Stingy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge is known as the meanest miser in Victorian London. He overworks and underpays his humble clerk, Bob Cratchit, whose little son, Tiny Tim, is crippled and may soon die. He also has nothing to do with his nephew, Fred, because his birth cost the life of his beloved sister. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge has a haunting nightmare from being visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley. He is visited by three ghosts and is given one last chance to change his ways and save himself from the grim fate that befell Marley. Written by
A group of coal miners perform "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in the 1840s. The particular version they're singing wasn't arranged until 1855, when musician William H. Cummings synchronised John Wesley's 1739 verse to the tune of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's 1840 Gutenberg Cantata. See more »
[about Scrooge and Marley]
In short, gentlemen, if you want to save the fair name of the company by accepting their generous offer, they become the company!
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Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
(pub. 1856) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1840)
Lyrics by Charles Wesley (1730)
Sung by offscreen chorus during opening credits
Reprised by a family in a Spirit of Christmas Present sequence See more »
Many adaptations of Dickens' Christmas book have been and gone, but this is generally thought to be one of the definitive films of the story.
Brian Desmond Hurst directs a fine cast, headed by the incomparable Alastair Sim (a man who can play both malevolent and humorous) as the about-to-be-redeemed Ebenezer Scrooge. Sim's reactions are priceless and he settles down well in the role. Michael Hordern is a less successful Marley, certainly when he visits as a ghost, but the three Ghosts of Christmas are just as you imagine - Christmas Past is a wise old sage, Christmas Present is a jovial party-giver ...
Strengths of this production include the opening out of events of the past into a linear narrative (George Cole plays young Scrooge for the early segments), and the playing of Mervyn Johns and Hermoine Baddeley as the Cratchits. It is a film which has holly, plum pudding, and carol singers written all over it, from the use of Christmas tunes in the music track, to the roaring fires and snow-strewn streets in which everyone makes merry for the festive day.
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