The Christmas Kid/Joe Navidad (1967)


(Reverend Danite) #1

www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/The_Christmas_Kid

This film was mentioned on another thread, but thought it might deserve it’s own slot at this time of year.
I’d mentioned that it was pretty entertaining, but I think my memory was being a bit kind, there are a number of faults with the film … and with my memory. I dug this one out for another viewing last night - and fell asleep half way through. Maybe due to the rigours of Christmas entertaining, but equally probable, due to the lack of rigour in the making of this film. Therefore this review will come in two parts …

WARNING …WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

I was wrong about Joe being an orphan tho’. The ‘Three (slightly innebriated) Wise Men’ - A Mayor, a judge and a doctor arrive … following the glow from the old posthouse. As one of ‘em wishes “Happy Christmas”, baby Joe’s ma pops her clogs and everybody feels a bit bad about it :’( - especially Joe’s dad who says he’s gonna name him Cain … cos he killed his mother. The bitter old sod then gets as pissed as he can for as long as he can - which lasts a good coupl’a decades whilst the boy Joe is now been brought up learning the 3R’s - reading, ‘riting ‘n’ ruckin’ - by the 3 wise’uns.
When Joe finally learns the truth, he makes Kevin the Teenager seem positively polite by comparison. But this is where the film’s biggest fault occurs. There’s the boy/youth Joe who goes around saying “I hate You” to anybody who stays still long enough … then there’s this gangly spotty greasy youth … and then WE GET Jeff Hunter!
Well, he was in his 30s when he was (probably) miscast as a teenage Jesus in 1961 in ‘King of Kings’, it’s now 5 years later and there is no way on earth that we can be fooled into thinking that this slightly paunchy middle-aged man (I’ve only seen Terry Scott hold his belly in more - when he played Tarzan in ‘Carry on up the Jungle’) can be in his early 20s! In fact Terry Scott would’ve been better in this ;)! Weisser’s book would have JH as a bit of a pisshead himself - (hence the gut, maybe) - after getting a slagging off as a crap Jesus. I think imdb has something about him turning down a top job in StarTrek or similar (maybe … worth a check, but that’d piss you off again - maybe?)
Even one of the wise (old by now) men looks younger than our JH. Another problem is that JH is pretty uncharismatic to boot and comes across as too wholesome and ‘American’. There’s not the grittyness we come to expect from our protagonists - and I for one, feel let down by this.
The film just started to take off, with a bit of a slap and a spanking for Jeff from another old man by the name of Louis (HOORAH!) ;D - who also looks younger than JH, and the town is about to change forever, now that somebody’s discovered copper - when I fell asleep… zzzzzzz.
The second part should be more promising tho’ and it is … to be continued (It’s just like Saturday morning pictures all over again …)
Anybody else got any views on this christmas turkey? ??? SD say’s his seen it, but he’s a bit rusty as well … not picking up on my ‘orphan’ mistake.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #2

:’( NO NEIN NO ??? Reverend This is [b]Not a “good review” or a correct one.

IN MY OPINION THAT IS.[/b]

CHRISTMAS KID / JOE NAVIDAD 1965

PROBLEMS ARE:

  1. You are as you admit probably inebriated with “rigours of xmas entertaining” and
    cannot do justice to this film. I on the other hand DETEST alcohol and never drink it.

  2. You really need to start a review by stating the ACTORS, DIRECTOR, FILM and YEAR
    even if there is a link (the reader wants to read the details on the review not click …
    This gives the impression of completeness, knowledge of the subject and informs.
    The director and producer are very vital as are the writers. You mention NONE at all.

3, You are full of SPOILERS which are totally useless and inaccurate and if anybody
reads your incorrect and defamatory remarks against JEFFREY HUNTER (all your
"gut" “pi-ss head” etc slanders are unfunny, incorrect and usually associated with
twisted Halliwell type critics who are out to destroy SWs).
I have NEVER heard a word that Jeff Hunter drank alcohol (or in excess) and he
turned down the Star Trek as he was busy doing TEMPLE HOUSTON no problems.
You need to be paying attention to detail and paying due homage to a prolific
1960s actor who had screen presence, charm ,integrity & maximum acting ability.

