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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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(novel), (screen play)
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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

Country:

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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

John Seitz temporarily replaced cameraman Sidney Wagner during production when Wagner was ill with a bad case of flu, and Marvin Stuart replaced assistant director Dolph Zimmer when Zimmer had a cold. See more »

Goofs

On Christmas morning after Scrooge gets out of bed, he temporarily removes his robe, but then puts it back on, unfastened. He then goes to the window and opens it, yelling down to a boy in the street. As he leans out the window, the robe is suddenly fastened with two buttons near his waist. 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 A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by an offscreen chorus during the end credits
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Reginald Owen is the star.....
14 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

How refreshing to see Reginald Owen as star of a movie. So what if he was the last minute replacement for Lionel Barrymore. I have read earlier comments for this movie, and I will give you my take.

I first saw Reginald Owen in "Mary Poppins", playing Admiral Boom, a character whom I thought was insanely crazy. I realized, many years later, that Owen was a very intelligent actor who had carried many a movie, mostly in character settings. Indeed, in "Poppins", Owen played along with all the craziness in the story.

In "A Christmas Carol", Owen plays Ebenezer Scrooge, essaying the lead part well. How refreshing, indeed. As an acting student, I noticed how Scrooge's forehead "old-age makeup" resembled that of what I was taught last summer in a theatre stage makeup class at The Ohio State University. There is that liquid latex (that has dried, of course) with just enough wrinkle to make his face give the hint of elderliness, whereas in real life Owen was only 51 years old.

As for Lionel Barrymore, I glean from my studies of the Barrymores that if they had made enough money on the stage they would never have "gone Hollywood", like they did. I think they had long ago sold out to the moneyed establishment. Definitely a lucky break for Reginald Owen, who for most of his career played the-glue character parts or second leads. Admiral Boom is certainly "an aside" in Mary Poppins.

In "A Christmas Carol", I noticed that "Tiny Tim" was played by the boy who played "Colley" in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips". So what if the actor was too old. He conveyed the spirit of the story. He was a good actor.

The Lockharts were great, especially Gene as Bob Cratchit. Lockhart also played the double roles of The Starkeeper and The Graduation Speaker in "Carousel", as an older man, and certainly always a rotund one. Indeed, it was other actors supporting Reginald Owen this time, not the other way 'round.

The Ghost of Christmas Present was well made up and costumed. I liked his hair and beautiful robes -- the robes reminded me of the fur-trimmed outfits of modern Santa Clauses. He did a good job showing Ebenezer Scrooge the error of his ways.

All, it was a heartwarming story about how a wretchedly selfish individual gets shown the error of his ways, and is given a chance to right his self-centered existence. A charming holiday season movie to watch.


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