Even our sons have fond memories of watching it together and have it in their home for their children. We give it as gifts each year. (Posted on 11/16/15)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever DVD
For our classroom Christmas celebration, I was planning on showing the movie, "The Best Christmas Pageant, Ever." I had read the novel to my class, and they love to see books played out in a movie.
This novel-based movie contains the message that Jesus was born to save us all. Especially, He came to save those that need Grace the most. The main character comes upon this truth through interacting with the Herdman family in a Christmas Play.
(Posted on 1/5/14)