  1. I DID NOT correct your “orphan” and other mistakes (if any) because exactly when
    I review a Film I do NOT want to get into specific details and SPOIL readers possible
    enjoyment if they decide to buy the DVD and view the film.
    My reviews are thus informative, descriptive IN GENERAL of the plot WITHOUT
    GIVING AWAY specific details, or the ending , or petty stupidity about age/weight etc
    A brief outline of the main plot with some adjectives to describe how well plotted
    or not is more than enough.

  2. KING OF KINGS 61 was actually the BEST EVER cast (Jeffrey Hunter) and greatest
    Film about Jesus and most twisted critics gave it a high rating for plot and stated
    that Jeffrey Hunter was perfect as Jesus.
    There was no “teen” involved Jesus is portrayed as an adult and a prophet.

  3. IMDB has no mention of any “drinking” or beer belly/gut ?? maybe you confuse
    JEFFREY HUNTER with your xmas celebrations and your appearance ;D. ??
    If you READ the actual review on IMDB by “exoticafan” he correctly describes the
    Film CHRISTMAS KID /JOE NAVIDAD 66 as “another wonderful feature” from S.PINK
    And he adds later “the cast is uniformly excellent” and all this AGREES TOTALLY
    with my own review of CHRISTMAS KID in the thread “happy xmas” where I
    reviewed this film in the correct/professional manner and gave it 16.5 out 20 :smiley:

Sorry to be so “corrective” and “critical” of your inebriated “review” but it really is
totally off the mark, incorrect, unfair, misquoting the IMDB and derogatory to a great
star of the 1960s

JEFFREY HUNTER Rip 1926- 1969 All respect due to him…


(Reverend Danite) #3

SD - I’ll reply to your points in the order that you’ve made …
1 I didn’t say I was ‘inebriated’ (your words). Altho’ I am partial to a drop of communion wine, I was merely tired from a hard day’s saving souls.

2 Why? Who say’s your way is right? I made the link - that’s good enough for me. If you can’t be bothered to ‘click’ - your problem.

3 I did state - quite clearly in SD-stylee SHOUTY CAPITALS :o :o :o - that it contained SPOILERS - I forewarned and gave freedom of choice …if you can’t make your own mind up about this, there’s little hope!
About JH’s possible alcohol problem - I did mention my source WEISSER - and I quote " … never recovered from the nasty notices. Jeffrey began drinking heavily, and eventually died in 1969, after falling down stairs in his home." ??? You say you’ve got it … try reading it!

4 It is possible that the reason that you didn’t correct ‘my mistake’ is because you are never specific about anything other than anything we could all be specific about …dates, and facts … that can be easily that has been gleaned from the internet. Personal opinion, got at source - i.e. watching the film - is far more valuable than that.
My responses to a film are personal - and in this case, bearing in mind I was playing the film and checking gaps I may have made (due to tiredness), checking the bits I was not sure about - as I was typing - makes this a more valid contribution than your rant - IMO!

5 Read imdb reviews - it got slated - and JH was widely known as “a teenage Jesus” - I’ve just quoted what I read. He was 33 at the time!

6 I finally agree with you … but the imdb was not my source for this. Why dont you read what I said correctly? - I never said it was. I’ve mentioned my source - WEISSER. He said it - I merely quoted it … surely allowable!
I also added humourous asides as I see fit … JH, as a 38 year old, looks wrong playing a youth. I have a problem with that. I believe, a reasonable PERSONAL opinion.

You’ve given 2 different dates for this film - 65 at the top, and 66 at the bottom. Originally I gave Weisser’s 66 as the date but then went for This forum’s and imdb’s 67. Maybe I’m right on this, maybe not. The experts disagree - facts maybe wrong, BUT opinion is opinion. And I have an opinion. Who the hell are you to say that they are “totally useless and inaccurate” when I’ve researched my ‘facts’ best I can … and given MY version of how the film pans. I watched it today - what about you?
I may have jokingly said that Bad Lieutenant was wrong about EL PURO but my tongue was firmly in my cheek at the time. [edit - removed by RevD - because it’s not big and clever to be rude!]


(Reverend Danite) #4

Let me illustrate my point about credibility with dear old Jeff …
This is Joe as the previous actor …

[attachment older than 600 days, deleted by admin]


(scherpschutter) #5

Be good to one another, guys.

