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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)
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Popularity
4,227 ( 727)
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 ... 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

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

17 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Carol 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

George C. Scott noticeably plays a slightly different version of Ebenezer Scrooge in the film. In this version Scrooge has a slightly dark sense of humor such as laughing at his nephew when he claims Christmas is humbug as well as refusing to dine with him and at times is sarcastic to his peers especially the Ghost of Christmas Past and to a lesser extent the Ghost of Christmas Present. Plus Scrooge is quite clever in the film as he uses wit to get what he wants from his fellow men of business at the exchange, uses very complex words and claims to be an expert at the game 'Simile.' Scott claimed he wanted to play Scrooge as a man primarly lonely and exhausted, rather than miserly. See more »

Goofs

When Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present visit the Cratchet home Bob Cratchet hangs Tiny Tim's crutch on pegs by the fireplace. When the children go to the table Tim is using his crutch yet, when the Ghost tells Scrooge that none other of his race will see Tim, the crutch is back on the fireplace. See more »

Quotes

Ebenezer Scrooge: [on Tiny Tim] Tell me, Spirit... Will he live?
Ghost of Christmas Present: I see an empty place at this table. I see a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.
Ebenezer Scrooge: No. Say he'll be spared.
Ghost of Christmas Present: If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here. But if he is to die, then let him die...! "AND DECREASE THE SURPLUS POPULATION!"
Ebenezer Scrooge: You use my own words against me?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Yes! So perhaps, in the future, you will hold your tongue ...
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 A Christmas Carol (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Here We Come A-Caroling
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung A Cappella by David Warner, Susannah York, Louise Gasser, Kieran Hughes, Sasha Wells, Nancy Dodds, Orlando Wells & Anthony Walters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Definitive "Christmas Carol"
19 December 2000 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

This 1984 version of the Dickens' classic `A Christmas Carol,' directed by Clive Donner, stars George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. By this time around, the challenge for the filmmaker was to take such familiar material and make it seem fresh and new again; and, happily to say, with this film Donner not only met the challenge but surpassed any expectations anyone might have had for it. He tells the story with precision and an eye to detail, and extracts performances from his actors that are nothing less than superlative, especially Scott. One could argue that the definitive portrayal of Scrooge-- one of the best known characters in literary fiction, ever-- was created by Alastair Sim in the 1951 film; but I think with his performance here, Scott has now achieved that distinction. There is such a purity and honesty in his Scrooge that it becomes difficult to even consider anyone else in the role once you've seen Scott do it; simply put, he IS Scrooge. And what a tribute it is to such a gifted actor; to be able to take such a well known figure and make it so uniquely his own is quite miraculous. It is truly a joy to see an actor ply his trade so well, to be able to make a character so real, from every word he utters down to the finest expression of his face, and to make it all ring so true. It's a study in perfection.

The other members of the cast are splendid as well, but then again they have to be in order to maintain the integrity of Scott's performance; and they do. Frank Finlay is the Ghost of Jacob Marley; a notable turn, though not as memorable, perhaps, as the one by Alec Guinness (as Marley) in the film, `Scrooge.' Angela Pleasence is a welcome visage as the Spirit of Christmas Past; Edward Woodward, grand and boisterous, and altogether convincing as the Spirit of Christmas Present; and Michael Carter, grim and menacing as the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come.

David Warner hits just the right mark with his Bob Cratchit, bringing a sincerity to the role that measures up well to the standard of quality set by Scott's Scrooge, and Susannah York fares just as well as Mrs. Cratchit. The real gem to be found here, though, is the performance of young Anthony Walters as Tiny Tim; it's heartfelt without ever becoming maudlin, and simply one of the best interpretations-- and the most real-- ever presented on film.

The excellent supporting cast includes Roger Rees (Fred Holywell, and also the narrator of the film), Caroline Langrishe (Janet Holywell), Lucy Gutteridge (Belle), Michael Gough (Mr. Poole) and Joanne Whalley (Fan). A flawless presentation, this version of `A Christmas Carol' sets the standard against which all others must be gauged; no matter how many versions you may have seen, watching this one is like seeing it for the first time ever. And forever after, whenever you think of Scrooge, the image your mind will conjure up will be that of George C. Scott. A thoroughly entertaining and satisfying experience, this film demands a place in the annual schedule of the holiday festivities of every home. I rate this one 10/10.


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