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A Christmas Carol (1951)

Scrooge (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 2 December 1951 (USA)
An old bitter miser 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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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, 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, who will pave the way for the inevitable visitation of the otherworldly spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. 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:

The Holiday Picture of All Time! Charles Dickens' Joyous Classic! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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

In the novella, the Spirit of Christmas Past carries an extinguisher, a small funnel which was used to put out candles. This was eliminated for the movie version, although the Spirit does appear more or less solid, depending on the scene, to correspond with the description in the book. See more »

Goofs

When Scrooge calls to the boy in the street to buy the turkey, he leans on the ledge of the window as viewed from the outside. From inside, however, the ledge is seen to be not more than a foot or two up from the floor. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Dilber: [of Jacob Marley] Is he dead?
Ebenezer: Yes.
Mrs. Dilber: [to the undertaker] It's just like you said!
The Undertaker: I always know.
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 »

Connections

Version of Story of the Christmas Carol (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
English lyrics by John Freeman Young
Excerpt sung by a trio of boys
Sung by an offscreen chorus at end of film
Often in the score as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Not a perfect film but still the most enduring version.
30 October 2005 | by alecwestSee all my reviews

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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