It Happened One Christmas (1977)

USA, 11 December
35mm film, Technicolor, 4:3
mono, English

An American fantasy television film directed by Donald Wrye.


A woman who feels that she has nothing left to live for wishes that she'd never been born. An angel is sent to grant her wish and show her what other peoples' lives would have been without her.


Directed by: Donald Wrye
© MCMLXXVIII [1978] 1Although broadcast in December 1977 the film is copyrighted 1978 by Universal City Studios, Inc.
A Daisy production in association with Universal an MCA company
Produced by: Marlo Thomas, Carole Hart
Executive in Charge of Production for Daisy Productions: Joel Freeman
Unit Production Manager: D. Jack Stubbs
Written for Television by: Lionel Chetwynd
Based upon a story [The Greatest Gift] by Philip Van Doren Stern
1st Assistant Director: Phil Cook
2nd Assistant Director: Dick Erickson, Lou Race
Director of Photography: Conrad Hall
Additional Photography by: Charles Correll
Film Editors: Robbe Roberts, Bill Martin
Music by: Stephen Lawrence
Music Editor: Betty Bierey
Sound: Nick Gaffey
Sound Effects Editors: Jim Troutman, Vince Milandri
Costume Designer: Joe I. Tompkins
Ms Thomas & Ms Leachman's Wardrobe by: Anthea Sylbert
Make-Up: Tom Case
Hair Styles: Lynn Masters
Special Effects: Hal Millar
Special Photographic Effects: Albert Whitlock Jr.
Titles & Optical Effects: Universal title
Production Designer: John J. Lloyd
Set Decorations: Hal Gausman
Graphics by: Zak & Vanguard
Production Associates: David Holde, Ed Nassour
Casting by: Linda Otto Associates
Casting for Universal: Phil Benjamin

Marlo Thomas (Mary Bailey Hatch)
Orson Welles (Henry F. Potter)
Wayne Rogers (George Hatch)
Cloris Leachman as Clara [Oddbody]
Barney Martin (Uncle Willie)
Karen Carlson (Violet)
Dick O'Neill (Mr Gower)
Doris Roberts (Ma Bailey)
Richard Dysart (Peter Bailey)
Cliff Norton as Martini
Archie Hahn as Ernie [Baker]
Christopher Guest as Harry Bailey
Gene Conforti as Sassini
Morgan Upton as [Officer] Bert [Andrews]
Robert Emhardt as judge
Ceil Cabot as Cousin Tillie
Bryan O'Byrne as doctor
Rita George as Helen Bailey
Dan Barrows as toll keeper
Med Flory as Nick
James E. Brodhead as bank examiner

Remake of
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Merry , George Bailey (1997)



  • Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Made for Television by Fraser A. Sherman pp.101-102
  • Ghosts and in Hollywood Films by James Robert Parish pp.207-210 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Movies Made for Television: The Telefeature and the Mini-Series 1964-1979 by Alvin H. Marill p.270 – credits, synopsis
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.158