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A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, War  |  28 December 1964 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 407 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 3 critic

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 »

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Title: A Carol for Another Christmas (TV Movie 1964)

A Carol for Another Christmas (TV Movie 1964) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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WAVE Lt. Gibson
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Fred
Barbara Ann Teer ...
Ruby
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The Doctor
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Imperial Me
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The Mother
Percy Rodrigues ...
Charles
Gordon Spencer ...
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | War

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Details

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Release Date:

28 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canto per un altro Natale  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The Andrews Sisters recorded "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" for Decca Records, not RCA Victor. See more »

Quotes

[referring to girls severely injured by a nuclear bomb]
Daniel Grudge: Well, at least their children will not face this horror.
The Doctor: Children? These girls?
See more »

Connections

Version of Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
highly worthy of a 120 year update
16 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This adaptation is not for the young. Rather, it is more of an adult, thought-provoking view of a hardened man facing a narrow, isolationist future. Sterling Hayden's portrayal of Grudge is solid and restrained. Grudge aches for his war-sacrificed son, but sees his own mourning as weakness.

The home of Grudge is tasteful, large, and heartless; a perfect place for a man whose hopes and dreams died with his son...a mausoleum for the living.

Steve Lawrence is flippant, and on-point is his role of Ghost Past. He is All Soldiers of all nations. He is aboard a ship filled with flag-draped coffins, filled with those who answered their governments' call. The WWI troopship is only one of many of an endless convoy, that bear those who have fallen. But the Hiroshima set is bright, broken, and stark. Grudge see his younger self drawn to a clear, young voice singing from the rubble that is now a hospital.

A doctor tells him that the girl he hears has been disfigured by the bomb. She had heard the plane and looked up. Grudge then sees a small injured boy, who, upon hearing a clap of thunder, needed a hug. The younger Grudge obliges; he still has a heart.

Pat Hingle is Ghost Present, an over-sated, uncaring man who feasts while millions of war- displaced people remain starving within barbed wire fencing. Yet they sing songs of hope, in their own languages...quite beautifully, too. Grudge is lectured by his own earlier words of keeping America's nose out of the world's little wars.

As Grudge attempts to escape from this Ghost, he is surrounded by barbed-wire at every turn. Seeing an exit, he climbs through a broken floor, and into what was Grudge's Town Hall, the place where all people could meet and air their problems. But the Hall is long abandoned and near collapse. And he meets Ghost Future.

Robert Shaw's Ghost is concise. Everybody had the Bomb, and everybody used it. This is all that remains.

Grudge then witnesses a meeting led by Peter Sellers, as ME, a selfish despot who has gathered dozens of survivors and plans an attack to kill those 'across the river'. "They" want to talk, and ME won't hear of it.

Enter Grudge's servant, Charles, and his wife. They have survived. Charles asks to speak. He speaks of humanity and conscience. But he is shouted down, shot and killed.

Grudge awakens in his den. It's Christmas Day. Charles, his servant, greets him, then goes off to prepare Grudge's breakfast. A knock at the door reveals his nephew, Fred. A 3 AM phone call is the reason. Grudge apologizes for his earlier statements, and has a change of heart. They shake hands, and Fred leaves. There is music in the background.

Charles turns off the radio, which is playing Christmas music sung by a children's choir. Grudge turns the radio on, intent upon listening. Grudge decides to have breakfast in kitchen with Charles and his wife, the cook. Grudge sits at the table, lost in his thoughts.

And the credits roll.

Rod Serling wrote this adaptation. And it was worth it!


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