The Christmas Gift (1986) Movie Script

Susan. Susan!
I want you to know
you're my first stop today.
- Don't forget to save me a place.
- First in line, Bud.
Got your place all saved.
You're first in line.
How you doing, Bud?
Hey, Bud, how are you?
Howdy, Bud.
I got you!
Kids! Don't forget to write your letters!
Don't forget. Make your lists.
Sharpen your pencils.
Jerry McCoy, you tell your daddy,
I said write his letter.
Don't be late.
Look, here comes Bud.
Bud! Wait. Bud.
Come on, Bud, pull it in.
I've changed my mind
about that tune-up, Hank.
Then you better treat
this old clunker to a letter, Bud,
because it ain't gonna make it
to New Year's.
Jake. Jake.
There's nothing I could do. Jake.
Jake. Jake! Tell those kids of yours
not to forget to write their letters.
Good morning, Bud.
- Good morning, Clara.
- Good morning.
Clara! Clara!
- What?
- Don't you be late
with the Christmas edition
of the newspaper.
Don't you talk to me about late,
Bud Sawyer.
You don't do something about
that motor of yours, it will be too late.
Merry Christmas.
Dear Santa...
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.
- Oh, Mr. Billings.
- Merry Christmas, Louella.
Mr. Renfield has been looking
all over for you. It's urgent.
- He's in his lair and growling.
Good morning.
- Merry Christmas. Hi, Chris.
Hi, George.
He says not to stop at your office,
but to go straight there.
There you are.
Do you know Mr. Renfield...?
Only six more shopping days
till Christmas.
- Mr. Billings.
- I know, I know.
- I found it, Ellie.
- Mr. Billings.
Mr. Renfield is...
- Mr. Renfield is...
- I know.
- Oh.
- The piano. The very last piece.
Mr. Billings, he is frantic to see you.
Alex is just gonna love this.
Don't you think?
Of course she will.
I think you'd better get to the lair
before Renfield starts chewing
the furniture.
- Okay?
- Mm-hm.
Now, we only have till the 31st
to sow our seeds for profit,
and from you I haven't heard
one unusual, unique,
or potentially profitable idea.
Well, I say put our money
in the South, Mr. Renfield.
Right, on the coast,
grab some of those islands.
Islands bring hurricanes, Edmunds.
The desert sunbelt. No money down,
and the rest of your life to pay.
It's too hot.
We'd lose our summer business.
People, people.
We're putting our money
into year-round living.
We're selling clean air,
24-hour security,
trees, lots of trees.
Shade, not beachfront sand,
green lawns, golf courses, shade.
Spring, with its pretty little wildflowers,
autumn, with the turning of the trees,
and winter,
with its snowy little wonderland.
George. George.
Come in, come in, come in.
You all know George Billings,
our best and brightest architect.
Morning, George.
- Sorry, I'm late.
Last-minute Christmas shopping.
You know about our relationship
with Tompkins International.
- Of course. They're our biggest client.
- And this year, it's bigger than ever.
They've filled our stockings with the
largest single tax-shelter investment
that's ever come through this office.
Geor... Sit down, George.
Come on. Sit down.
We have to spend the money
by the 31st.
You can see,
we have some ideas in motion.
I certainly do, Mr. Renfield.
Looking for some land, I'd say,
suitable for development
along the lines of what we did
in Vermont last year.
- Precisely.
Putting money in good,
low-cost, but attractive land
near a small, friendly, folksy town.
- But with easy access to a large city.
- Right on the money.
Something on the order of the condo
complex that I've been working on.
With a golf course,
tennis courts, skiing too.
Oh, that's brilliant. I like that.
I am blessed with the foresight
of our pioneer ancestors,
who looked to the Rocky Mountains
with the knowledge that there was
but one direction to travel:
And George Billings'
latest recreational development,
while it's still on the drawing board,
is the answer
to how Thomas Renfield
is gonna pull this one off.
And make millions
for Tomkins International.
And millions more for ourselves.
That will be all for today.
Leave the rest to George and me.
- Well, good luck, George.
- Thank you, Ms. Edmunds.
- We're counting on you, George.
- I'll do my best, sir.
Bigger and better than your ski lodge
in Vermont last year.
I'll remember, Mr. Wiley.
Go get them, George.
So, what's this all about?
- To begin with, you, George.
- Me?
Ever since you lost your wife
about a year ago,
you've done nothing
but throw yourself into your work.
- It's been my way of dealing with it.
- Of course.
And now it's about a week
till Christmas.
That's the worst time of the year
to deal with the loss of a loved one.
I think you ought to take that little girl
of yours and go on a vacation.
To Colorado?
Georgetown, Colorado.
Tucked away in the hills,
it's private, it's remote,
less than an hour from Denver.
You want me to go there
and survey the area.
- Two days tops.
- Just like Vermont last year?
Exactly the same.
You go in as a tourist.
So as not to make anybody suspicious
and drive the real estate prices up.
Walk around, take pictures,
make sketches.
And call you.
And I'll make Georgetown
a profit in our pocket by the 31st.
Then Alex and I can hit the slopes.
Oh, that's the spirit, George.
I knew you'd see it my way.
Get this Christmas behind us.
Let's see, this is Friday.
You leave Sunday.
be a big raise waiting for you
when you get back.
George, I'll be waiting for your call.
Butter. Where's the butter?
We need butter.
Butter, butter, butter.
Great, great, great.
Hello, I'm home.
- Hi, Daddy.
- Hi, Daddy.
- Oh! Hello, sweetheart.
- Hi, Helen.
- Hello, Mr. Billings.
- Sorry I'm late.
