In this one-man show starring Rich Little, Ebeneezer Scrooge (played by Rich as W.C. Fields) hates Christmas, and it's up to the Ghosts of Christmas Past (played by Rich as Humphrey Bogart)... See full summary »
Stingy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge is known as the meanest miser in Victorian London. He overworks and underpays his humble clerk, Bob Cratchit, whose little son, Tiny Tim, is crippled and may soon die. He also has nothing to do with his nephew, Fred, because his birth cost the life of his beloved sister. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge has a haunting nightmare from being visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley. He is visited by three ghosts and is given one last chance to change his ways and save himself from the grim fate that befell Marley.Written by
The video versions of the colorized film include introduction and closing segments filmed by actor Patrick Macnee in which he extols its virtues and claims it as a favorite of his. An odd fact is that he doesn't mention that he played the role of the young Jacob Marley in this film. However, there is an explanation for this. When the colorized version was broadcast on TV, there were other Macnee segments that were used at commercial breaks, and in one of them he did mention his role in the film. Naturally there was no reason to include these segments on video. See more »
When Scrooge gives his housekeeper a Christmas Bonus and
increases her wages to ten shillings a week, she runs down the stairs exclaiming in joy "Bob's your uncle!" This phrase commemorates British Prime Minister Robert Cecil's appointment of his unqualified nephew, Arthur Balfour, as the Chief Secretary of Ireland, in 1887, 17 years after Charles Dickens had died. See more »
Not a perfect film but still the most enduring version.
This film is one I will watch year after year and surpasses the other versions I've seen in so many ways ... even if Noel Langley's screenplay liberties with Dickens' novel led to an inescapable character error.
In Langley's screenplay, we're led to believe that Scrooge's father blames him for his wife's death during childbirth ... which later leads Scrooge to blame his nephew for the death of his younger sister (Fan) under the same circumstances. The flaw? The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his boarding school. Fan comes to take Scrooge home, saying that their father has repented and become kinder. Scrooge remarks how much Fan looks like their mother ... and Fan replies, saying it might be the reason why he's become kinder. But, if Fan was Scrooge's younger sister and if their mother died during Scrooge's childbirth, Fan couldn't exist ... because their mother was already dead and buried by the time she would have been born.
In Dickens' novel, the death of Scrooge's mother is only implied. And Fan's death is only mentioned as happening when she was an adult. Death during childbirth was not associated with either the mother or Fan ... implying that the "distancing" between Scrooge's father and Scrooge, as well as between Scrooge and Fred, was merely because both had become miserly and unfeeling men of business. And in the novel, Dickens referred to Fan as being, quote, "much younger than the boy" (referring to Ebenezer). If Langley referred to Fan as being "older" than Ebenezer, it could have been seen as merely a screenplay writer taking "license" to revise the novel. But Langley didn't make such a reference ... which probably left Dickens readers scratching their heads.
That error aside, the film was completely enjoyable and will certainly be enjoyed by future generations as much as my generation has enjoyed it.
P.S. Trivial tidbit. While death during childbirth was common in Dickens time, it wasn't as common as death by consumption (today called tuberculosis). Dickens own younger sister died from the disease ... and her name was Fan.
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