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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

MGM released a record-breaking 375 prints of the film so that as many people as possible could see it during the Christmas season. See more »

Goofs

Young Scrooge and Dick Wilkins talk to each other while closing up Fezziwig's warehouse, yet their lips do not move. 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 Brer Rabbit's Christmas Carol (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by an offscreen chorus during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My favorite version...my favorite Christmas movie!
14 December 2003 | by estabansmytheSee all my reviews

There's just something about this one that, while not close to being the most faithful it nonetheless remains my favorite of all the many film versions of Dicken's Christmas Carol.

I guess it's those old classic MGM production values. It's Gene Lockhart's sometimes cowed, sometimes impish, sometimes heroic & joy-filled Bob Cratchett.

And it's definitely the way Reginald Owen turns Scrooge around far earlier than the other productions. I get so tired of seeing that rotten old Scrooge stay rotten until ten minutes before the film ends, when, poof, he sees the light & is miraculously transformed form the meanest man in the world to the nicest. Here, Owen's Scrooge begins to turn fairly quick, and I enjoy that - it really makes him so much easier to root for.

Every time I see it I'm reminded about how marvelous & truly important Franz Waxman's score is to this version. It's delightfully bouncy & upbeat when it's called for & dark forboding during the grim scenes. It's wonderful; dead-on perfect.

For me, it's far and away the most entertaining version. Sit back for its brief 69 minutes, watch and enjoy.


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