Toronto Mike

Not Elwy, But Close Enough


I got an email from Ed today.  Here's what he wrote.

Hi Mike: My name is Ed and my e-mail address is *****
The reason I am sending this e-mail is that for years I have been trying to track down a movie which I used to watch growing up.
I am 61 years old and the movie I am thinking of used to air on the late movies on CBC every Christmas from I'm guessing about 1953 to at least late 1960's, probably before videos became popular.
I don't know the title or the actors but I can tell you what the story was about. I think about this flic every Christmas and would like to obtain a copy if at all possible. Anyway here goes:
It was about a rural family circa 1940's or so very happy until illness struck and both parents passed away leaving the oldest boy to care for the siblings. This task became too much for him and by the end ov the movie on Christmas eve he had to take his brothers and sisters and give them away to neighbours leaving him all alone.
This a very haunting ending but a great movie I would like to share with my family. If you can help me out I would appreciate it very much. Originally I was trying to contact Elwy Yost thinking that with his knowledge of movies he could help me.
Thanks for your attention

Firstly, that's the saddest premise for a Christmas movie, ever.  I'd be liable to slit my wrists after viewing a flick like that.  Man, that's a holiday bummer and a half.

I did some strategic Googling, and I think I know the movie you're looking for.  I believe it's called "Climax!: The Day They Gave Babies Away".  There's not much on the IMDB page but I found an unmarked up summary here.

The Christmas, 1955 presentation of the CBS anthology Climax! was based on a true story in the lives of the ancestors of co-scenarists Dale and Katherine Eunson. Set in rural Wisconsin in the 1860s, the story begins on a somber note, as both parents of 12-year-old Robbie Eunson (Brandon De Wilde die within a few months of each other. Now the man of the family, Robbie sets about to honor his mother's dying wish, that proper homes be provided for Robbie and his five younger siblings. Thus it is that on Christmas eve, Robbie visits several of his neighbors, offering to give away his brothers and sisters. Joan Evans, actress daugher of the Eunsons, serves as narrator. Adapted from the authors' Cosmopolitan magazine article, "The Day They Gave Babies Away" was later transformed into a theatrical feature film, All Mine to Give (1957); of the TV play's cast, only Stephan Woolton repeated his role (as Jimmie Eunson) in the movie, though Allen Reisner directed both versions. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

And in closing, let me nominate "The Day They Gave Babies Away" as the greatest title of a Christmas movie possible.  "The Day They Gave Babies Away" promises fun for the entire family this holiday season, get your copy today!

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