I can’t say anything about the movie cause I’ve never seen it.
I always thought Jeffrey Hunter was a fine actor, even during his last few years, when he mainly appeared in so so films and, yes, apparently was drinking heavily. I guess this site will procure conclusive evidence (see under “Death”):

I saw him the other day in ‘Find a Place to Die’, his penultimate movie if I’m not mistaken, a rather modest spaghetti western, saved by Jeffrey’s strong presence. He looked tired and fat in the film, was sweating all the time, but those sparkling eyes and that remarkable, bashful smile still were able to electrify the screen.

A fine actor, he was most certainly miscast a few times too many, but hé, let’s remember him for his best performances.


(Reverend Danite) #6

… and this is dear old Joe (Jeff) a mere minutes later … as a (early) twenty-something year old!

[attachment older than 600 days, deleted by admin]


(Reverend Danite) #7

I think you may spot the credibility gap? And maybe a beer-gut? Or at least middle-aged spread!?

I agree - Scherp. My point was that he was miscast in The Christmas KID. I’ve seen ‘Find a place to die’ and enjoyed it and thought he was fine in this. [edit by RevD] Imo - our dear boy Jeffrey was miscast and badly placed in this. MY OPINION - not a fact!


(JONAH HEX) #8

This movie sux-thats a fact


(Reverend Danite) #9

THE CHRISTMAS KID - Review/Part 2 (Warning - may contain opinions! ;D)
I’ll say this bit again - CONTAINS SPOILERS - (but I’ll try not to give too much away in the spirit of making amends).

Well it all picks up a bit, as I thought (and said) it may.
Marie Lefleur - the whore with a heart of gold (sound biblically familiar), played by the marvellously sounding Perla Cristal; and the Saloon owner - Mike Culligan, devilishly played by Louis Hayward, bring this film alive. In fact it turns out to be a half decent outing. And as time passes even our Jeff grows into the role as well as his shirts ;). Still a bit ‘wholesome’ for my tastes … his character, as with the music is all a bit un-spaghetti-ish in feel.
Where this film does pick up points is in its uniqueness as a ‘wonky’ version of the Christmas story. Some bits are gonna be obvious … SPOILER ALERT … there’s a character called Jud who needs to pay off a debt, (hmmm … I wonder whom he might parallel?). And there’s our Jeff, who gets in a spot of bother and in the company of a coupl’a murderers … will there be three crosses, sorry, gallows on the hill? But not everything pans out biblically - it keeps the viewer guessing.
I found the ending - which I obviously wouldn’t tell ya’s! - a bit of a let down.
All in all - quite a unique film (well at least 'til ‘The Life Of Brian’), which is sometimes let down stylistically and, dare I say it, a miscast main character? (Who does get a bit better and believable … there I’ve been nice again).
Worth watching, mainly for spotting it’s biblical references, and for an outstanding performance of sophisticated devilery by Louis Hayward - (reminiscent of the Louis Cypher character in ‘Angel Heart’, maybe?)
My vote for ‘The Christmas Kid’ is … 3 mince pies and a cracker with a plastic frog in it.

[Edit. SD - my apology to you for my rudeness over this matter is over on the ‘happy christmas’ thread]


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #10

CHRISTMAS KID / JOE NAVIDAD 1966 JEFFREY HUNTER

AS I said before I DO NOT think viewing a HIGH QUALITY 1960s SW

with the idea of making STUPID DEFAMATORY , unfunny “jokes” about age/weight is

“acceptable” or “correct” or “wise” and shows total DISRESPECT towards an actor

who ended his career in sudden tragedy, made numerous EXCELLENT WESTERNS

and I had already reviewed the film in a professional, efficient manner WITHOUT

USELESS SPOILERS. We DID NOT need this utterly STUPID defamatory drunken

NON “review”. Who cares if you or any other xmas drink gorgers “fall asleep” ?? that

is down to your alcohol abuse NOT anything to do with a quality SW from the 1960s…

If you were going to PICK a movie to mock, abuse, defame you should have picked

one of these pretentious “critically” acclaimed turkeys like “full monty”, “manhattan”.