- I know. Work.
Ha-ha. These three have been
cooking up a Christmas storm.
Ooh. I can smell it,
I can see it. Hi, ladies.
- Hi, Mr. Billings.
- Hi, Mr. Billings.
Mm. Fantastic.
We're planning Christmas week.
The whole week.
We'll go ice skating
at the Rockefeller Plaza.
Well, there may be
a little change in plans.
We have to see the windows
on Fifth Avenue.
You and Mommy always took me
to see Santa.
I've already called for Chinese.
Number 5, number 18, number 36,
and one order
of steamed rice for you.
We'll talk about
where we're going after dinner.
Raggedy Ann says, "Merry Christmas."
Like I said,
we have a change in plans.
Daddy, I don't wanna go away.
Alex, please.
Mr. Renfield has asked me
to go to Colorado.
All you ever do
for Mr. Renfield is work.
He thinks it would be a good idea
for us to go away together,
have a Christmas vacation.
I happen to agree with him.
Because I think it's a good idea for us
to not be here this year.
Now, we're leaving on Sunday.
Daddy, but my friends are here.
Well, you can make new friends
in Colorado.
And there's lots of snow.
- Santa's here.
- He's there too.
Santa Claus is like Christmas itself.
In spirit, in giving, he's everywhere.
How will Santa know
we're in Colorado?
Well, you could write to him,
tell him where you are.
I've told you about the small town
where I grew up.
Grainville, Nebraska.
It's probably a lot like the small town
we'll be visiting.
Christmastime in Grainville...
...there was lots of snow
and open spaces.
Every kid in town had a sled.
Every kid.
On Christmas Eve, the whole town
would gather at the town square.
We'd hold hands,
sing Christmas carols.
It was wonderful.
Alex, I'd give anything for both of us
to have your mother back.
And I'm as angry as you
that we lost her.
I know that I've given my life
to my work this year...
...and I'll make that up to you.
Starting with this Christmas.
Good night, darling.
God bless you.
This Christmas,
I'll have you all to myself.
Hi, Merry Christmas.
Bud, you've got all day
to get that letter in.
Well, I have to go into the airport.
Visitors coming to the Inn.
All the way from New York City.
New York? Coming to Georgetown?
Yes, visitors, man and his daughter.
I didn't wanna miss
getting my letter in.
Sounds like it's important.
The letter, I mean.
Well, every letter today
is important, heh.
- Did you write yours yet?
- Uh, no, not yet.
Susan, you spend so much time
helping others with their letters,
it's time you paid attention
to your own.
I will, Bud.
Your father was always first
with his letter. Even before me.
Are you sure this isn't something
you could use before Christmas?
Letters to Santa Claus are secret.
Come on!
Come on, let's go.
Hi, Scruff. How you doing, Judith?
Oh, you've got your letter to Santa.
Good, just in time.
I'm glad you stopped by. I...
I wanted to tell you how sorry I am
to hear about your dad losing his ranch.
I'm gonna hate to see you guys go.
Listen, if there's anything I can do
to help, let me know.
Thank you very much.
Watch your step.
Thank you.
Here you go, honey.
Got everything?
There you go.
I think this is yours over here.
I really enjoyed talking to you.
Well, it was sure a pleasure for Alex
and I talking with you, Joanne.
Can I drop you off somewhere?
The hotel in Georgetown
said they were sending a cab for us.
Oh. Okay, well, I want the both of you
to have a very,
very Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you.
- Thanks. Bye-bye.
How long do we have to wait?
The hotel said it was
the Busy Bee Cab Company.
"Busy Bee"?
Mr. Billings.
Mr. Billings.
I'm Bud Sawyer.
Busy Bee Cab Company, Georgetown.
This must be your daughter.
- Alex.
- Alex, pleased to meet you.
Now if you'll just step this way.
Wherever I go, Mr. Billings,
I like to bring Christmas with me.
- So I see.
- Been doing it for 40 years.
- New York City.
- Yep.
Well, never been there myself.
Too many people, I hear.
Not enough trees. Reckon they have
lots of cabs in New York City though.
- Not like this.
- Well, I've had mine for 40 years.
Some people say too long,
I say not enough.
I like it.
Look how much Georgetown looks like
where you were born.
Christmas is our most important day
of the year,
beginning with our letters to Santa.
Tonight we light the town tree.
Tonight we celebrate the legend.
What legend?
Oh, one hundred years old,
this year.
You'll find out about it tonight.
Back inside, Alex.
I gotta get this film off to New York
right away, Bud. Come on, Alex.
Susan will take care of your letters
as soon as she can.
- All right.
The hotel, right down there
at the end of the street.
- All right. Thanks, Bud.
Hi, Santa.
All right. It's all right. It's all right.
Gee, she just...
She just went early. Oh.
Poor Mr. Sawyer's taxicab.
It stopped. It won't move.
I don't doubt it.
Bye. Merry Christmas.
- Hi, Helen.
Hi, Susan. Busy day?
Yeah. Well, as my dad always said,
on Letter Day, the busier the better.
From Bob and me.
Oh, my goodness, Grover, it looks
like it's an awfully long list this year.
Every year.
Especially for someone
who wouldn't eat his carrots last night.
- Did too!
I saw you, Grover!
Hi, Brandon. Merry Christmas.
There we go.
Come on, Tony.
Got it?
Keep it going. We're almost there.
Come on.
There we go.
Merry Christmas. Thanks.
Hi, Erin. Thank you.
Hi. May I help you?
You know, you certainly can.
I was very glad
to find you open on a Sunday.
I've gotta get this to New York
just as quickly as possible.
