In this one-man show starring Rich Little, Ebeneezer Scrooge (played by Rich as W.C. Fields) hates Christmas, and it's up to the Ghosts of Christmas Past (played by Rich as Humphrey Bogart)... See full summary »
Misanthropic miser Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley. Marley's ghost is followed by three more spirits from Christmases Past, Present and Future. Each has a lesson Scrooge must learn.
In 1840s London, Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean-spirited businessman who receives his terrifying comeuppance. One Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his dead business partner. Marley foretells that Scrooge will be visited by three spirits, each of whom will attempt to show Scrooge the error of his ways. Will Scrooge reform his ways in time to celebrate Christmas? Written by
The word "humbug" is misunderstood by many people, which is a pity since the word provides a key insight into Scrooge's hatred of Christmas. The word "humbug" describes deceitful efforts to fool people by pretending to a fake loftiness or false sincerity. So when Scrooge calls Christmas a humbug, he is claiming that people only pretend to charity and kindness in a scoundrel effort to delude him, each other, and themselves. In Scrooge's eyes, he is the one man honest enough to admit that no one really cares about anyone else, so for him, every wish for a Merry Christmas is one more deceitful effort to fool him and take advantage of him. This is a man who has turned to profit because he honestly believes everyone else will someday betray him or abandon him the moment he trusts them. See more »
Marley died in 1836, and the story takes place seven Christmas Eves later in 1843. The caroler at Scrooge's door sings Good King Wenceslas, but the lyrics for that song were not written until 1853. See more »
A man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower.
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The sad thing about this adaptation is simply that audiences have expected less reserved acting and brighter and cheerier moods. However, I've read the book many times, and although I like all versions, I think this is probably the 2nd best I've seen. (I love the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. It's delightful, if not entirely British in tone.) Scrooge was a Victorian man, which means the definition of his character would be one of reservation and stiffness. Patrick Stewart is quite believable as a Victorian British gentleman miser.
I enjoyed immensely the understated end, where Scrooge changes much for the better, yet at the same time maintains the appearance of a Victorian gentleman. The scene in which Scrooge haltingly enters his nephews house is very powerful and poignant imo.
Admittedly, the supporting cast is forgettable, but that's to be expected. This is Scrooge's story and belongs to no one else. What I think turns people off for this version is the stiffness portrayed by Scrooge and the general "oppressive" atmosphere of the movie. But it is quite good, and Stewart's portrayal of the Victorian Scrooge is perfect.
Although, I think that from our own perspective, Alastair Sim's portrayal will remain the one that stays forever. This movie suffers most from a low TV budget which often limits the camera work along with special effects. But overall, this is one of the best versions out there.
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