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An American Christmas Carol (1979)

In an American town, an old bitter miser is given a ghostly chance at redemption on Christmas Eve.

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(story "A Christmas Carol"), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Benedict Slade
...
Matt Reeves
...
Merrivale
Chris Wiggins ...
Mr. Brewster
Cec Linder ...
Auctioneer
...
Thatcher
...
Jack Latham (as Kenneth Pogue)
...
Jessup
...
Helen Brewster
...
Choir Leader
...
Orphan
...
Orphan
...
Tim
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Ballantyne ...
Minister
Tammy Bourne ...
Sarah Thatcher
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Storyline

In Depression-era New England, a miserly businessman named Benedict Slade receives a long-overdue attitude adjustment one Christmas eve when he is visited by three ghostly figures who resemble three of the people whose possessions Slade had seized to collect on unpaid loans. Assuming the roles of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future from Charles Dickens' classic story, the three apparitions force Slade to face the consequences of his skinflint ways, and he becomes a caring, generous, amiable man. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Henry Winkler is Scrooge See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canto di Natale  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Helen announces that the war bond drive is just short of its $25,000 goal, but this amount was far too high. It would be the equivalent of raising $300,000 today. See more »

Quotes

Benedict Slade: [seeing an overgrown gravesite] Wait, wait. There is something about this place. Something draws me right to it. The monument looks fairly new, and yet, neglected.
Ghost of Christmas Future: No one visits that grave.
Benedict Slade: Not ever?
Ghost of Christmas Future: Not ever.
Benedict Slade: To lie in a grave, un-loved and un-remembered, is as if the life was never lived.
Ghost of Christmas Future: That is the only... real death.
See more »

Connections

Version of Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

We Three Kings
(uncredited)
Written by John H. Hopkins (as John Henry Hopkins, Jr.)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A novel retelling of the Dickens tale. Give it a chance.
17 December 2001 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Not enough people ever gave this one a chance, but it should be considered one of the better versions of "A Christmas Carol" out there.

Why did it fail? Well, who wanted to see "Fonzie" play Scrooge back in 1979? I must admit that I did not like this movie the first time I saw it either, but it grew on me, as any good movie does. Henry Winkler plays Depression era "Bennidict Slade" (what an inventive American equivalent for "Ebenezer Scrooge"!), a rich businessman that started out as a delinquent orphan that was adopted by a kind man he unwittingly ends up putting out of business in his pursuit of greed. The "Depression Era" skin put on this movie makes it all the more gray, bleak and believable.

One thing that hurt this movie was that it doesn't have as much of a "feel good" ending as the usual "Scrooge" versions, but I rank this one high because it has my absolute favorite ending of any version of the "Scrooge" genre.

Naturally, I can't spoil the ending, only to say that Slade has more fun surprising people with his new found attitude, knowing just how shocked everyone will be, than any Scrooge movie I've seen. It makes a fun difference. And his surprise for "Tiny Tim", very well done.

One annoying distraction, the "Ghost of Christmas Future" is portrayed by a black man wearing gold chains, dressed in 1979 fashions and listens to disco music. Their "Ghost of the Future" jumped a little too far ahead, and is comical by todays standards.

But this is a great version, and if you are bored to death with endless variations of "A Christmas Carol" where you know the story blindfolded, then I highly recommend you give this one a chance. You'll like it as long as you don't try and compare it to A.C.C., looking for places where they changed the story.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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