Oh, gosh. I'm awfully sorry,
but, um, I'm afraid you're gonna have
to come back tomorrow.
I beg your pardon.
Uh, I'm afraid you'll have
to come back tomorrow.
Got your letter ready for Santa yet?
Not yet.
Better hurry.
There's not much time left.
- Hold on. This is a U.S. Post office?
- Yes, it is.
- You're open for business?
- Every year on Letter Day.
This is a letter.
Yes, but it is not a letter
to Santa Claus.
I must be missing some...
This is a U.S. Federal post office,
and you're open for business,
accepting mail.
Yeah, but only letters to Santa Claus.
- Because it's Letter Day.
That's right.
Um, now, if you don't mind...
The next thing
you're gonna tell me,
is this Letter Day of yours
is a national holiday.
Yes, it is our holiday.
I have a letter that I want to mail.
But it is not to Santa Claus.
- Next. Do you mind? Please.
- As a matter of fact, I do mind.
- I'm still at the head of this line.
- Not for long.
Look, if this letter
is so important to you,
I strongly suggest you march over there
to that mail slot and deposit it.
It will be picked up tomorrow
and delivered on its own sweet time.
This is Sunday. This is Letter Day.
And we are not open
to anyone like you.
Come on.
Here you go, Ms. McMillan.
There you go.
Hi, Matthew.
That looks pretty good, Howard,
and your wings are straight. Heh.
Oh, you must be Mr. Billings
of New York City.
- Welcome to Georgetown.
- Thank you.
- This is my daughter Alex.
- Well, I'm very glad to meet you.
I'm Mr. Sawyer's sister.
Together, we own the hotel.
- Miss Sawyer, may we...?
- Please, everybody calls me Hennie.
I already told them
about lighting the tree tonight.
Oh, can Daddy and I help you
with your tree?
Provided you've written your letter
to Santa Claus.
I'll do that right now.
All right. Ha-ha.
Just a minute.
Upstairs, Room 210. Follow me.
And tomorrow I'll fit you up
in a shepherd's robe. Heh.
Uh, we won't be here for Christmas.
We're short on shepherds this year.
All right, come on.
Get out of your costumes, everybody,
and don't forget practice tomorrow.
Three o'clock sharp.
Come on, I gotta get you signed in.
You know,
I get the distinct impression
that everybody here in Georgetown
believes in Santa Claus.
Oh, goodness, yes.
Don't you, Mr. Billings?
George, please.
Well, George, tonight you're gonna
find out why we believe.
I'd best get out to the kitchen.
Supper's at 6:00.
Dear Santa...
Since you folks
won't be staying till Christmas,
Hank Huckle
down at the service station
said he'd be happy
to take you to the airport.
That's very thoughtful, Bud, thanks.
Of course, if you were staying
till Christmas...
Your cab would have
a brand-new motor.
secrets, Alex.
You'll see at the tree lighting.
I think what Bud is saying
is that he's asked for a new motor
from you-know-who.
A very tall order.
Oh, hi, Susan.
- I'm so sorry to hear about your cab.
It's all taken care of.
Aunt Hennie, can't we get Scruff
back into the pageant?
The boy turned me down
in no uncertain terms.
Orders of his father.
- He's here. Ha-ha-ha.
- Who's here?
A man. He's cute too.
- And he's a widower. Come on.
- Aunt Hennie.
I insist. I insist.
You two have got to meet.
Susan McMillan, meet George
Billings and his daughter, Alex.
All the way from New York City.
Uh, we've already met.
I didn't know you'd been
to New York City, Susan.
Well, sit right down then.
Get yourselves reacquainted.
New York City, my...
- That's my daughter, Alex.
- Hello again.
- I wrote my letter.
- Good.
Get it to the post office
first thing in the morning.
I will.
You know, I'm afraid I wasn't
your most hospitable welcome
to Georgetown today.
I would like to apologize.
There are long lines everywhere
this time of year,
especially in the post office.
Especially on Letter Day.
Excuse me, Mr. Billings...
Oh, George. Telephone.
Excuse me.
Mr. Renfield, I'll bet.
Alex, you know how he is.
Look, how about if I meet you two
out by the tree?
Alex, why don't you go with Susan,
and I'll meet you out there?
Well, that's a nice idea.
running the post office as you do,
perhaps you know someone
who can show Alex and I
around Georgetown tomorrow.
- Yeah, I'm sure I can arrange it.
- Thank you.
You're welcome.
- Hello.
- George.
George. How are things
going out west, George?
Fine, just fine, Mr. Renfield.
You know, Georgetown is a picture
postcard, just like you said it'd be.
Now you've seen it,
what do you think?
Well, it's a little early to say,
Mr. Renfield.
Uh, I got the pictures you wanted,
but, you see, today when we arrived,
it was Letter Day.
The whole town
was at the post office
mailing letters to, uh, Santa Claus.
Santa Claus?
Everyone I've met
believes in Santa Claus.
It has to do with some legend.
Well, I'll find out more tonight
when we light the tree.
The town Christmas tree.
Look, I'll call you tomorrow,
Mr. Renfield.
George, no, no. I'll call you.
I want the report tomorrow, George.
Once again,
good friends and neighbors...
And a special greeting
to our friends from New York.
We are gathered to honor
the memory of our forefathers,
and to recall the legend
that has allowed Georgetown
to grow and prosper.
One hundred years ago,
while crossing the Rockies,
our forefathers were caught
in a blizzard.
It was the week before Christmas
and they were stranded.
The snow was so deep,
they could not go forward
and there was no way to turn back.
They faced certain starvation.
Then, on Christmas Eve,
a stranger appeared.