I had already reviewed the film with all the cast/director/plot info needed and it

was totally WITHOUT MERIT to launch into a pathetic attack on JEFF HUNTER with

lurid unwarranted aspersions about his “drinking” or “weight” or similar idiocy.

I SAW the Film CHRISTMAS KID I was extremely happy with the cast as was the IMDB

reviewer I quoted and what you should have been describing is the film director

SIDNEY PINK

and his legacy of superb westerns that are being newly discovered in the USA/world.

This nonsense of “I recall” when I “saw” is not useful or interesting whatsoever.

THE FILM FACTS, plot, actors, directors, music, producers that is what the reader needs.

If we are going to ATTACK and MALIGN our great SW from WITHIN than we all suffer :’(

And NO NO NO it is the well informed, factual, detailed analysis of actors/plot/directors

that is essential and I for one will NEVER read a review with a spoiler or with cheap

unwarranted, slanderous/defamatory attacks on a GREAT ACTOR who is dead. RIP

It is NOT your business or scherp business if in PRIVATE LIFE Jeff Hunter had 1 drink

or 2 drinks or none at all. ON THE SCREEN JEFF HUNTER was one of the best and

I resent this utter lurid CR-AP calculated to defame and malign him without reason. :’(


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #11

I agree your total lack of any knowledge, any “review” “ability” and failure to properly
discuss/analyse/evaluate

THE CHRISTMAS KID 66

All these DEFECTS with you Jonah Hex can be described as “SU-CKS” I agree :-[

Will you maybe scroll back and learn how to review and inform the forum readers.


(Reverend Danite) #12

Oh well. I tried …


(scherpschutter) #13

Hi di Hi, folks,
or like a famous yellow coat used to say:

“It’s nice to be appreciated”


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #14

CHRISTMAS KID / JOE NAVIDAD 1966 JEFFREY HUNTER Louis Hayward

PROFILE: JEFFREY HUNTER 1926-1969

American leading actor born Louisiana , married 3 times.

BEST FILMS

Lure Of The Wilderness 1952 Jean Peters Walter Brennan

White Feather 1955 Robert Wagner Debra Paget

Seven Angry Men 1956 Raymond Massey Debra Paget

SEARCHERS 1956 John Wayne Natalie Wood

PROUD ONES 1956 Robert Ryan Virginia Mayo

Gun For A Coward 1957 Fred McMurray Janice Rule

Way To The Gold 1957 Barry Sullivan Sheree North

SERGEANT RUTLEDGE 1960 Woody Strode Constance Towers

KING OF KINGS 1961 Hurd Hatfield Rita Gam

GOLD FOR THE CAESARS 1963 Mylene Demongeot Ron Randell

MAN FROM GALVESTON 1963 Preston Foster Ed Nelson

VENDETTA/MURIETA 1965 Arthur Kennedy Diana Lorys

BRAINSTORM 1965 Dana Andrews Anne Francis

THE CAGE : STAR TREK 1965 Leonard Nimoy Susan Oliver

DIMENSION 5 1966 France Nuyen Harold Sakata

CHRISTMAS KID/ JOE NAVIDAD 1966 Louis Hayward Perla Cristal

Custer Of The West 1967 Robert Shaw Ty Hardin

JOE FIND A PLACE TO DIE 1968 Pascale Petit Reza Fazeli

Viva America 1969 Margaret Lee Pier Angeli

SUPER COLT 38 1969 Pedro Armendariz Rosa Vasquez

JEFFREY HUNTER

An extremely high quality FILM Career that specialised in WESTERNS and THRILLERS.

APOLOGY TO JEFFREY HUNTER Fan Clubs , Family, Tribute Website /friends/fans

I was absolutely sickened, shocked and disgusted (see previous posts) that a fellow
forum poster maybe under alcohol/other influences ? had the utterly stupid idea to
write a nonsensical NON REVIEW (CHRISTMAS KID 66), where numerous retarded,
defamatory, spiteful, incorrect, libellous slanders are made against JEFFREY HUNTER.

Xmas spirit or not, poster is falling asleep drunk or not whatever there is no excuse
to write a feeble “review” lacking in all details, failing to discuss the director, the series
of films, the plot writers and choosing instead to make malicious/petty personal slurs.

