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A Christmas Carol (1938)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Fantasy | 16 December 1938 (USA)
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2:45 | Trailer
On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was as mean and miserly as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife.

Director:

Edwin L. Marin

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Hugo Butler (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Reginald Owen ... Ebenezer Scrooge
Gene Lockhart ... Bob Cratchit
Kathleen Lockhart ... Mrs. Cratchit
Terry Kilburn ... Tiny Tim
Barry MacKay ... Fred (as Barry Mackay)
Lynne Carver ... Bess
Leo G. Carroll ... Marley's Ghost
Lionel Braham ... Spirit of Christmas Present
Ann Rutherford ... Spirit of Christmas Past
D'Arcy Corrigan ... Spirit of Christmas Future
Ronald Sinclair ... Young Scrooge
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Storyline

On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife. Scrooge dismisses the apparition but the first of the three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, visits as promised. Scrooge sees those events in his past life, both happy and sad, that forged his character. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, shows him how many currently celebrate Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come shows him how he will be remembered once he is gone. To his delight, the spirits complete their visits in one night giving him the opportunity to mend his ways. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greater than "David Copperfield" !

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

At school, Young Ebenezer mistakenly calls his sister Fran. Her real first name is Fan. See more »

Quotes

[Scrooge has come in after being visited by the ghosts]
Ebenezer Scrooge: Fred! My dear nephew! How are you?
Fred: Well who is this?
Ebenezer Scrooge: It's me! Your uncle Scrooge! Smile makes a difference, doesn't it?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Version of Christmas Carol (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Schlafe, mein Prinzchen, schlaf ein (Sleep, my little prince, go to sleep)
(uncredited)
Music attributed to Bernhard Flies or Johann Friedrich Anton Fleischmann
Lyrics by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter
Played as an instrumental background while the Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge of Tiny Tim's probable fate. Also played when Scrooge is with the Ghost of Christmas Future and Bob Cratchit tells his family of speaking with Scrooge's nephew.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Cozy Carol
23 December 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

This Hollywood version of the Dickens Christmas classic is overshadowed by a later British version featuring Alastair Sim. The British film is more realistic, and captures in its incidentals more of Dickens' radical spirit than this more stately American film, which as directed by the able Edward Martin, is done on a more modest scale. I find the American film cozier and warmer.

Reginald Owen is a less flamboyant Scrooge than Sim, which tends to make one concentrate more on the story. The movie was made on a medium budget, and it shows. However, this is not a bad thing, for while the later version gives has a dank, drafty Victorian mood,--one can almost feel the winter wind,--this one benefits enormously from its hearth-like intimacy. It's a very fine movie in its own right, with a mood all its own.


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