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A Christmas Carol (1938)

Passed  -  Drama | Family | Fantasy  -  16 December 1938 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,285 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 22 critic

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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Title: A Christmas Carol (1938)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Kathleen Lockhart ...
Terry Kilburn ...
Barry MacKay ...
Fred (as Barry Mackay)
Lynne Carver ...
Bess
...
Lionel Braham ...
...
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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

June Lockhart's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When the Ghost of Christmas Past and Scrooge are flying through the air, the wires holding them up can be seen. 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?
See more »

Connections

Version of Mr. Scrooge (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Galop
(uncredited)
from "Jeux d'enfants"
by Georges Bizet
Played as background music while Scrooge is shaving
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"What's Christmas without chestnuts?" and Christmas Carol
11 December 2002 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

I would like to say that every version of Dickens' tale is excellent in its own way but that would include Henry Winkler's "American Christmas Carol" and "Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol". Of course, then there's Albert Finney's musical "Scrooge" - Thank you very much.

But, rather than quibble about which is the best version, I will say that Dickens' story is the best illustration of the Christmas essence. Religion and commercialism aside, Christmas is about giving to mankind to better yourself and Scrooge is the poster child of that sentiment.

Now, as to Reginald Owens' version of the tale, just a couple of quick points:

This film is lighter and brighter than the others. The Lockharts are almost "cartoonish" in their portrayals. There is a cuteness in this one that makes it a bit more fitting for small children than the Sim/Scott/Stewart versions. Nephew Fred(Barry MacKay)is infectiously good natured and a fitting opposite for Owens' mean, old Scrooge.

As to Reginald Owens, his meanness is nowhere near the other Scrooge's but his character fits the overall nature of the film. I just wish that they would have tried harder with his facial makeup. In some of the scenes, he looks an awful lot like the scarecrow in "Wizard of Oz".

This version may be "A Christmas Carol Lite" but it is very watchable and entertaining.

"God Bless Us, Everyone."


11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A little TOO cheery an adaptation? angmc43
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