IMDb > An American Christmas Carol (1979) (TV)
An American Christmas Carol
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An American Christmas Carol (1979) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Dickens (story)
Jerome Coopersmith (screenplay)
View company contact information for An American Christmas Carol on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1979 (USA) See more »
Charles Dicken's Victorian London becomes America's great Depression in this exciting new film See more »
In an American town, an old bitter miser is given a ghostly chance at redemption on Christmas Eve. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Excellent re-imagining of the concept See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order)

Henry Winkler ... Benedict Slade

Dorian Harewood ... Matt Reeves

David Wayne ... Merrivale

Susan Hogan ... Helen Brewster
Cec Linder ... Auctioneer

R.H. Thomson ... Thatcher

Michael Wincott ... Choir Leader
William Bermender ... Orphan

Brett Matthew Davidson ... Orphan

Christopher Crabb ... Tim
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Ballantyne ... Minister
Tammy Bourne ... Sarah Thatcher
Chris Cragg ... Jonathan Thatcher
James B. Douglas ... Sam Perkins
Arlene Duncan ... Jennie Reeves
Frank Gibbs ... Fire Chief
Linda Goranson ... Mrs. Doris Thatcher
Derrick Jones ... Harry Barnes

Sylvia Llewellyn ... Latham's Secretary
Jefferson Mappin ... Joe

Gerard Parkes ... Jessup
Mary Pirie ... Mrs. Brewster
Ken Pogue ... Jack Latham (as Kenneth Pogue)
Sammy Snyders ... Young Slade
Ruth Springford ... Mrs. Tidings
Justine Till ... Young Helen
Chris Wiggins ... Mr. Brewster
Alexander Galant ... Orphan (uncredited)

Directed by
Eric Till 
Writing credits
Charles Dickens (story "A Christmas Carol")

Jerome Coopersmith (screenplay)

Produced by
Stanley Chase .... producer
Edgar J. Scherick .... executive producer
Jon Slan .... producer
Gary Smith .... executive producer
Original Music by
Hagood Hardy 
Cinematography by
Richard Ciupka 
Film Editing by
Ron Wisman 
Production Design by
Jack McAdam 
Costume Design by
Julie Whitfield 
Makeup Department
Rick Baker .... special makeup consultant
Greg Cannom .... makeup creator: Henry Winkler
Production Management
Gerry Arbeid .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David M. Robertson .... first assistant director
Rocco Gismondi .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary C. Bourgeois .... sound re-recording mixer (as Gary Bourgeois)
Terry Burke .... sound editor
Douglas Ganton .... location sound recordist
Thomas Hidderley .... boom operator
Robin Leigh .... sound editor
John P. Megill .... boom operator
Bruce Nyznik .... sound editor
Tony Van den Akker .... sound re-recording mixer (as Tony van den Akker)
Special Effects by
Martin Malivoire .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
John Williamson .... still photographer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Miscellaneous: When the lights go out in the warehouse, Slade switches the circuit breaker several times and leaves in the off position. When power is restored later, the lights come back on even with the switch in the off position.See more »
Benedict Slade:I know this place. I've never been here before. Why does it look so familiar?
Ghost of Christmas Present:A picture, maybe?
Benedict Slade:On my office wall. My... employee... over his desk...
Ghost of Christmas Present:Your former employee. Remember?
Benedict Slade:He deserved to be fired. Disagrees with everything I do. Conspires with others to pull money out of me. Who needs someone like that around?
Ghost of Christmas Present:There are three in here who do.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of A Christmas Carol (1923)See more »
O Come, All Ye FaithfulSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Excellent re-imagining of the concept, 21 December 2013
Author: rkhen from Canada

First, disclosure: I'm a giant Dickens fan, scholar of his life and work, and total Charles Dickens fanboy geek all the way around.

This movie is NOT a version or update of Dickens' 'Christmas Carol'. It's written as if the writers had never heard of the Dickens story, were handed a one-paragraph summary of the plot, and told "Go!" And everything about it works. I especially like the way they improved on some of the weaknesses of the Dickens story. Just three examples: Slade stays gruff, socially awkward, and highly competent after his transformation, instead of becoming a loony old fool, which is fakey. He quotes business theory to justify his actions, as if it were a religion. Also typical of real-life Scrooges. And -- skirting spoilers -- the changes he makes in his life afterward are much more uplifting and realistic. He's just much, much more interesting than Scrooge. (Sorry, Chuck!) I could go on. These writers do Dickens better than Dickens.

The 1930s New England setting is brilliant; the small town works better than London (which comes off like a small town in the Dickens story, but it's not.) And, gosh Henry Winkler is outstanding! A young actor, playing "old" in a ton of make-up, and totally believable.

Anyway, I won't rave on. Like many other reviewers here, I say, Give it a try! I'm astonished to see this movie get two stars in TV listings and hear commentators in the media sneer about it, like it's the dumbest Dickens "adaptation" ever. First, it's not; I could write a book about the total crap passing for "Dickens'" Christmas Carol. And second, it's not. As in "not Dickens". It's a little bit better, and a whole lot fresh.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for An American Christmas Carol (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Helen Brewster or Doris Thatcher? okonacat7
A Wonderful Movie smurfystephie
The music theme behind the ghosts of X-mas. Emkay-09
One of the greatest... mjelliott9
Excellent - Made for TV Christmas Movie crw63
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