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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 3,287 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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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

After Bob is fired by Scrooge for throwing the snowball at him, he sadly walks behind the man with a goose; at different shots he has his scarf nesting right on his shoulder joint, and then hanging freely in front of him, and then back on his shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Ebenezer Scrooge: [to Marley's ghost] We'll soon see how real you are.
[Calling out the window]
Ebenezer Scrooge: Watch! There's an intruder in my room!
Leader of watch: Right up, sir - law and order!
Jacob Marley's ghost: It was for your welfare that I made this visit, Ebenezer Scrooge.
[He disappears]
Leader of watch: [unable to find him] Your intruder seems to have extruded, if I may say so, sir.
Ebenezer Scrooge: He was here! He was a spirit!
Leader of watch: [laughing] Of course, sir! A fine night for spirits - of one form or another, sir!
See more »

Connections

Version of Leyenda de Navidad (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Schlafe, mein Prinzchen, schlaf ein (Sleep, my little prince, go to sleep)
(uncredited)
Music attributed to Bernhard Flies or Johann Friedrich Anton Fleischmann
Lyrics by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter
Played as an instrumental background while the Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge of Tiny Tim's probable fate.
See more »

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.


32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A little TOO cheery an adaptation? angmc43
did anyone prefer this version to the 1951 version? silverlining731
Film Location tadams5
Where's Belle? ytrewq321
Some interesting notables about Scrooge's sister Fran EyeDunno
When Will This Be Aired This Year? lindsey-j-russell
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