Presented without commercial interruptions, this "United Nations Special" was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation, the first of a series of Xerox specials promoting the UN. Director Joseph ... See full summary »
Presented without commercial interruptions, this "United Nations Special" was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation, the first of a series of Xerox specials promoting the UN. Director Joseph Mankiewicz's first work for television, the 90-minute ABC drama was publicized as having an all-star cast (which meant that names of some supporting cast members were not officially released). In Rod Serling's update of Charles Dickens, industrial tycoon Daniel Grudge has never recovered from the loss of his 22-year-old son Marley, killed in action during Christmas Eve of 1944. The embittered Grudge has only scorn for any American involvement in international affairs. But then the Ghost of Christmas Past takes him back through time to a World War I troopship. Grudge also is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future gives him a tour across a desolate landscape where he sees the ruins of a once-great civilization. Written by
Bhob Stewart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Rod Serling's original script, the lead character's name was Barnaby Grudge--i.e., B. Grudge, a play on the word "begrudge". ABC censors thought that viewers would miss that allusion and instead believe the name was chosen as a slap at U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, a man associated with nuclear war, and ordered the author to change the character's name. Serling settled on Daniel Grudge. [Serling's original name would also have made more sense, because it is a play on another Dickens novel, "Barnaby Rudge."] See more »
The Andrews Sisters recorded "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" for Decca Records, not RCA Victor. See more »
[the Ghost of Christmas Present gorges himself at a banquet table, while barbed wired keeps out starving refugees]
How can you sit there and eat like that, when these people are starving?
Ghost of Christmas Present:
Oh? Do they bother you?
[he snaps his fingers, the lights go out and the refugees disappear]
Ghost of Christmas Present:
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Rod Sterling wrote this updated version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which centers on a grieving father (Sterling Hayden) who recently lost his son in a war and takes his anger out on everyone around him. The man eventually gets visited by three ghosts (Steve Lawrence, Pat Hingle, Robert Shaw) and learns a lesson. A CAROL FOR ANOTHER Christmas was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and if you look around at reviews you'll see that there are many positive ones but I'm not going to be among them. In fact, I'd go as far to say that this here is without question the worst "version" of the Dickens' tale that I've ever seen and it's rather shocking that with a writer and director like this film has that the film could turn out so bad. The idea of updating the story isn't what kills the film. The film is a very anti-war picture that speaks of the evils of war and it pretty much beats the viewer over the head with its message. I don't mind any film being political and I don't mind a message being passed but what I can't stand is when that political message is poorly written and is nothing more than a writer ranting for people to hear his story. I personally grew tired of the dialogue within the first ten-minutes and I really started to hate the characters. Nothing here felt real because it just seemed like one big political rant. Yes, war is evil. Yes, people die in war. The message could have gotten across a lot better without all the preaching and bad dialogue. Not to mention countless bad situations where things happen for no reason other for another speech. The film offers up some fine performances by all and we also get Ben Gazzara, Eva Marie Saint, Britt Ekland and Peter Sellers in brief roles. Fans of the all-star cast are going to be tempted to watch this thing and it's a real shame their talents are so wasted.
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