"A Matter of Principle"

    Based on a story by JOHN D. WEAVER
    Starring: ALAN ARKIN, BARBARA DANA and VIRGINIA MADSEN
    Produced by: NEAL MILLER
    Screenplay by NEAL & NANCY MILLER
    Directed by: GWEN ARNER

A humorously tyrannical father of nine is determined to keep life "simple" until his long-enduring wife defies him, and he learns that love is more important than pride.

Flagg Purdy runs his life and his poor Virginian family with nine kids on strict "principles." He does not believe in West Virginia, in letting his daughters marry, or in Christmas. His wife, Ada, has always tolerated Flagg's dictates, convinced that "after all these years, it's hard to change." But, when their daughter decides to get married and to make Christmas happen for the first time at the Purdy household, Flagg pushes his principles past the limit. Ada learns a lesson in liberation, and Flagg learns that love is more important than pride.

Reviews & Awards

  • Banff Int'l Film Fest. - 12/84
  • -- "'American Playhouse' hits its stride with one of the finer Christmas specials of this or any recent past season. A Matter of Principle reflects genuine truths in rural wrappings ... the drama sings of the redeeming values of love, no matter what form it takes."
    - Daily Variety

    -- "A Matter of Principle deserves to become an annual TV tradition. Don't miss one of the dramatic firecrackers of 1984"
    - TV Guide

    -- "Tale of gruff Virginian is charming holiday offering"
    - Seattle Daily Times

    -- "Proceed to PBS for a seasonal lesson in respect, humility, understanding, human dignity, and, yes, principle: A Matter of Principle ... an instant Christmas classic."
    - The Christian Science Monitor

    Additional information at Internet Movie Database