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A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

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 »


Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
WAVE Lt. Gibson
Barbara Ann Teer ...
The Doctor
Imperial Me
The Mother
Gordon Spencer ...


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 <bhob2@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | War





Release Date:

28 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canto per un altro Natale  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally intended only to be shown on a one-time basis,"A Carol for Another Christmas" remained unseen for 48 years, until broadcast in December 2012 on Turner Classic Movies. It has since had subsequent showings on TCM. 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]
Daniel Grudge: 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: Feel better?
See more »


Version of Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost (1901) See more »


Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
Words and music by Lew Brown, Charles Tobias and Sam H. Stept
Recreated by The Andrews Sisters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Christmas Carol that may not translate to the 21st Century
13 May 2001 | by (South Pasadena, CA) – See all my reviews

The Museum of Television and Radio owns a copy of this film written by Rod Serling and only shown once on television. Part of its financing came from the United Nations and the theme of the film is more about international cooperation than simply being anti-war.

Sterling Hayden portrays a wealthy man who served in the Navy during World War II and is now a lonely bitter man upset over his son's death in a war he described as needless, presumably in Korea. Hayden is now an isolationist.

The three ghosts think their job is to make Hayden's character more of an internationalist and more willing to accept U.S. involvement in organizations like the United Nations. Coming right before the U.S. racheted up its involvement in Vietnam, it is easy to understand why this film didn't get shown again.

The visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Shaw) is the most frightening part of the film. He shows Hayden a post nuclear apoclaypse world run by a weird character called the Imperial Me (Peter Sellers). Sellers is quite effective.

It's an interesting film, but you have to take it in its context. If you are a big Rod Serling fan, it is worth seeing. If you are not, you might find the themes in the film delivered in a rather heavy-handed manner.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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