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A Christmas Carol (TV Movie 1984) Poster

(1984 TV Movie)

Quotes

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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 until you have discovered where the surplus population is, and WHO it is. It may well be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than MILLIONS like this poor man's child.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [after Present shows him a starving homeless family] Why do you show me this? What has it to do with me?

Ghost of Christmas Present: Are they not of the human race? Look here, beneath my robe!

[opens his robe to reveal two filthy, ashen, corpse-like children standing where his legs should be]

Ghost of Christmas Present: Look upon these!

Ebenezer Scrooge: [stupefied with horror] What are they?

Ghost of Christmas Present: They are your children! They are the children of all who walk the earth unseen! Their names are Ignorance and Want! Beware of them, for upon their brow is written the word "doom"! They spell the downfall of you and all who deny their existence!

Ebenezer Scrooge: Have they no refuge, no resource?

Ghost of Christmas Present: [smiles, mocking him from an earlier conversation] "Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?"

Ebenezer Scrooge: [looks down at the children] Cover them. I do not wish to see them.

Ghost of Christmas Present: I thought as much.

[Present closes his robe to conceal the children]

Ghost of Christmas Present: They are hidden... but they live... oh, they live...

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [curt and cutting] These are garments, Mr. Cratchit. Garments were invented by the human race as a protection against the cold. Once purchased, they may be used indefinitely for the purpose for which they are intended. Coal burns. Coal is momentary and coal is costly. There will be no more coal burned in this office today. Is that quite clear, Mr. Cratchit?

Bob Cratchit: Yes, Sir.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Now please get back to work before I am forced to conclude that your services here are no longer required.

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Tiny Tim: God bless us, everyone.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [to the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come] Good Spirit, your nature intercedes for me and pities me. Assure me that I may yet change these shadows, by an altered life. I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The spirits of all Three shall strive within me! I will not shut out the lessons that they teach! Tell me that I may sponge the writing from this stone!

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [after Marley enters] What do you want with me?

Jacob Marley: Much.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Who are you?

Jacob Marley: Ask me who I was.

Ebenezer Scrooge: You're particular for a ghost. Who were you then.

Jacob Marley: In life I was your partner. Jacob Marley.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Can you sit down?

Jacob Marley: I can.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Well, do it then.

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Jacob Marley: [to Scrooge] I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link and yard by yard. Is its pattern strange to you or would you know the length of the strong coils you bear yourself? It was as full, as heavy, as long as this seven Christmas Eves ago, you have labored on it since, it is a ponderous chain!

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Belle: If there had been no understanding between us, would you seek me out and try to win me now, a dowerless girl with nothing but myself to bring to a marriage?

[silence from Young Scrooge]

Belle: You have no answer?

Young Scrooge: You think I would not then?

Belle: Oh Ebenezer, what a safe and terrible answer! So characteristic of the careful man.

[pause]

Belle: Ebenezer, I release you. You are a free man. I let you go with a full heart. May you be happy in the life you have chosen.

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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 this lonely place again. Come on, let's not keep Father waiting.

[they dash outside to meet their father. Young Ebenezer starts to hug Silas, but the elder man holds out his walking-stick, preventing the boy from doing so]

Silas Scrooge: There, there, boy. Let's have a look at you. Well, they haven't been overfeeding you. That's certain.

Young Scrooge: I've grown, Fan tells me.

Silas Scrooge: Yes, most boys do. I imagine she's also told you that you're not moving back here. So it's time you made your way in the world. I've arrange an apprenticeship for you. You'll move into Mr. Fezziwig's establishment in three days' time.

Fan: Three days, Father? It's been YEARS since we've had my brother at home! I was hoping we'd have him for longer.

Silas Scrooge: LONGER? Three days is QUITE long enough for BOTH of us. You DO agree, Ebenezer, DON'T you?

Young Scrooge: Indeed, Sir. Quite long enough.

Silas Scrooge: That's better. Come along, Fan.

[They ride off for home]

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Fred Holywell: Uncle Ebenezer, this is my wife Janet. Janet this is Uncle Ebenezer.

Janet Holywell: It's a pleasure.

Ebenezer Scrooge: More like a surprise, wouldn't you say?

Janet Holywell: Well, that too.

Fred Holywell: That's quite true. Quite honestly, it is a surprise. At least yesterday, you made it quite clear, it seemed to me at least, that you had no intention of accepting my annual invitation.

