This television adaptation of Earl Hamner Jr.'s autobiographical novel formed the
basis for the series "The Waltons." Set during the Great Depression, "The Homecoming"
centers on a family living in the Virginia mountains. This year, everyone worries they will
have a lean Christmas, because there's so little money to celebrate. This anxiety is
heightened, however, when the family learns that the bus on which the father commutes to
work each day has crashed. The eldest son, feeling the first sensations of adulthood and
responsibility, decides to leave home to reach the scene of the accident. As they wait for
news of their father's fate, the family members stick together and, in the process, discover
the true meaning of Christmas.|
The film won the Golden Globe Award for "Best TV-Movie"
that year, and Neal won the "Best Actress" award for her performance.