A man with a long white beard,
lost and alone in the mountains.
The stranger,
near starvation, asked for food.
But the people,
nearing starvation themselves,
said they had no food to give him.
One little boy took pity
on the stranger.
Yes, that night, that little boy
went through every wagon.
He gathered up
just a little bit of food,
which he then took back
to that stranger.
The stranger, for the
little boy's charity and kindness,
promised to reward him
a hundred times over.
And then, the stranger
with the long white beard
disappeared forever
into the mountains.
And on Christmas morning,
every wagon was filled up
with food, warm blankets
and wonderful handmade toys
for the kiddies.
And there was a trail,
it led up to a spring
in a beautiful valley.
The little boy who had befriended
the stranger knew who that man was.
Santa Claus!
And tonight, we gather
to honor that little boy's faith
and his Christmas charity.
Now, as we do each and every year,
let us welcome our Christmas tree.
O Christmas tree
O Christmas tree
Thy leaves are green forever
O Christmas tree
O Christmas tree
Thy leaves are green forever
They are all green
In summer's prime
They are all green
At Christmastime
O Christmas tree
O Christmas tree
Thy leaves are green forever
- Good morning, Susan. Hi, Bud.
- Hi, Alex.
- Have some mail for us, do you?
- Bud is our assistant postmaster.
Well, I have a letter to mail to Santa
and my dad's letter to New York.
Hm, fastest way possible, Bud.
Looks like I'm going to be
your official tour guide this afternoon.
Oh, good. Dad's waiting at the hotel.
Well, no sense wasting time.
Aunt Hennie says don't forget
pageant practice, 3:00 sharp.
She'll be there.
Oh, before I forget,
my letter to Santa.
It's about time.
Bye, Bud.
Bye, Bud.
Up there.
Just up near the top of that hill.
That's where the legend began.
And as the story goes, the legend
is one day going to repeat itself.
It's just like the old man,
the stranger with the long white beard.
Another Christmas miracle
is one day going to save the town.
- What kind of miracle?
Well, legends are very careful
not to reveal their secrets, Alex.
Thanks. What kind of work
do you do, George?
He's an architect.
Your all-around, everyday architect.
Condos, shopping centers
and golf courses.
- Last year, a ski resort in Vermont.
- Oh, I see.
But not here.
You see, Mr. Renfield told Daddy
to take a vacation
because my mom died
at Christmas last year.
I'm sorry.
We thought it'd be best...
...not to be home this Christmas.
What a beautiful valley. Hm.
It belongs to Jake Richards.
At least it did.
Whoa, girl. Whoa now.
So you're really gonna do it?
Well, uh...
...what other choice did I have, Susan?
Uh, George Billings
and his daughter, Alex.
This is Bob Truesdale,
our mayor and banker.
- How do you do?
Nice to meet you. I saw you at the tree
ceremony. Welcome to Georgetown.
How soon will Jake
and the kids have to move?
As soon as the bank finds
a buyer, Susan.
So, what brings you and your daughter
to Georgetown, Mr. Billings?
Vacation mostly.
If there's anything
any of us can do
to make your stay more pleasant,
just let us know.
Come on, girl.
Well, here we go,
three cups of hot chocolate.
- One for you.
- Thank you.
You're welcome.
And one for you.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- All yours?
I even manage to sell a few
to the summer visitors.
You really have quite an eye
for the landscape.
Heh. I think it happens
when you're born and raised here.
- Have you lived here all your life?
Just about.
I did live in Denver
for about ten years.
What brought you home?
My dad died about two years ago.
I came home to close
and sell the house.
- And you never went back?
- Actually, I did go back.
And I realized I just couldn't live
that life anymore.
So I came back to Georgetown,
my house hadn't sold.
And my father had been
the postmaster.
They offered me his job.
So here I am.
At home and in love
with the unspoiled land.
Yeah, as long
as we can keep it that way.
You mean, as long as you can keep
the banks from selling it.
Heh. Your business, according to Alex,
is change, not mine.
Grainville, Nebraska,
where I come from,
is not on a map anymore
because it wouldn't change.
That's your town.
Some people wanted to build
a shopping center
midway between Grainville
and four other communities,
and now my town is history.
Yes, but that is your history.
Uh, can we go on
another sleigh ride?
Well, I think that's up to your father.
Well, I'm sure we'd love to,
if there's time.
You're the one on the clock.
Come on, Alex.
It's time for pageant practice.
- Thanks for today, Susan.
- You're welcome.
You get your daddy
to say the word,
and you can have
another sleigh ride anytime.
Oh, thanks.
The hot chocolate was terrific.
Well, I'm glad you liked it.
We promised Aunt Hennie
we wouldn't be late.
- Uh, thanks for showing us around.
- You're welcome.
I hear there's a dance
in town tonight.
Yeah, that's what I hear.
I hope I see you there.
All right now, children,
I want everybody to play like
this is the night of the pageant.
All right now. Suzie, you start.
And in that region,
there were shepherds out in the field...
Excuse me, Kathy.
Here, here, boys, stop that pushing.
Now, the next boy who pushes is going
to be out of the pageant entirely.
I know those beards tickle,
but you have to get used to it.
I don't see anything very funny.
Go on, Suzie. Start again.
- Kathy.
- What?
- Kathy.
- Oh, yes. Kathy, go on.
And in that region,
there were shepherds out in the field,
keeping watch over their flock
by night.
And an angel of the Lord
appeared to them,
and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them...
"Do not be afraid..."
Go on, Grover.
We only have two more days, dear.
Now go on, you can do it. Go on.
"For behold, I bring you good news."
