GenreDrama NetworkHallmark Channel CountryUnited States
Release dateNovember 22, 2008 (2008-11-22) WriterShelley Evans, Louisa May Alcott (short story) CastJacqueline Bisset (Isabella), Tatiana Maslany (Mathilda Bassett), Helene Joy (Mary Bassett), Ted Atherton (Mr. Hopkins), Vivien Endicott Douglas (Prudence), Kristopher Turner (Gad Hopkins) Similar moviesA Family Thanksgiving
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An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is a television film based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott. Filmed on location in Canada, the film premiered on Hallmark Channel on November 22, 2008. It is followed by the sequel, An Old Fashioned Christmas which aired on December 11, 2010.
Widow Mary Bassett (Helene Joy) and her 3 children have hit difficult times on their farm; it is especially apparent when they cannot even afford a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. Oldest daughter Tilly (Tatiana Maslany) writes to Mary’s wealthy and estranged mother Isabella (Jacqueline Bisset), exaggerating their situation in a lengthy letter. Isabella comes to the farm to offer her help and finds a kindred spirit in Tilly. However, Mary resents her mother’s attempts to help them out of their financial difficulties.
Jacqueline Bisset as Isabella
Helene Joy as Mary Bassett
Tatiana Maslany as Mathilda "Tilly" Bassett
Kristopher Turner as Gad Hopkins
Gage Munroe as Solomon Bassett
The film did very well for Hallmark Channel when it premiered. It gained 5.2 million viewers, delivering a 3.2 household rating and nearly 2.8 million homes, making it the highest-rated cable movie of the premiere day and week. It also ranked #1 in the time period for household and total viewer ratings and deliveries, and boosted the network to rank #1 in Prime Time for the day. This made Hallmark Channel rank #6 for the week. This made the film the fifth-highest-rated original movie in the network’s history to its date, and its fourth-most-watched original movie among households. It is also the network’s most watched and highest-rated November original movie ever.
Critics' reviews, however, were mixed. Star magazine called the film "stuffy,", while the TV Examiner claimed "Hallmark Channel has cranked a sweet, ultimately uplifting old school holiday film" and called it an "old style of made-for-TV film."