Thursday, December 1, 2022

[Review]—"I Heard the Bells" is a Beautiful Historical Film

In theaters starting December 1st, I Heard the Bells is the perfect film to watch with your family as you prepare to celebrate Christmas! It's a dramatization of the inspiring true tale of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the creator of the well-known Christmas carol, which is currently playing in cinemas for three days only, December 1, 3, and 4. Visit to find out more about the film and to purchase tickets.

Sight & Sound Films produced the film with Joshua Enck directing and co-writing the script with Jeff Bender. Jonathan Blair, Rachel Day Hughes, and Stephen Atherholt are among the cast members. 

The movie portrays an uplifting tale of atonement and restored faith. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (played by Stephen Atherholt), dubbed "America's Poet," lives an idyllic life... until tragedy devastates his world. Henry puts down his writing, silenced by sadness, as his family and nation are torn apart by the Civil War. The sound of Christmas morning reawakens the poet's lost voice as he discovers the booming promise of reignited faith.


I had this preconceived notion that "I Heard the Bells" would be a sappy Christmas story set in Victorian times, but aside from the sentimental part, I was mistaken. Instead, the film is a historical Civil War drama. The movie, set in New England, begins on Christmas Eve in 1860 and immediately establishes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as a devoted husband and father. On July 9, 1861, Henry's wife unintentionally caught fire and burned to death while he took a nap. She screamed and woke him up; he tried to help her but got burnt himself. Her passing tormented him, and as a result, he stopped being passionate about his poetry.  
Charlie, Henry's eldest child, sneaks away to join the Union Army after forging his father's signature. Henry uses his contacts to keep Charlie away from the battlefields since he made a vow to his late wife that he would not allow the conflict to take their boys. Unfortunately, Charlie did get wounded and was sent back home around Christmastime. Henry goes to his writing desk after hearing the tale of how Charlie was hurt, overcomes his worries, puts his trust in the Lord, and writes, "Of peace on earth, good-will toward men!" which would later become the well-known poem Christmas Bells.

I Heard the Bells is a startlingly well-written film with a fantastic cast, beautiful cinematography, and an outstanding musical score. It's the ideal movie to enjoy with your family at Christmas. ╌★★★★★

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Disclosure: Many thanks to Sight & Sound Films for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.


  1. This looks wonderful! I love the costumes, and I love this Christmas carol as well.

  2. More movies of this caliber should be made, thank you.

  3. I would love to take my family to see this movie!


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