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A Christmas Carol (1938)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Fantasy | 16 December 1938 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »

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 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

Even though the film is based on the book the film adds different twists from the novel and most other film versions. In this film Fred is more of a supporting character rather than being a minor character. Bob is sacked by Scrooge in this film. And in the end Scrooge rehires Bob and makes Fred his new partner. See more »

Goofs

While Mrs. Cratchit is carving the goose, Tiny Tim has a napkin tucked in. However, in the next shot, The napkin isn't tucked in and Tim starts doing it. See more »

Quotes

Ebenezer Scrooge: [to Marley's ghost] We'll soon see how real you are.
[Calling out the window]
Ebenezer Scrooge: Watch! There's an intruder in my room!
Leader of watch: Right up, sir - law and order!
Jacob Marley's ghost: It was for your welfare that I made this visit, Ebenezer Scrooge.
[He disappears]
Leader of watch: [unable to find him] Your intruder seems to have extruded, if I may say so, sir.
Ebenezer Scrooge: He was here! He was a spirit!
Leader of watch: [laughing] Of course, sir! A fine night for spirits - of one form or another, sir!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scrooged (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
(1856) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1840)
Lyrics by Charles Wesley (1730)
Arranged by David Snell
Sung by an offscreen chorus during opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Triumph For Reginald Owen
25 December 2001 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

The wretched life of a disagreeable old man is forever altered one haunted Christmas Eve...

Charles Dickens' wonderful Yuletide story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, is given the full MGM deluxe treatment in this superior Holiday film. The production values & acting are both excellent, with just enough sentiment to appeal to the tenderhearted, and with liberal doses of horror & hilarity stirred into the mix, until, like a fine Christmas punch, the result appeals to all.

The film's rather short running time keeps the action moving along briskly, with one famous & beloved episode after another coming alive before the viewer's eyes.

Reginald Owen, in his best film role, is perfect as the grasping, clutching, tightfisted, covetous old sinner, Ebenezer Scrooge. Replacing the ailing - and highly respected - Lionel Barrymore, Owen makes the part his own, revealing the old miser's misery & heartache, making the part thoroughly human. When he rejoices in his spiritual regeneration at the climax, so do we.

The roles of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's amiable clerk & Fred, Scrooge's friendly nephew, are both fleshed out more fully than in other versions. The acting skills of Gene Lockhart & Barry MacKay turn them into something very memorable.

Special mention should also be made of Leo G. Carroll as Marley's morose Ghost; Lionel Braham as an impressively jolly Ghost of Christmas Present; and Kathleen Lockhart & Terry Kilburn as Mrs. Cratchit & Tiny Tim. All add fine brushstrokes to the overall picture.

Movie mavens will recognize Billy Bevan as an officer of the Watch; Forrester Harvey as an ebullient Fezziwig; Halliwell Hobbes as a jolly Vicar; and young June Lockhart, in her film debut, as Belinda Cratchit - all uncredited.


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