Ebenezer Scrooge: I made other things clear too, didn't I, Fred? That Christmas was a humbug - a waste of time and money. A false and commercial festival, devoutly to be ignored.

Fred Holywell: Yes, basically, that was it.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Well, I've come for three reasons. First, to beg your pardon for the things I said about Christmas. That was a humbug, Fred.

Fred Holywell: Was it?

Ebenezer Scrooge: I didn't know it then, but I know it now. Secondly, I've come to meet your wife.

Fred Holywell: Well, here she is.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Yes, and a very beautiful woman she is too.

Janet Holywell: Thank you.

Ebenezer Scrooge: I uh... I was in love once. Would you believe that?

Janet Holywell: Yes.

Ebenezer Scrooge: But I possessed neither the courage nor the optimism nor perhaps the depth of feeling that you two have. Thirdly, if the invitation to dine with you today is still in force, I accept.

Fred Holywell: Of course, it's still in force! Hurrah! I was sure that one day...

Ebenezer Scrooge: You were sure? Well, apparently you were right. Yes, I should like to dine with you and your friends.

Janet Holywell: You'll be more than welcome!

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [looking at the Cratchit's feast] It's such a small goose.

Ghost of Christmas Present: [leaning in Scrooge's face] It's all Bob Cratchit can afford.

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Tiny Tim: [outside Scrooge's office] Merry Christmas, Mister Scrooge.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Don't beg on this corner, boy.

Tiny Tim: I'm not begging, Sir. I'm Tim Cratchit. I'm waiting for my father.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Tim Cratchit, eh? Well you'll have a long wait, then, won't you?

[he walks off]

Tiny Tim: Merry Christmas, Sir!

Ebenezer Scrooge: Humbug.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: Where are we now? I'm sure I don't know this place.

Ghost of Christmas Present: The name would mean nothing to you. It's a place, like many in this world.

Meg: Do we have enough wood for the night?

Ben: Ah, it'll last through the night. At least there's one thing still free in this country.

Meg: [Checking the food the children are cooking over the fire] Mary, Peter they're cooked.

Peter (their son): They're too hot.

Meg: They'll be cold soon enough.

Mary (their daughter): Where did you get these father?

Ben: I didn't steal them, if that's what you say.

Meg: She didn't say you stole them.

Ben: She should have some respect.

Meg: Don't berate the girl.

[Speaking to Mary]

Meg: They fell from a cart into the road.

Ben: You're father's not a thief girl. Not yet.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Why are these people out here? Men and women in rags. Children eating scraps! There are institutions.

Ghost of Christmas Present: Have you visited any of them? These institutions you speak of?

Ebenezer Scrooge: No! I am taxed for them. Isn't that enough?

Ghost of Christmas Present: Is it?

Meg: Ben, come back to the fire.

Ben: Look at these hands, Meg. They're hard hands; they've done hard work. I want to work. I want to have bread for my children. It's not right that there's no work.

Meg: We're together Ben. That's the important thing.

Ben: I love you Meg. I love the children. Tomorrow take the children and go to the parish poorhouse.

Meg: No! No. I'd rather we all drown in the river than go to one of those places and be separated forever.

Ben: Until I get work?

Meg: No! Ben, we're a family. We stay together. Come. Come back to the fire. Come.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Why do you show me this? What does it have to do with me?

Ghost of Christmas Present: Are they not of the human race!

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Fred Holywell: [on his Uncle Ebenezer] ... His wealth is quite useless to him, really. He doesn't do any good with it; he doesn't even make HIMSELF comfortable with it.

Ebenezer Scrooge: [whom nobody else can see or hear] I haven't SQUANDERED it, if that's what you mean by "making myself comfortable!"

Ghost of Christmas Present: You mustn't argue with those in the right. It's pointless, and even tactless.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Tact is a quality I despise.

Ghost of Christmas Present: *That* I can see.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [to a "simile" player at the Hollywell's party, who's just been eliminated from the proceedings] ... "Quick as a FLASH," you idiot!

Ghost of Christmas Present: Ebenezer! Shush!

Ebenezer Scrooge: You said they could neither see nor hear us.

Ghost of Christmas Present: Oh, yes... that's right. Well, even I forget the regulations sometimes; after all, I don't come back very often.

Ebenezer Scrooge: SHUSH... I'm trying to listen to the game!

