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Unlikely Angel
Unlikely Angel
Actors: Dolly Parton, Roddy McDowall, Brian Kerwin, Allison Mack, Eli Marienthal
Director: Michael Switzer
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
NR     1999     1hr 35min

No wings...No halo...All Heart. Dolly Parton stars as Ruby Diamond, a brassy lounge singer who tries to enter heaven after a sudden, fatal accident. Unfortunately, Ruby lacks enough good deeds to enter those Pearly Gates. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Dolly Parton, Roddy McDowall, Brian Kerwin, Allison Mack, Eli Marienthal
Director: Michael Switzer
Creators: Dolly Parton, Donald Kushner, Gail Berman, Jonathan Bernstein, Katherine Ann Jones, Liz Coe, Robert L. Freedman
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Family Films, Fantasy, Television
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/29/1999
Original Release Date: 12/17/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 12/17/1996
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 11/20/2022...
Dolly Parton and others shine in this and of course, Dolly sings some Christmas themed songs you probably have not heard. It's a real shame about Allison Mack. A must watch especially for Parton and Christmas fans!
Ashley A. (faith4jesus) from ATHENS, GA
Reviewed on 12/11/2007...
Who doesn't think Dolly Parton is angel? I just love this movie and I look forward to watching it every year! Dolly Parton stars as a (gasp) country singer who suddenly passes away. She has to pass a test first before she is allowed through the pearly gates. She LANDS into the home of a single father and his children. Her job is to bring Christmas back into the life of this family crushed by the death of their mother. The father is a workaholic and the children pretty are on their own. She has a tough job ahead of her.

Why I love this movie: Well first off as a southern girl myself I love Dolly Parton. This is the kind of movie that will make you laugh and cry. I get a kick out of how she has to control her "flirty" side now that she is working for her wings. She sings a few songs in the movie too and does a great version of "Jingle Bells" with a the little boy in the film. The clothes Dolly wears are funny too and the fact that a father would hire a nanny showing that much cleavage makes me laugh. A great family movie that I love seeing again and again!

Movie Reviews

Wonderful Holiday Movie
J. M. Zuurbier | Canada | 12/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dolly Parton plays Ruby Diamond in this touching Christmas story. Ruby meets an untimely death, and before entering heaven wants to become an angel. She is sent back to earth on a mission, and if she succeeds she will get her wings. She has to complete a mission before midnight on Christmas Eve. Ruby is now a nanny for a dysfunctional family who is trying to cope after the death of the mother in the family. The family is disconnected, the father a workaholic and the two children feeling distanced. Ruby helps the family realize they need each other, and need to stick together. Overall it is a wonderful holiday movie that will warm your heart. Dolly sings some wonderful songs too. Overall a well written movie, and Dolly is excellent in it. Add this one to your collection, it will brighten any Christmas."
Not just for Dolly fans
bookloversfriend | United States | 09/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It would be a shame if only Dolly Parton fans saw this movie. They will like it, of course, but anyone who likes wholesome family feel-good movies will like it too. Dolly has one week to bring a hurt and alienated family back together again, and this father, son and daughter are a challenge even to a good-hearted infectious spirit like Dolly. The set-backs are believable, and how she finally does it is believable.

I wish I could give the movie a perfect score, and the rest of the movie is so good, it almost deserves it. But if you're NOT a fan, the first scene is likely to dampen your response to most of the rest of the movie (until you realize that the rest of the movie is not at all like the first scene). I urge you to skip this scene on your first viewing. The story does not start until scene 2 anyway, so you're not missing any story. On the Image DVD, you can just start with track 2. If you don't, you'll feel that this is a three-star movie and you'll be sure that your friendly reviewer is totally besotted to think that merely cutting the first scene would make any difference.

The end too is regretable--not the end of the story, that ends beautifully and credibly. But the movie doesn't stop. It keeps going, and the audience is treated to a rock-country version of (I'm afraid to say it) the Hallelujah Chorus. Now, this may be some viewers' cup of beer, but others will throw up. So, depending on your taste, stop the movie when the story is wrapped up. Don't sour your experience by sitting through that musical atrocity.

If you make these two cuts, you'll be giving this movie 5-plus stars and wondering what is wrong with your friendly reviewer that he couldn't see it that way. And one final tip: if you like this type of story, check out Little House on the Prairie Christmas edition, Mary Christmas, and I'll Be Home for Christmas(1997). And if you read books, try A Thanksgiving Miracle. Other movies and books of this type, I'm sure you're already familiar with.

If you're a student of film or a screenwriter, watch the movie both ways (with the cuts and without) to discover the enormous effects that a bad scene can have on the REST OF the movie. It will astound you!"
A wonderful holiday movie that touches the heart and spirit!
Jennifer Conway | 12/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A wonderful holiday movie about a woman played by Dolly Parton who has an untimely death and must complete a good deed on earth to enter the gates of heaven. Unknowingly to her her good deed is to help a workaholic father realize that the most important thing is his family and that spending time with them on Christmas will bring the family closer together. Dolly is aided on her good deed journey by the late great Roddy McDowell who plays St. Peter who guides her and tells her what to do to complete her mission. I think the songs are great as well. A must see family fare!"