Well, it is now officially Christmas season as I have watched my first Christmas movie. I know it’s early, but all you Grinches need some extra time to warm up to the season, so starting early is not such a out there idea.
For most of his married/family life Adam Thorton (Ed Asner – from The Mary Tyler Moore Show) put business before family. So much so that he has ended up estranged from his children and separated from his wife, Kate (Maureen Stapleton – Cocoon, Reds). He always thought there would be time to repair all the wrongs he had done in his life. That time has come.
Adam receives a bad new from his doctor, Dr. John Hodges (John Randolph – Serpico, You’ve Got Mail), who tells him that he only has a few weeks to live. Adam decides he wants to repair familial fences before he dies. With the help of his estranged wife Kate, who guesses what is going on with Adam, he comes up with the plan of inviting all his children, Bud (Gregory Harrison – from television’s Trapper John, M.D.), Tom (Lawrence Pressman – American Pie, Shaft), Peggy (Gail Strickland – The American President, Norma Rae), and Julie (Rebecca Balding – from television’s Charmed) and their kids and significant others over for the Christmas holidays.
Yes, from the very first moments of The Gathering you will be able to tell that this was a television movie. The way it is edited and filmed gives that away. And the fact that several big television stars of the time (1977) like Ed Asner, Gregory Harrison, Veronica Hamel, and Stephanie Zimbalist are in it.
This is a sentimental film, but not so sweet that it will leave you with aching teeth. Every family has its “issues” and problems and the Christmas holidays are a perfect time to work them out. We can all relate to what the Thortons are going through.
Get yourself in a holiday frame of mind by watching this tv movie.