This version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL puts me in mind of the 1910 Edison Company rendition, which is to say it's main virtue is it's historical kitsch value. Even viewers like me who track down every version of the CAROL that they can will likely be disappointed in this production.
Sadly, Maxwell Anderson and Bernard Herrman turn in work that is not up to their usual high standards. In addition to that a distractingly loooooong fake nose on Frederic March and the manner in which the Christmas Yet To Come segment is hopelessly rushed mar the presentation.
The little extras help make this worth having , though. Viewers can get the feel of what live single-sponsor television broadcasts were like in the 1950's and will certainly laugh at the ads for new automobiles with three-figure selling prices. The Roger Wagner Singers belt out a few obscure Holiday songs from time-to-time, presumably to allow time for the next scene to be set up by the stagehands.
Though the story is presented in a pretty soulless "paint-by-numbers" way and lacks the usual emotional appeal it does contain a few interesting touches, like having the same actress who portrays Scrooge's lost love Belle play The Ghost of Christmas Past and having the same actor who portrays Scrooge's nephew Fred (Ray Middleton, who would go on to be in 1776)play The Ghost of Christmas Present.
Overall, this adaptation of the Dickens classic is best for CHRISTMAS CAROL enthusiasts who can't live without every version of the story they can lay their hands on.
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