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A Christmas Carol (1984)

An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Clive Donner

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Roger O. Hirson (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,515 ( 844)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Ebenezer Scrooge
Frank Finlay ... Jacob Marley
Angela Pleasence ... Ghost of Christmas Past
Edward Woodward ... Ghost of Christmas Present
Michael Carter ... Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
David Warner ... Bob Cratchit
Susannah York ... Mrs. Cratchit
Anthony Walters Anthony Walters ... Tiny Tim
Roger Rees ... Fred Holywell / Narrator
Caroline Langrishe ... Janet Holywell
Lucy Gutteridge ... Belle
Nigel Davenport ... Silas Scrooge
Mark Strickson ... Young Scrooge
Joanne Whalley ... Fan
Timothy Bateson ... Mr. Fezziwig
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Storyline

Made for television version of the Charles Dickens classic of the same name. Ebenezer Scrooge is a hard-nosed, single-minded businessman in Victorian London. He has no friends, has disowned his only living relative - his nephew Fred Holywell - and generally treats everyone he meets with extreme contempt. He hates Christmas, only cares about making money and only gives his clerk, Bob Cratchit, the day off. However, he is taught the true meaning and spirit of Christmas by three ghosts who show him his own past and present. He is also shown what the future holds for him after his death if he doesn't change his behavior for the better. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rediscover the Joy of Christmas Spirit! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

17 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens Weihnachtsgeschichte See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Dickens lost the rights to his original story "A Christmas Carol" in a court dispute that was brought about by numerous impostors claiming the story as their own. However following the suit, Dickens wrote an equally successful novel called "Bleak House," about the corruption of the English Courts. See more »

Goofs

The Ghost of Christmas Present never identifies himself and Scrooge never asks the Ghost to do so. See more »

Quotes

Young Scrooge: [Fan enters the boarding school where young Ebenezer sleeps on a desk] Fan?
[they hug]
Fan: Dear, dear brother! I've come to bring you home, brother. Home for good and all! Father is so much kinder now than he used to be. One night, he spoke with me so gently that I worked up the courage to ask him if you might come home! And he said yes, you should. We came in a coach to pick you up; it's right outside!
Young Scrooge: You've grown into quite a young woman, Fan.
Fan: And you've grown into quite a young man, never to need...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some VHS and DVD releases (but not all) edited out Marley's voice calling Scrooge in the apparitional hearse, and then again just before appearing in the knocker. See more »

Connections

Version of Old Scrooge (1913) See more »

Soundtracks

Sussex Carol
(uncredited)
Written by Luke Wadding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
By George it's the best!
16 October 2014 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Flawless adaptation of the Dickens classic with George C. Scott ideally cast as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The production, a TV event in its day, is of the highest quality and could easily be mistaken as a theatrical film to those who didn't know better. Aside from Scott's award worthy performance the supporting cast is peppered with marvelous work. David Warner is a terrific Bob Cratchit, timid and kindly but strong with Susannah York as nice counterpoint as a scrappy Mrs. Cratchit. At first Anthony Walters is a disconcerting Tiny Tim with his breathy, somewhat dreamy take on the character until you take into account that Tim is ill and would be fey.

Angela Pleasance is a delightful and somewhat punk, with her ultra white hair, Ghost of Christmas Past. Unbowed by the blustery Scrooge and especially notable is Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present. He's full of brio and swagger with booming voice and resplendent in his velvet robes. That's one thing that makes this production stand out from others, often the spirits are just guides for Scrooge and recede into the woodwork once he begins his journey with them. Here they add an extra layer of enjoyment onto the tale.

Equally fine is Roger Rees as Scrooge's nephew Fred, keeping his jaunty humor and outlook even when confronted with his uncle's bitter and miserly ways. Lucy Gutteridge also makes a lovely and gentle Belle, Scrooge's lost love. In fact every role no matter how incidental is played expertly and contributes a piece of texture to the film.

As marvelous as the other players and the costume and set design are, and they are truly wonderful, Christmas Carol rises or falls on its Scrooge. That's where this production truly excels. There have been many fine actors who have essayed the role but once seeing George C. in the part it's hard to imagine a better interpretation. Playing off his natural crusty disposition and ability to fly into volcanic outburst at a moment's notice the Scrooge of the early going is a thoroughly hard and distasteful man but thanks to the actor's inherent warmth when he does an about face at the film's conclusion it is once again completely believable.

A holiday treasure not to be missed!!


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