19 December 2012 9:28 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Carol for Another Christmas, an updating of Dickens by screenwriter Rod Serling and director Joseph H. Mankiewicz, missing in action for 47 years, makes a welcome and timely return by way of TCM this Christmas. It's a fascinating piece, possibly major Serling, though its placement in Mankiewicz's career is a little trickier. As befits the marriage of Dickens and Serling, it's a preachy allegory that relies on sentiment and humanism rather than urging any specific political course. Mankiewicz was rarely an advocate for anything in his movies, but he orchestrates this affair with typical elegance.

Take the phrase "Peace On Earth" as its watchword, the scenario makes Scrooge a wealthy recluse advocating the stockpiling of nuclear weapons and a foreign policy that combines isolationism with "get our retaliation in first" belligerence. The casting of Sterling Hayden in this role, very satisfactory in itself, has the additional effect of evoking memories of Dr. Strangelove, »

- David Cairns

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