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Mrs. Dilber: [having cleaned out Scrooge's townhouse, she's now selling his things on the rough side of town] ... Watch, bed-curtains, blankets... So what's your offer for all these?

Old Joe: One pound-sterling, five crowns and three schillings. Not a hay-penny more if I was to be boiled for it.

Mrs. Dilber: You're hardened, Joe, and no mistake!

Old Joe: I'm ALWAYS kind to the ladies! That's the way I ruined myself!

[both laugh]

Ebenezer Scrooge: [to Christmas Future] Spirit, what perversity is this? I've asked to see some emotion connected with that man's death... and you've shown me only greed, and malice, and apathy! Let me see some TENDERNESS, some... DEPTH OF FEELING!

[finds himself back at the Cratchit House]

Ebenezer Scrooge: There must be some mistake; your fellow Spirit already brought me here, earlier.

[Christmas Future motions for him to go on in]

Ebenezer Scrooge: Very well... You're devilishly hard to have conversation with.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [after Cratchit claps following Fred's speech to Scrooge] Another sound from you... and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [sitting under the bridge after the Ghost of Christmas Present leaves] What have I done... to be abandoned like this? What?

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[repeated line]

Ebenezer Scrooge: Humbug!

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Mr. Poole: Mr. Scrooge, I presume?

Ebenezer Scrooge: Indeed you do, sir.

Mr. Poole: You don't know us?

Ebenezer Scrooge: Nor do I wish to.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [when he views shrouded corpse while entering an abandoned bedroom with the Spirit of Christmas Yet-to-Come] Merciful Heaven. What is this? Spirit, this is a fearful place. I wish to leave it.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [to the Spirit of Christmas Yet-to-Come after viewing the Cratchit family's mourn about Tiny Tim] I asked for tenderness and depths of feeling and you showed me that. Nothing more I need to see. Take me home.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: Fan pleaded for more time, but Father was a very... stern man.

[Gives a grim smile]

Ebenezer Scrooge: Ah, Fan...

Ghost of Christmas Past: She died a young woman

Ebenezer Scrooge: She had such a generous nature; Yes, too young.

Ghost of Christmas Past: Old enough to bear a child.

Ebenezer Scrooge: One son.

Ghost of Christmas Past: Fred, your nephew.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Fred Holywell, yes.

Ghost of Christmas Past: Who bears a strong resemblance to your sister.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Does he? Hmph, I never noticed.

Ghost of Christmas Past: You never noticed? I'm beginning to think you've gone through life with your eyes closed. Open them. Open them wide.

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Tipton: Ah, Ebenezer! We were afraid you weren't coming.

Forbush: It's almost closing, sir.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Well, I'm here, aren't I?

Pemberton: I said you'd be here. Didn't I say Ebenezer Scrooge would be here? I knew you'd change your mind.

Ebenezer Scrooge: You're right, I have changed my mind.

Tipton: Oh, good. Then you'll take our bid?

Ebenezer Scrooge: The price has gone up.

Forbush: [stunned] Gone up? But that's not possible!

Ebenezer Scrooge: You want my corn, gentlemen, you must meet my quote. Plus five-percent for the delay.

Pemberton: That's outrageous, Scrooge! You'll be left with a warehouse stuffed with corn!

Ebenezer Scrooge: Well, that's my affair, isn't it?

Tipton: We pay your price, then our bread will be dearer; the poor will suffer!

Ebenezer Scrooge: Buy the corn someplace else. Good day, sir.

Forbush: Scrooge, a moment! We'll take your corn for the price you quoted yesterday.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Too late. If you wait until tomorrow, it'll cost you another five-percent.

Tipton: Damn it, Scrooge! It's not fair!

Ebenezer Scrooge: No. But it's business. I'll give you a moment to make up your minds.

[walks a few feet away to allow the men to deliberate in privacy for a few seconds until they turn to look at him]

Tipton: All right, Scrooge. Done and done.

Ebenezer Scrooge: Very good, gentlemen. Now, make sure that the drop of the entire amount of this transaction is deposited with my clerk. I don't ship until I have the cash...

[makes a fist]

Ebenezer Scrooge: ... in hand. Good day.

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Ebenezer Scrooge: [after seeing the memory of Belle walk out on him] I almost went after her.

Ghost of Christmas Past: "Almost" carries no weight. Especially in matters of the heart.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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