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A Christmas Carol (1951)

Scrooge (original title)
TV-PG | | Drama, Fantasy | 2 December 1951 (USA)
Old bitter miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Brian Desmond Hurst (as Brian Desmond-Hurst)

Writers:

Charles Dickens (adapted from "A Christmas Carol"), Noel Langley (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alastair Sim ... Ebenezer Scrooge
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs. Dilber
Mervyn Johns ... Bob Cratchit
Hermione Baddeley ... Mrs. Cratchit
Michael Hordern ... Jacob Marley
George Cole ... Young Ebenezer Scrooge
John Charlesworth John Charlesworth ... Peter Cratchit
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)
Rona Anderson ... Alice
Carol Marsh Carol Marsh ... Fan Scrooge
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Fred
Miles Malleson ... Old Joe
Ernest Thesiger ... The Undertaker
Glyn Dearman Glyn Dearman ... Tiny Tim
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Spirit of Christmas Past
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Storyline

Stubbornly refusing to believe in Christmas, and to be separated from his inexhaustible wealth, the Victorian money lender and parsimonious recluse, Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim), can't be bothered with the poor and destitute at the most festive time of the year. Intent on spending the holy night alone, instead, the sceptical curmudgeon is visited by an unexpected and sympathetic friend, Jacob Marley (Sir Michael Hordern), who will pave the way for the inevitable visitation of the otherworldly spirits of Christmas Past (Michael Dolan), Present (Francis De Wolff), and Yet to Come (Czeslaw Konarski). But, what do the pale ghosts want? Can a wicked old miser admit the error in his ways, and embrace change? In the end, is Scrooge ready to love and be loved? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the world's most loved character actors, Alastair Sim, in a masterful portrayal of one of the world's best loved characters, Scrooge! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Carol See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Cole (Young Scrooge) and Patrick Macnee (Young Marley) died in 2015. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ebenezer: You see that toothpick?
Jacob Marley: I do.
Ebenezer: But you're not looking at it!
Jacob Marley: Yet I see it, notwithstanding.
Ebenezer: Well, then, I'll just swallow this and be tortured by a legion of hobgoblins, all of my own creation! It's all HUMBUG, I tell you, HUMBUG!
See more »

Alternate Versions

One DVD release features a version where the top and bottom of the frame were cropped so that the picture would fit on widescreen TVs. The unaltered version is available on the same disc. See more »


Soundtracks

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
(pub. 1856) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1840)
Lyrics by Charles Wesley (1730)
Sung by offscreen chorus during opening credits
Reprised by a family in a Spirit of Christmas Present sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
the perfect Christmas carol
19 December 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Many adaptations of Dickens' Christmas book have been and gone, but this is generally thought to be one of the definitive films of the story.

Brian Desmond Hurst directs a fine cast, headed by the incomparable Alastair Sim (a man who can play both malevolent and humorous) as the about-to-be-redeemed Ebenezer Scrooge. Sim's reactions are priceless and he settles down well in the role. Michael Hordern is a less successful Marley, certainly when he visits as a ghost, but the three Ghosts of Christmas are just as you imagine - Christmas Past is a wise old sage, Christmas Present is a jovial party-giver ...

Strengths of this production include the opening out of events of the past into a linear narrative (George Cole plays young Scrooge for the early segments), and the playing of Mervyn Johns and Hermoine Baddeley as the Cratchits. It is a film which has holly, plum pudding, and carol singers written all over it, from the use of Christmas tunes in the music track, to the roaring fires and snow-strewn streets in which everyone makes merry for the festive day.


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