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Home for the Holidays (1972 film)

Home for the Holidays
Written by Joseph Stefano
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Starring Sally Field
Eleanor Parker
Julie Harris
Jessica Walter
Jill Haworth
John Fink
Walter Brennan
Theme music composer George Aliceson Tipton
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Paul Junger Witt
Aaron Spelling
Editor(s) Allan Jacobs
Running time 73 minutes
Original channel ABC
Original release November 28, 1972 (1972-11-28)

Home for the Holidays is a 1972 American television slasher film from ABC, directed by John Llewellyn Moxey and produced by Aaron Spelling, and starring Sally Field, Eleanor Parker, Julie Harris, Jessica Walter, and Walter Brennan. The plot focuses on a wealthy father on his deathbed who invites his four daughters home for Christmas and asks them to murder his wife. Shortly after, the girls find that their stepmother was a convicted murderess who may or may not have killed her last husband, and they begin to fall prey to a killer dressed in a yellow rain slicker.


The film opens in an enormous house where Benjamin Morgan, a rich dying father, is talking to his oldest daughter Alex. He thinks his second wife, Elizabeth, is trying to poison him. Alex believes him. Benjamin then sends Alex off to pick up her three sisters. While Alex is driving, she stops and asks Benjamin's doctor, Ted Lindsay, for directions. He tells her and comments on the fact that they haven't come to town since their birth mother committed suicide five years ago.

Later that night, Alex returns with her three sisters, Frederica a.k.a. Freddie, Joanna and Christine. They park inside the barn. Once inside the house, they meet Elizabeth, who was a convicted murderess. Then their father calls them all inside his room, where he informs them that the sisters should kill her before she kills them. Elizabeth meanwhile, has gone outside in the rain to get something from the barn. She then comes back to the confused sisters, and shows them all their rooms, before making dinner. Joanna wants to leave, while Freddie begins drinking and taking anti-depressants. Christine goes downstairs to make some coffee for Freddie, and finds Elizabeth making tea. Christine then makes Freddie's coffee, noticing Elizabeth's yellow rain slicker, gloves, and boots by the door. Christine gives Freddie the coffee, but she doesn't want it, turing back to her vodka and other alcoholic beverages she had brought, talking about their mother and how she never should have died. Elizabeth finishes making dinner and calls the girls to come down, but before they can eat, Joanna begins to bombard Elizabeth with questions about her first husband's death, accusing her of murder. Elizabeth silences her, and tells her to watch her mouth or something may happen, while Freddie begins to scream upstairs. The sisters run upstairs, and find Freddie in their mother's old room, clutching a glass of vodka, and holding a piece of glass that is cutting into her hand. She is drunk and crying, showing them a painted picture of their mother, and accusing their father of her suicide, informing them of his many affairs with different women. Alex then accuses Elizabeth of unlocking the door on purpose, as they put Freddie to bed.

Later that night, the storm picks up, and Joanna informs Alex that she isn't going to stay, asking for Alex's car keys to drive to the railroad station so she can go home. Alex tries to get her to stay, but she refuses, taking Alex's keys and wishing Christine and Freddie goodbye, telling them to give Benjamin an excuse for her departure. But as she goes out in the rain to the barn to the car, she becomes the victim of a figure in Elizabeth's yellow rain slicker, gloves, and boots, and is stabbed in the back with a pitchfork, falling into the mud. Inside, Elizabeth is making milk and honey for Freddie, to help her sleep, when Christine comes into the kitchen, once again refusing the drink. Elizabeth then goes to give Freddie the drink, while Alex watches from Benjamin's room. Freddie won't accept the drink, and keeps drinking, getting into the bathtub for a bath, and passing out. All of a sudden, the same intruder that killed Joanna, grabs her feet and pulls her underwater, where she drowns.

The next morning, Christmas Day, Dr. Ted Lindsay shows up at the house, informing Christine that the roads are washed out from the storm, and that he will be popping in and out for a couple of days. Christine then finds Freddie's body and screams, bringing the others into the bathroom, where once again Alex accuses Elizabeth of poisoning the drink she brought for Freddie. Elizabeth informs her that Freddie denied it, and that she drank it herself, and tells them that Freddie had some pills out on the dresser. Benjamin calls up to find out what happened, and Elizabeth informs him that Freddie committed suicide or accidentally drowned, while Christine and Alex put Freddie's body in her bed, before calling the police. Christine goes to call the police only to find that the phone is dead, and realizes that Joanna has the car and they're all trapped in the house. She then decides to go out through the woods to a neighbor's house, and informs Alex, telling her not to tell Elizabeth. Upon traveling through the woods to find the house, Christine notices she's being followed, she starts to panic, and begins running. All the while being chased by the murderer in the yellow slicker, gloves, and boots carrying a pitchfork. She becomes lost and manages to hide beneath a log, watching the killer leave, and making a run for it.

Night has now fallen, and the rain is beginning to slow, and Alex is inside Benjamin's room, spotting Elizabeth walking outside with a yellow slicker on. Christine finally makes it to the house covered in mud, and notices that the car is still inside the barn, she goes over to it, and trips over Joanna's dead body half buried in mud. Elizabeth then appears, telling her to come with her, making her scream and run inside the house, where she locks the door, and finding Benjamin's dead body in his bed. Elizabeth then goes to the cellar doors, and crawls inside, going up to the house door, while Christine screams for Alex to come out and escape with her. Elizabeth finally opens the door, and Christine climbs inside a mirrored cabinet, listening as Elizabeth tells her to come out from hiding and leave with her. She then goes outside to find her, and Christine bursts through the front door to get help, running down the road to seek safety. While running from the house, Christine flags down a passing car, occupied by Alex. She tries to tell Alex that everyone is dead and that Elizabeth is the killer, but Alex then informs her that she was actually the killer, and was going to frame Elizabeth. She couldn't deal with the past, so she decided to forget it, by getting rid of her father and sisters, and since Christine was the last one left, she had to die too. She then hits Christine with a tire iron, sending her headfirst down a steep ravine filled with rocks and sticks, looking down and seeing her body crumpled into a heap. Ted then drives by and Alex quickly tells him that Elizabeth went insane and killed everyone, including Christine who went off into the woods. Ted then drives to the house, while Alex drives to the police station, bringing the cops back to the house the next morning. Once she gets there, she tells them where the three bodies are, and goes inside, finding out that they found Christine. She goes into her room, and thinks that Christine is unconscious, until she opens her eyes, then Alex snaps, laughing hysterically, and is dragged away by the police. All the while Christine watches, crying, from her bedroom, eventually letting Ted take her to the airport, leaving Elizabeth alone to the Morgan farmhouse.



The film debuted on the American Broadcasting Company on November 28, 1972 as part of the ABC Movie of the Week series.

Vidmark Entertainment released the film on VHS in the United States in 1986.[1] To date, there has been no official DVD release.



  1. ^ "Company Credits for Home for the Holidays". Retrieved 2013-12-14. 

External links

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