For behold, I bring you news...
Good news.
All right, children, that's all for today.
Now quietly, please. Quietly.
Remember, you're in church.
Wait for me. I wanna go too.
Okay, let's go.
- Oh, Alex.
Yes, Aunt Hennie.
- Thank you for helping Grover.
- Oh.
I was an angel once,
in nursery school.
Well, poor Grover.
You know, he's so anxious
to get his angel wings,
but he's gonna need
a little more help, I think.
He'll remember his lines.
Bye, Aunt Hennie.
I'll get Alex's present out by air express
to Georgetown tonight, Mr. Billings.
And a merry Christmas to you.
I'll transfer you to Mr. Renfield.
we've been waiting for your call.
Mr. Renfield, I've done everything
you asked me to do.
Let's have your report.
Well, Georgetown is everything and
more of what you said it would be.
The countryside couldn't be
more beautiful if you painted it.
I've done the preliminary sketches for
the potential of a large parcel of land
that the bank is foreclosing on.
That's it. You've given me
a great starting point.
Mr. Renfield, I'm not finished.
There are other towns, Mr. Renfield.
I want Georgetown.
I want you to leave this town alone.
I'll have Georgetown.
I said, there are other towns.
George, come off it. All these legends
and Santa Claus are getting to you.
It may be Christmas,
but I'm not giving away Georgetown.
In fact, I'm putting it under my tree.
George, I want you to call
a town meeting for tomorrow night.
Mr. Renfield, I'm an architect.
- It is my professional opinion...
- I didn't ask your opinion.
I want you to set a meeting
with the town for tomorrow night.
It is my recommendation that you
leave Georgetown the way it is.
That's for me to decide, George.
Your job's done there.
Get out of town. Take a vacation.
As I was walking down the street
Down the street, down the street
A pretty little girl I chanced to meet
Under the silver moon
Well, Buffalo gals
Won't you come out tonight?
Come out tonight, come out tonight?
Buffalo gals
Won't you come out tonight?
And dance by the light of the moon
Would she be my wife?
Be my wife, be my wife?
I'd be happy all my life
If she'd marry me
Well, Buffalo gals
Won't you come out tonight?
Come out tonight, come out tonight?
Buffalo gals
Won't you come out tonight?
And dance by the light of the moon
I think Alex would like
to stay here for Christmas.
What about her father?
- Well, I think he'd like that too.
- Heh-heh.
There she goes. There she is.
Kiss her, kiss her!
How come you weren't
at pageant practice today, Scruff?
Aren't you gonna come
into the dance?
- Why?
- Because he's moving.
Let's go.
Come on.
Who are you?
They call me Alex.
Why do you have to move?
- Pa's losing his ranch.
- Why?
I just wanted to talk to you.
- There you are.
- Hi.
- Where have you been?
- Outside.
- We're all going sledding tomorrow.
- Wonderful.
You wanna come with us?
Well, I might just like to do that.
Listen, I'm gonna walk Susan home.
- Do you mind?
- No.
- I'll be right back.
- Okay.
- Bye.
- Bye.
- Goodbye.
- Bye, Alex.
Is this town always so friendly?
Well, we're not always
on such good behavior.
We've got our petty disagreements
and real disappointments.
Nobody wanted to see
Jake Richards lose that ranch.
You know, sometimes when I look
at Bud's old cab,
or I hear it sputter
and clatter down the street,
I think of this place.
Our town.
My town.
That which is old and good,
that which thinks, perhaps,
it'll go on forever.
You know, a bunch of us are hoping
to, uh, rebuild the grammar school,
turn it into a summer theater.
A theater?
- Yeah.
I've never designed
a theater. It might be fun.
I guess a lot of fellas would have
liked you to stay in Denver.
Well, there were some.
Not a single one
who followed you up here?
No, not a one.
You sorry about that?
I suppose
if the right fella came along,
you might follow him
somewhere else, huh?
Well, he hasn't come along yet.
Back in Grainville,
a fella walked a girl home,
the whole town knew
she was something special.
I remember him. George Billings.
He always wanted
to be an architect.
Moved away to New York City.
Of course, in Grainville,
if a girl let a fella walk her home,
he was special too.
Guess there's still magic
in walking a girl home.
Good night, Ms. McMillan.
You know,
it takes two to make magic.
Good night, Mr. Billings.
To tell you the truth,
it's like I was a little kid again,
an old-fashioned Christmas,
the kind I never dreamed
I'd have again.
Are we staying here for Christmas?
Well, if that meets
with your approval.
Will Santa know we're staying?
You did write him a letter and
tell him where we were, didn't you?
Did Susan ask you to stay too?
Susan said that she thought
you'd like to stay.
Susan likes you.
You think so, huh?
I do.
A lot.
I think.
Not as much as I like you.
Good night, darling.
- Daddy?
- Mm?
Could you ever be in love again?
I don't know.
I didn't think it could happen again
I'm just too old, set in my ways
I was convinced
I would always be lonely
All of the rest of my days
Maybe I gave up on romance
In my longing to give up the pain
I just didn't believe
I would ever love again
I was like one
Who had shut myself in
Closed the windows
Locked all the doors
Afraid of the dark
And the beat of my heart
Yet knowing there had to be more
Though it sounds
Like a great contradiction
It's the easiest thing to explain
You see, I was afraid
I might never love again
What does it take
For a blind man to see
When there's more there
Than just meets the eye?
What are the ways
That the magic comes in
That can turn a song into a sigh?
Sometimes I think that I'm dreaming
Maybe I'm going insane
Maybe it's just
That I'm falling in love again
- Good night, sweetheart.
