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"The Gathering"- (Warner Archives)
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date:
Special Features:

"The Gathering II" sequel


Christmas brings out the best and worst in people. The same can be said for the TV movies often made to celebrate the holiday. “The Gathering” a TV movie made in 1977 featuring Ed Asner as Adam a workaholic businessman who discovers he has a fatal disease who attempts to mend fences with his family over the Christmas Holiday was often a touching if melodramatic highlight of the late 70’s. Featuring Maureen Stapleton “The Gathering” continues to deliver because of the powerful performances at the heart of the film. The movie certainly earned its Emmy for Outstanding Special for 1977-78 but what it really didn’t need was a sequel. ---

Image & Sound:

“The Gathering” looks quite nice with a full screen transfer that has faded a bit but otherwise is presented with a nice, relatively clean transfer. This doesn’t receive the same attention as a mass market mainstream release but Warner has done a stellar job given their marketing budget with the film. ***

Audio is presented in the original mono and sounds solid if unspectacular throughout. ---

Special Features:

Yep, we also get the sequel the less than marvelous “The Gathering Part II” as a bonus feature. The second film revolves around Kate (Stapleton)from the first film and a wealthy financier who tries to win her hand. Kate’s kids are afraid that he’s only interested in her for the business potential rather than Kate herself. “The Gathering II” isn’t necessarily a bad film although it is mawkish at times particularly when compared to the first film which was more subtle. It’s a nice extra here but unnecessary.

Final Words:

The original film is truly the gem of the two films presented here. We get an often moving performance from Ed Asner and spectacular support from Maureen Stapleton in a deft supporting turn. Although the sequel wasn't necessary, it's a nice addition to this set even if it is the weaker of the two films.


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