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A Christmas Carol (1938)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Fantasy | 16 December 1938 (USA)
On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Kathleen Lockhart ...
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Barry MacKay ...
Fred (as Barry Mackay)
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Lionel Braham ...
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D'Arcy Corrigan ...
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Storyline

On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife. Scrooge dismisses the apparition but the first of the three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, visits as promised. Scrooge sees those events in his past life, both happy and sad, that forged his character. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, shows him how many currently celebrate Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come shows him how he will be remembered once he is gone. To his delight, the spirits complete their visits in one night giving him the opportunity to mend his ways. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greater than "David Copperfield" !

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge McDuck was probably based physically on this version of Ebenezer Scrooge, with the fringe of hair and the small tuft of hair on the top of his head. See more »

Goofs

When Scrooge is eating in the tavern on Christmas Eve, he is reading a book with the spine label "Bankers Book". Charles Dickens' depiction of this book is that it is Scrooge's property, possibly a ledger. Yet in the film, Scrooge stands, pays the innkeeper for the meal, and leaves - leaving the book behind him on the table. See more »

Quotes

[Scrooge has come in after being visited by the ghosts]
Ebenezer Scrooge: Fred! My dear nephew! How are you?
Fred: Well who is this?
Ebenezer Scrooge: It's me! Your uncle Scrooge! Smile makes a difference, doesn't it?
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Connections

Featured in The Great Christmas Movies (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Leo Arnaud and Earl K. Brent
Played by an organ grinder and sung by carollers when Scrooge is at a restaurant
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Triumph For Reginald Owen
25 December 2001 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

The wretched life of a disagreeable old man is forever altered one haunted Christmas Eve...

Charles Dickens' wonderful Yuletide story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, is given the full MGM deluxe treatment in this superior Holiday film. The production values & acting are both excellent, with just enough sentiment to appeal to the tenderhearted, and with liberal doses of horror & hilarity stirred into the mix, until, like a fine Christmas punch, the result appeals to all.

The film's rather short running time keeps the action moving along briskly, with one famous & beloved episode after another coming alive before the viewer's eyes.

Reginald Owen, in his best film role, is perfect as the grasping, clutching, tightfisted, covetous old sinner, Ebenezer Scrooge. Replacing the ailing - and highly respected - Lionel Barrymore, Owen makes the part his own, revealing the old miser's misery & heartache, making the part thoroughly human. When he rejoices in his spiritual regeneration at the climax, so do we.

The roles of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's amiable clerk & Fred, Scrooge's friendly nephew, are both fleshed out more fully than in other versions. The acting skills of Gene Lockhart & Barry MacKay turn them into something very memorable.

Special mention should also be made of Leo G. Carroll as Marley's morose Ghost; Lionel Braham as an impressively jolly Ghost of Christmas Present; and Kathleen Lockhart & Terry Kilburn as Mrs. Cratchit & Tiny Tim. All add fine brushstrokes to the overall picture.

Movie mavens will recognize Billy Bevan as an officer of the Watch; Forrester Harvey as an ebullient Fezziwig; Halliwell Hobbes as a jolly Vicar; and young June Lockhart, in her film debut, as Belinda Cratchit - all uncredited.


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