- Good night, Daddy.
God bless you.
- Got it?
- I got it.
Right here.
- Right there.
- You got it? You on?
- Yeah.
- Yes.
- Ready?
Get on.
I've never been on a horse before.
Just grab my hand and swing up.
Where will we go?
I'll tell you when we get there.
And so I told them Denver fellas,
I don't care if you have to get it here
by reindeer,
we have to have it
by Christmas Eve.
- Howdy.
I also told them,
as mayor of Georgetown,
this is a civic emergency.
You see, every Christmas,
Bud Sawyer asks Santa
for socks or candy.
Well, this year, we're certain
he's asked for a new motor
for that cab of his.
And you guys aim to be sure
that Santa delivers.
And on time.
Sounds to me like Santa's got
quite a few helpers around here.
Anything I can help you with?
Well, yeah, I'd like to borrow
or rent a car.
What for?
Well, I'd like to go out
to the Richards' Ranch.
All right. I'm... I just happen
to be going out that way.
You're welcome to come along.
So you work for Renfield.
- How did you know?
- I told Hank and the boys.
I, uh... I talked to your boss
on the phone this morning.
He's a pretty persuasive man.
So he's buying the Richards' Ranch?
Well, isn't that why you came out
to Georgetown, Mr. Billings?
Think you better call me Bob.
Looks like we're gonna be
in business together.
Doesn't it?
Aren't you gonna get down?
You have to help me.
What is this place?
This is my hideout.
No one knows about it.
Used to be an old miner's cabin.
Down over there,
that's where the legend comes from.
How'd you know that?
Susan. She took Daddy
and I down there. In a sleigh.
- You like her?
- Oh, I do.
So does my dad.
She's okay, I guess.
Makes a big deal
out of letters to Santa.
You know what?
That's all they are too.
Just letters.
I wrote him one.
Didn't you?
Sure. A lot of good that'll do me.
I believe in Santa.
What for?
Because it's part of the spirit
of Christmas and giving.
Come here for a minute.
This is a hawk.
It's my favorite.
You take it.
But it's your favorite.
I got plenty more.
But you won't be
coming here anymore.
I'll find other hideouts.
If I lived here,
I'd have a hideout too.
I'll get right to the point.
Got a buyer for the place.
They want you out
the day after Christmas.
Him? He the buyer?
More or less.
He works for the man who bought it.
From back East.
Him and his kind are gonna change
this valley for good.
Well, that's what his boss said.
They're gonna build condominiums
and ski lodges,
tennis courts, like that.
Well, I'm just glad
I won't be around to see it.
Jake. Jake.
I'm gonna have to put
the sold sign up.
I'm sorry.
Jake, I had no idea
my boss bought this place.
If he hadn't bought it,
somebody else would have.
Listen, I came here to ask you
to come to a town meeting tonight.
- I'd like to help you fight this thing.
- You're wasting your time, mister.
Besides, I wouldn't come
to your meeting.
I'm just glad to be out of my misery.
You worked your whole life
to own this land.
It only took me two years
to go belly up.
That makes me
one of the lucky ones.
You ask the banker. He'll tell you.
There's others all over this country,
been in the land all their lives,
just like their grandfathers and
their great-grandfathers before them.
Hell, man, I'm only losing land.
They're losing family.
- Truesdale.
- Mr. Renfield.
- Let's talk.
- Right. Let's talk.
Scruff said the hawk was his favorite.
Well, this is very good.
How old is he?
Eleven. Twelve next month.
You two learned a lot
about each other, didn't you?
Let's talk about your Christmas.
How can Grover's dad
take away the ranch?
It's the law, Alex.
But Scruff loves his ranch.
The law is the law.
If we didn't make the payments
on our apartment in New York City,
they'd do the same thing to us.
We'd be out on the street.
Listen, tomorrow is Christmas Eve
and I need to know a lot more
about your Christmas list.
Oh, I did ask Santa for what
I've always wanted, a dollhouse.
But I've changed my mind.
Changed your mind? Why?
Well, what's Scruff got to do
with Christmas?
I want Scruff and his family
to keep their ranch.
That's the very best present
Santa could give me.
That's a pretty tall order.
Mr. Renfield, you cannot buy
this town, not these people.
Why? Because you say
they believe in Santa Claus?
Well, yes, in part.
I never knew you were
such a sentimentalist, George.
Sounds like you believe it too.
Everybody, everybody.
Hank. Tim. Please.
As mayor of Georgetown,
I would like to introduce you
to Thomas A. Renfield
from New York City,
who is going to speak to us tonight
about the future of our town.
Mr. Renfield.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Mayor Truesdale,
good citizens of Georgetown,
I've been reading
in The Clear Creek Courant
about the miracle of Christmas Eve.
Now, as foreshadowed in that...
That long ago, a new miracle
has come to bring a new prosperity
to Georgetown.
Bringing with it a fresh new future,
one of hope, happiness
and ringing cash registers.
What Mr. Renfield is really saying is...
What I'm saying is that
George came out here
and couldn't wait to call me
with the good news.
"The countryside couldn't be more
beautiful if you'd painted it," he said.
Now you're twisting the truth.
Then he told me about a beautiful
and magnificent ranch,
just outside your town,
that was being foreclosed.
Well, I couldn't wait
to get on the phone
with your banker, Mayor Truesdale.
So now, because of my friend
and business associate,
George Billings,
the paperwork has been set in motion
for the Renfield Development
to become the new miracle
of Georgetown.
And here is the check to prove it.
Just what kind of miracle
do you and Mr. Billings expect
to bring to Georgetown?
Prosperity! And lots of it!
