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A Christmas Carol (1938)

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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 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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

This film had its first television showings in Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago Monday 24 December 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), on KING (Channel 5) and on WBBM (Channel 2), followed by Altoona PA Tuesday 25 December 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10); it was first telecast in Minneapolis 19 December 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9) and in New York City 24 December 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in Philadelphia and San Francisco it first aired 24 December 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6) and KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

After Bob is fired by Scrooge for throwing the snowball at him, he sadly walks behind the man with a goose; at different shots he has his scarf nesting right on his shoulder joint, and then hanging freely in front of him, and then back on his shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Ebenezer Scrooge: Please let me stay!
Spirit of Christmas Present: Nonsense! You don't want to stay!
Ebenezer Scrooge: Yes, I do!
Spirit of Christmas Present: No! You don't like Christmas!
Ebenezer Scrooge: Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I LOVE Christmas!
See more »

Connections

Version of An American Carol (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Leo Arnaud and Earl K. Brent
Played by an organ grinder and sung by carollers when Scrooge is at a restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"What's Christmas without chestnuts?" and Christmas Carol
11 December 2002 | by NYC LionSee all my reviews

I would like to say that every version of Dickens' tale is excellent in its own way but that would include Henry Winkler's "American Christmas Carol" and "Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol". Of course, then there's Albert Finney's musical "Scrooge" - Thank you very much.

But, rather than quibble about which is the best version, I will say that Dickens' story is the best illustration of the Christmas essence. Religion and commercialism aside, Christmas is about giving to mankind to better yourself and Scrooge is the poster child of that sentiment.

Now, as to Reginald Owens' version of the tale, just a couple of quick points:

This film is lighter and brighter than the others. The Lockharts are almost "cartoonish" in their portrayals. There is a cuteness in this one that makes it a bit more fitting for small children than the Sim/Scott/Stewart versions. Nephew Fred(Barry MacKay)is infectiously good natured and a fitting opposite for Owens' mean, old Scrooge.

As to Reginald Owens, his meanness is nowhere near the other Scrooge's but his character fits the overall nature of the film. I just wish that they would have tried harder with his facial makeup. In some of the scenes, he looks an awful lot like the scarecrow in "Wizard of Oz".

This version may be "A Christmas Carol Lite" but it is very watchable and entertaining.

"God Bless Us, Everyone."


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