JEFFREY HUNTER was always an extremely talented actor, who gave 100% on screen
turned up for all days shooting and was heavily praised for numerous classic films.
Jeffrey Hunter died tragically 27-5-1969 after an on set (Viva America) explosion caused
him injuries, a stroke then a fall at home from which he never regained consciouness.

Whatever drinks or depressants or medicines Jeffrey Hunter took during his life that was HIS PRIVATE BUSINESS, it never affected his screen performances and to bring
these matters up and malign him during an idiotic, nonsensical “review” was vile/sad.

When an actor is playing a role from young to teen to adult the producers have a choice
of casting different actors or the same actor with appropriate “age” make up.
We all know this happens and it is generally accepted , but to focus ones "review"
on how young or old an actor looks is worthless, idiotic and shows ill will to the film.

KING OF KINGS 1961 was a epic, faithful recreation of the life and career of Jesus.
IMDB user review says " a glorious experience" and “Jeffrey Hunter is superb”.
The voting for the film is 6.9 out of 10. This is not a “slated” film but a great film.

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to a GREAT ACTOR RIP : JEFFREY HUNTER 1926-1969


(Reverend Danite) #15

[quote=“SARTANA DJANGO, post:14, topic:809”]CHRISTMAS KID / JOE NAVIDAD 1966 JEFFREY HUNTER Louis Hayward

PROFILE: JEFFREY HUNTER 1926-1969

American leading actor born Louisiana , married 3 times.

APOLOGY TO JEFFREY HUNTER Fan Clubs , Family, Tribute Website /friends/fans

I was absolutely sickened, shocked and disgusted (see previous posts) that a fellow
forum poster maybe under alcohol/other influences ? had the utterly stupid idea to
write a nonsensical NON REVIEW (CHRISTMAS KID 66), where numerous retarded,
defamatory, spiteful, incorrect, libellous slanders are made against JEFFREY HUNTER.

…malign him during an idiotic, nonsensical “review” was vile/sad.[/quote]
Of course, you are right. I see now the path for redemption. I have no choice and I must fall on my sword. May the Good Lord forgive me.


(scherpschutter) #16

Come on, SD, the Rev already made his apologies on another thread.
He can be rude from time to time, like I can be rude and you can be rude.
From time. To Time.
But I know you’re not a bad guy, and that he isn’t a bad guy either.
And you said yourself che io sono una brava persona, so I’ll take you’re word for it.

Nobody said Jeffrey Hunter was a bad actor.
He was a fine actor, but he wasn’t a very lucky one. Some of his films weren’t that succesful (at least at the time) and he was forced to accept several parts in minor productions.
I mentioned, for this reason, Find a place to die: whatever you think of the film, it was a modest production, entirely shot in Italy (not even in Almeria), but it was made worthwhile by Jeffrey’s fine performance.

Whatever drinks, depressants or medicines he took, was his business, no doubt about it, but why should we conceal the fact when we talk about him? He was a fine actor and he was an alcoholic - so what? Whether his drinking etc. affected his acting, we cannot say (he did not make the same films he made as an alcoholic as a non-alcoholic, so it’s a logical impossibility to make out if these hypothetic movies would’ve been better than the one’s he made).
But that’s all unimportant:
I’m not an alcoholic and I’m not a fine actor.
Dylan Thomas was an alcoholic and a great poet.
I’m neither.
Wittgenstein was a short-tempered homosexual and an inflexible mister know-it-all.
I’m not (hope so).
But he was the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century.
I’m not (afraid so)

We are what we are,
and so are the stars.

We owe them all due respect, but that’s it: they’re no Saints.
Admiration is enough, we don’t have to worship them.


(alk0) #17

Oh my i think Reverend deleted his account. This sucks a lot :frowning: my question is-was this argument worth it?


(ENNIOO) #18

Thats a shame.


(Sebastian) #19

I think that was an outrageously unnecessary action by SD and therefore he has been given a warning by myself. merry christmas to you all


(Phil H) #20

It certainly was not and I’m genuinely saddened to hear the Rev has checked out.

Come back Mate, I for one am a sinner in need of your spiritual guidance. This place won’t be the same without you.