I'm too excited. I wanna show them
this thing. Come on.
I have such faith in this project,
if any of you have any doubts,
I'll be willing to buy your establishments
at a fair market value,
keeping in mind
that I could build my own town.
And what if we're not interested
in selling?
- What's your name?
- My name is Susan McMillan.
Well, Susan, are you speaking
for yourself or for these good people?
Well, I'm Bud Sawyer.
Bud's Busy Bee Cab Company.
I have a question.
Yes, Bud.
You believe in Santa Claus?
Oh, Bud.
I'm sure there are many here tonight
who believe that Santa Claus exists.
I'm not here to take that away
from you.
But I am here to show you
the miracle of your future.
Uh, Mr. Renfield.
Mr. Renfield, the legend
and the miracle of Georgetown
have only to do
with charity and giving,
not with negotiations and contracts
and buying and all that sort of thing.
Henrietta Sawyer.
Bud Sawyer is my brother.
I have my health,
and I live very well in my old age,
Mr. Renfield.
I can't think of anything else I need.
Old age needs security, Ms. Sawyer.
And the more people I can bring
into your hotel, the more secure...
If you wanna keep your hotel,
Aunt Hennie,
you gotta keep this man
out of Georgetown.
George, I'm only here
because of you.
My name is Tim.
I'm the town barber.
- You brought this man here.
- Susan.
You brought Alex here on a vacation?
The only thing you ever intended
was to steal our land.
What's that model got to do with us?
You lied to me.
Alex, that's not true!
I never wanted them to come here.
- You've gotta believe me.
- Ask yourselves one question.
If you do not change,
100 years from now,
will there still be a Georgetown?
Our first condominium units and patio
homes will be opening in six months.
So from now on, you've got a new
friendly neighbor just up the road.
Me. Merry Christmas.
You didn't mean to hurt us,
I know that.
It didn't work out
that way though, Bud.
What counts is that you believe.
Now, just because of
what happened here tonight,
don't you stop believing.
I just sold your town out,
Aunt Hennie.
You're fired.
We were coming here just for us.
He promised me Christmas,
not work.
I want my mommy back.
I can explain this.
I think your Mr. Renfield
did all the explaining we need.
Merry Christmas.
Aunt Hennie, have you seen Alex?
Not since the meeting
when she ran out.
- She was crying her eyes out.
- She must be around here someplace.
Well, she's probably with Susan.
She was with Susan, but I saw her
run back here to the hotel.
She's got to be someplace close by.
Oh, by the way, a package came
for you, from New York.
- Is Alex here?
- No.
- Isn't she at the hotel?
- No, she didn't go back.
Maybe she's at the Truesdales'
Some of those kids are...
I don't think she would do that
without telling me.
You're right.
Let me get my coat.
Yeah. Well, thanks.
I've called every child in this town
who knows her. No one has seen her.
I just don't understand how
she could be lost in Georgetown.
Unless she's hiding.
It's starting to blow
pretty good out there.
Wait a second. That's it.
A hideout. Who's that kid?
- Uh, Scruff.
- Scruff Richards.
Come on.
I'll put in a call to the sheriff.
You again.
- I'm looking for my daughter, Jake.
She ran away.
- I think Scruff can help me.
- Scruff?
Well, she said something
about a hideout.
Now I know that Scruff can help.
Scruff, what do you know
about a hideout?
If she's there,
I know I can find her.
This way. Over here.
Stay close to me now.
Look, there's some footprints
over here.
Hold on to my hand, Judith.
Stay with me.
Alex. Are you all right?
Oh, Daddy. Daddy.
Oh, baby. Oh.
Oh, Alex.
Scruff knew where to find you.
He and his dad helped me find you.
Oh, Alex. It's all right, baby.
It's all right.
Hank, bad news.
- How bad?
I'm gonna tell you how bad.
They can't locate an engine
for Bud's car.
- I don't believe it.
- You're gonna believe it.
We called as far as Detroit.
They can't find an engine that old.
- Am I lying, Tim?
- No. No. It's true.
This isn't bad news,
it's the worst.
You better believe it.
I don't know what to do.
Wish you could see
Bud downstairs.
'Twas the morning before Christmas
and all through the house,
- he just can't stand this waiting.
- Does Bud really believe in Santa?
- Of course he does.
And do you believe in Santa Claus,
Aunt Hennie?
Well, there have been times
when I thought
I heard the crack of that whip
and the jingle of those bells.
I'd hate to lose that.
Hi, Scruff.
I don't know if you know it, pal,
you're the town hero today.
You sure are.
Come on in, Scruff.
The doctor said I was very lucky.
I just came to say goodbye.
Where will you go?
My mom was waitressing
in the next town
to help pay some bills.
Probably go get her
and go down the road from there.
I asked Santa
to let you keep your ranch.
So did I.
I put it in my letter too.
My dad's sorry he ever told
his boss about Georgetown.
He got fired because of it.
I think I'll be going now.
If we both lived here,
we could be best friends.
I could learn to ride a horse.
Bye, Alex.
Take care.
You too.
You too.
Me again.
Come on in.
Coffee's hot.
Look, Susan, I...
You're gonna think I'm crazy.
I came here needing a new start
for Alex and myself.
I found a lot more than I expected.
You can say that again.
No, I don't mean
about my work for Renfield.
Look, this is a town
where people care about each other,
where they're willing
to help each other out.
Listen, what I'm trying to say is
I'd like to find a way
for Jake and his family
to keep their ranch.
Oh, I don't know.
But I do know that a year from now,
Renfield will have
this town surrounded,
and if you don't sell out
or start doing things his way,
this place will end up
just exactly like Grainville.
