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A Christmas Carol (1977)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Fantasy  |  24 December 1977 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 173 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Miser Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas, but then gets a visit from his companion Jacob Marley, who has been dead for seven years. He urges Scrooge to change his life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
Clive Merrison ...
Carol MacReady ...
Maev Alexander ...
...
Stephen Churchett ...
John
Will Stampe ...
Christopher Biggins ...
Tricia George ...
Little Blonde
John Salthouse ...
Veronica Doran ...
Caroline
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Storyline

It's the end of December and professional miser Ebenezer Scrooge absolutely despises this time of the year. He thinks Christmas is all humbug. He doesn't buy his nephew's talk of Christmas being a kind time, thinks it's absolute madness his servant Cratchit wants a day off and sends away collectors of donations for the poor penniless. It's also the time of the year in which his companion Jacob Marley died seven years ago. When he is all alone, he suddenly sees Marley again, in the door handle, in a tile, a bell suddenly rings. Humbug, thinks Scrooge. But then Marley really appears for him and tells him he should change his life. He warns Scrooge he will be haunted by three spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

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Drama | Fantasy

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24 December 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cuento de Navidad  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Christmas CAROL (TV) (Moira Armstrong, 1977) **1/2
29 December 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was at least the 14th screen adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale that I have watched (the others being those made in 1935, 1938, 1951, 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 2006) with another (dating from 2009) following only 2 days later! While the 1951 version is universally acknowledged as the finest rendition (though one cannot really put a finger on why it works so well, given its modest credentials!), a few of the rest (including the 1983 animated Disney short!) are well enough regarded as well. Incidentally, while several actors have attempted to give life to the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Alastair Sim's portrayal was so vivid and perfectly-realized (he would also voice the character in the 1971 animated version by Richard Williams) that all later remakes would have to be judged against it, and this is were the film under review decidedly comes up lacking!

Ironically, the otherwise reliable character actor involved – Michael Hordern – had played Scrooge's partner Jacob Marley in both adaptations involving Sim (Marley, then, is here incarnated by John LeMesurier, another welcome presence), but his contribution in this case comes across as no more than workmanlike. The main reason for this, I guess, also has to do with the script's scrupulous adhering to the letter of the original source which, again, was superbly-delivered – in his inimitable fashion – by Sim! I am sure it is not necessary for me to relate the plot line: with this in mind, the many familiar characters are adequately-filled (most impressively perhaps by Patricia Quinn – fresh from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW {1975}! – as the Ghost Of Christmas Past, with Bernard Lee – 'M' in the first 11 instalments of the James Bond franchise – also on hand as the Ghost Of Christmas Present). Besides, the eerie elements of the narrative (which, admittedly, is what really draws me to this piece, as opposed to the sentimental subplot involving the fate of Tiny Tim!) are given their due…but, all in all, the film merely sticks to the standard of British TV productions of the era i.e. generally tasteful in approach and undeniably practised in execution, it is also inherently dull!


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