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 »
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
The word "humbug" is misunderstood by many people, which is a pity since the word provides a key insight into Scrooge's hatred of Christmas. The word "humbug" describes deceitful efforts to fool people by pretending to a fake loftiness or false sincerity. So when Scrooge calls Christmas a humbug, he is claiming that people only pretend to charity and kindness in an scoundrel effort to delude him, each other, and themselves. In Scrooge's eyes, he is the one man honest enough to admit that no one really cares about anyone else, so for him, every wish for a Merry Christmas is one more deceitful effort to fool him and take advantage of him. This is a man who has turned to profit because he honestly believes everyone else will someday betray him or abandon him the moment he trusts them. See more »
In an early scene, Scrooge refuses Samuel Wilkins' request for a Christmas postponement, by saying "You'd still owe me £20 you're not in a position to repay if it was the middle of a heatwave on an August Bank Holiday". This refers to a law enacted in 1871, after Charles Dickens' death. See more »
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 »
If I could take only ten movies to a desert island, this would be one of them. This movie captures all the things that "A Christmas Carol" is supposed to be. Watching Alastair Sim interpret the role of Scrooge and then looking at other actors, I see his incredible facial expressions, the loss of soul that haunts him, the vulnerability (yes, I mean it; he is actually pitiable at times), the loss of love from his once betrothed, and the terrible loneliness suffered at the hands of a vengeful father and the loss of his kind and loving sister, Fan. Then there are the wonderful images and the haunting music. The excellent supporting cast. Mervyn Johns is an excellent Cratchett, multi-dimensional and fun loving. Michael Horden as Jacob Marley (definitely the best performance as the ghost). Scrooge is shown to be calculating at every juncture, but seems to know that in many ways he is wrong. His avarice becomes his mistress and he can't forsake her. There are wonderful little scenes that I remember. When he stops to have dinner at the restaurant and is told more bread will cost extra, he decides to deny himself a little bit of warmth. There is the scene where Fezziwig loses his business to Scrooge (not a part of the original book but it works fine in the film). Scrooge hesitates for a moment and then barges on, and shows his insensitivity by retaining a worker at a reduction in salary. The scene where Marley is dying and Scrooge waits till the end of business. He then comes to the house and asks "Is he dead yet?" We all know the ending, but there is a joy, a blissful excitement not found in any of the other films. This is all attributable to Alastair Sim. He carries every moment. He shows us what real acting is all about. I treat myself to this movie a couple times a year and it never tires me. See it if you never have.
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