A Christmas Carol (1938)
- Summaries (4)
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.
In the Nineteenth Century, in London, the bitter, greedy and cranky Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas and people. He runs his business exploiting his employee Bob Cratchit and spends unfriendly treatment to his nephew Fred and acquaintances. In the Christmas Eve, he is visited by the doomed chained ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley, who died seven years ago and tells him that three spirits would visit him that night. The first one, the spirit of past Christmas, recalls his happy childhood and coming of age; the spirit of the present Christmas shows him the poor situation of Bob's family and the happiness of Fred and his fiancée Bessy; and the spirit of future Christmas shows his fate. Scrooge finds that life is good and finds redemption changing thoughts about Christmas, Bob, tiny Tim, his nephew and people in general.
The timeworn Dickens' story about the old merchant Scrooge and how his own disappointments in life shape his view that both life and men are not worthy of his notice or concern. He displays no charity to mankind generally, and in particular, to his employee Bob Cratchett and his unfortunate son, Tiny Tim. But the dessicated gent is about to get his comeuppance when he imagines he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.
In this Hollywood production, a concise straight forward approach to the Dickin's source material is adopted. Ebenezer Scrooge (Reginal Owen), is warned by Marley's ghost (Leo Carroll) on Christmas Eve that he must change his miserly ways or face damnation. He is told that he can expect visitations from 3 ghosts, to which Scrooge "humbugs." When the ghosts do come, he is shown his past, the present that he has made and the future, which includes his own death and that of Tiny Tim. Scrooge gets the message and changes his ways on Christmas Day and thus saves himself and Tiny Tim.
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