'The Man Who Saved Christmas'

Corinthians' Ronaldo, left, fights for the ball with Goias' Vitor during a Brazilian league soccer match in Sao Paulo, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. Ronaldo is recovering after undergoing surgery on his left hand, that he broke during a Brazilian league match on July 26, 2009, in which surgeons inserted 12 screws. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine) AP Photo/Nelson Antoine

Hollywood loves inspiring Christmas stories and they recently uncovered a gem.

"The Man Who Saved Christmas" is a new holiday movie that tells the true story of A.C. Gilbert, best known as the inventor of the erector set.

Jason Alexander, known to some as George Constanza of TV's "Seinfield," plays Gilbert, who is asked to convert his toy factory into a munitions plant when World War I breaks out.

Alexander visited The Early Show to discuss the CBS television movie and his role.

The movie begins as Gilbert, a former Oylmpic Gold medalist, unveils his first erector set in 1913. The toys allowed children to build square girders with pulley, gears and strips of metals. Some sets even had a DC motor.

The erector set was not an immediate hit. However, the toy inventor did find success. Soon after, America became involved in World War I. Gilbert was asked by the United State government to turn his toy factory into a munitions plant.

The inventor had to decide whether to make guns or toys. Also, a congressional committee asked Gilbert to spearhead a campaign to talk people into not buying toys for Christmas and using the money to buy war bonds. In the end, Gilbert followed his heart.

"The Man Who Saved Christmas" also stars Ed Asner, Kelly Rowan, Jake Brockman and Ari Cohen. The movie airs Sunday, Dec. 15, 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Coming up for Alexander: Starring opposite Martin Short in the L.A. production of the play "The Producers" in March 2003.
  • Rome Neal

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