We have never been a town
that had to fight for our existence.
We're friends and neighbors,
living here, most of us all our lives,
trusting and believing.
- In legends and miracles.
- Yes. In legends and miracles.
Well, they're not gonna help us now.
Now I've gotta stop this man.
I've got to.
And I'm going to tonight.
And an angel of the Lord
appeared to them
and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them...
Be not afraid, for behold,
I bring you good news of great joy.
"Which will come to all the people."
Which will come to all the people,
for to you is born this day
in the city of David a savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign to you,
you will find a babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manager.
Let us go over to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has happened,
that the Lord has made known to us.
Where is he
who has been born King of the Jews?
We have seen his star in the east
and have come to worship him.
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep
And dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears
Of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep
The angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the king
And peace to men on Earth
Tonight, I've had a request
from George Billings
that he be allowed to speak to you.
In fact, I think so much
of what George Billings is about to say,
I'm giving over my time
this Christmas Eve to let you hear it.
Thank you, Reverend Ellsworth.
For those of you whom I haven't met,
my name is George Billings.
My daughter and I have been part
of your town for only a few days.
I wanted to speak to you tonight
as someone who's lost something.
More than once.
A year ago this Christmas,
my wife died.
Last night, I lost my job.
Almost lost my little girl.
I once had a hometown too.
It was a lot like your town.
I went away, left,
and when I returned,
it was gone, deserted.
A victim of Renfield's
kind of progress.
If Mr. Renfield moves in here,
you're all gonna lose.
Everything that Georgetown
stands for,
trusts and believes in will be gone.
Now, I know some of you think
that I'm to blame for all this happening
in the first place.
And I am at fault.
I didn't come here as a tourist,
bringing my daughter
for a little vacation.
I came to see
what the pickings were.
But then I started meeting
the people of Georgetown.
Aunt Hennie, Bud,
Hank and Clara,
Mayor Truesdale, a young woman
named Susan McMillan...
...a fellow named Jake Richards.
A hundred years of blessings
have come and gone.
And now Georgetown faces
the kind of change
that could destroy forever
the way of life that you cherish.
You've prided yourselves
on making your lives a living example
of Christmas, 365 days a year.
Are you gonna give that up?
I see Bob Truesdale there.
I know he'd love to find a way to not
have to sell the Richards' Ranch.
I'm saying that Jake Richards
is a neighbor and a friend.
Last night in the snow,
he and his son
saved my daughter's life.
Now there's got to be a way
to help Jake and his family.
And at the same time say no
to Renfield Development Corporation.
Tonight we have the chance to be
like that small boy a century ago
who found food enough
to help a stranger.
Now there's a way
to help Jake and his family.
If each of you were to go
to Bob Truesdale at his bank
and tell him you'll put up your home
and your business as collateral
to pay off what Jake owes,
you can give the Richards family
not just a second mortgage,
but a second life.
And I'm not asking any of you
anything more than I'm asking myself.
I've got some savings...
...and I'll give everything that I can
to be sure that Jake and his family
get that second chance.
That's all I've gotta say.
Thank you.
Well, um, as soon as it starts
running again,
I'll put up
the Busy Bee Cab Company.
- And the hotel.
- And the service station and grocery.
- That okay, Clara?
- Of course, and the newspaper.
You can have the barbershop.
And my house and the bank.
Traditionally, we all go outside,
light a candle
and gather at the tree
for a final hymn.
Tonight, I propose we go
to the Richards' home, light a candle
and wish our neighbors
a Merry Christmas
and the happiest of New Year's.
Mr. Renfield.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
George, I was only kidding
when I fired you.
Well, I'm not kidding.
I may just stick around here.
Goodbye, Mr. Renfield.
Scruff, Judith.
Your neighbors are here
with a very special gift
for you this Christmas Eve.
The people of Georgetown want you
and your family to stay, Jake.
As of this Christmas Eve,
everything you owed at the bank
has been paid off.
That's these people's gift to you.
I don't know what to say, uh...
Silent night
Holy night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant
So tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
- Merry Christmas, friend.
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Oh, it's just what I wanted.
Oh, Daddy.
Oh, Alex.
- It's beautiful.
I guess you got your letter in
just in time.
Santa gave me twice what I wanted.
I love you.
- I love you.
- Merry Christmas, Aunt Hennie.
- Merry Christmas, George.
Would you look at this.
Look, flowers.
- Flowers in the vase.
- Look.
I asked for a new coat, hat,
new shoes.
Well, as usual, I think I own more ties
than anyone else in town.
I've got me
a year's supply of Bay Rum.
Hey, fellas, can you hear it?
It's just what I asked for.
See you later, fellas.
Don't look at me.
I didn't have anything to do with it.
Not me.
Me neither.
George, Alex, come on.
Hurry up, you're gonna miss it.
Bud, it's working. It's working!
Well, I guess I know what you
asked Santa for for Christmas.
No complaints. Ha-ha-ha.
I gave him the cap
and the new glasses. Heh-heh.
Any time you and Alex
are ready to check out,
the Busy Bee Cab Company
is at your service.
Well, I believe I promised somebody
another sleigh ride.
Oh, boy.
- Oh, thank you.
- Merry Christmas, Alex.
- Merry Christmas.
You're welcome to come along too.
Well, Bud, I appreciate
the offer for that ride...
...maybe Alex and I will stay
for a while.
I knew it all the time.
It's a long way from the big city.
But it's a little bit closer to home.
I already know my wish for next year.
- Giddap. Let's go.
Merry Christmas.
Oh, boy.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.