Before They Were Stars: 6-Year Old Sarah Polley in “One Magic Christmas”

Way back in 1985, my parents took me to the theater to see One Magic Christmas, which may be the most depressing, soul-draining “feel-good” holiday movie a child could ever experience. Mary Steenburgen plays a woman who has completely lost her Christmas spirit and, well… you could hardly blame her for it. Throughout the movie, her husband loses her job and is then shot during a bank robbery by a desperate man trying to steal money to buy Christmas presents for his son. To top it off, Steenburgen’s kids wind up drowning when the robber attempts a getaway by stealing the family car with her kids still inside and then crashes into a river! Thankfully, a guardian angel played by Harry Dean Stanton (yes, Harry Dean Stanton!) eventually brings everybody back to life and restores their Christmas spirit. Anyway, because One Magic Christmas was filmed in Canada, six-year old Sarah Polley would make her film debut here. Apparently, the filmmakers didn’t think the movie was depressing enough already, so she plays a girl from yet another poor family who can’t afford to buy her the bicycle she wants for Christmas. Here’s a re-edited fan-made trailer which makes One Magic Christmas look like a horror movie and believe me, it ain’t much of a stretch!

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