Picks and Pans Review: The Kid Who Loved Christmas

updated 12/17/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/17/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Syndicated (check local listings)

B

In a warm seasonal special, Michael (Hill Street Blues) Warren is a Chicago jazz musician who fights to regain the boy (Trent Cameron) he was in the process of adopting when his wife (Vanessa Williams) was killed by a drunk driver.

The movie will probably be remembered for containing the last performance of Sammy Davis Jr., as an old piano player. But what makes this project work is the earthy allure of the ensemble, including singer Delia Reese, Gilbert (The Cosby Show) Lewis, Cicely Tyson, Charlie Murphy (Eddie"s half brother). Ray ("I ain't afraid o' no ghost") Parker Jr., Ben Vereen, and Esther Rolle in a rare turn as a villain.

Everybody, alas, is saddled with a draggy, maudlin midsection.

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