6 user 3 critic

The Ghosts of Dickens' Past (1998)

The early life of Charles Dickens and the events that led to his inspiration to write his greatest story.



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Credited cast:
... Charles Dickens (as Christopher Heyerdhal)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Allison ... Publisher
Jennifer Bertram ... Muffin
James Bradford ... Sweat Shop Owner
Michelle Brunet ... Dickens' daughter
... Cabby
... Thug
Chelsea Cavanagh ... Dickens' daughter
François Desrochers ... Young Dickens (as Francois Desroches)
Camille Dolphin ... Muffin's lookalike
Charles V. Doucet ... Gentleman (as Charles Doucet)
... Sweatshop Foreman
... William Burdette-Coutts
Sharon George ... Woman
Jane Gilchrist ... Landlady


In the 19th century, young Charles Dickens is a promising young writer who is obsessed with material success in his career. His misguided priorities are soon challenged when he encounters a mysterious little girl. That girl takes Dickens on a strange and moving journey in which he is shown the future he could have if he doesn't change his ways and, more importantly, he is shown a better purpose for his writing as a way of speaking for the oppressed who need his help. It is these events and lessons that would inspire Dickens to write an extraordinary Christmas tale that would become his greatest work, A Christmas Carol. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Biography | Drama






Also Known As:

Dickens szelleme  »

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User Reviews

"Even the widow's mite was acceptable"
2 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

An excellent independent production from Feature Films For Families, with a terrific script, incredible performances by the entire cast, gorgeous musical soundtrack, and solid spiritual lessons to be learned, The Ghosts of Dickens' Past reveals how a simple act of charity can transform the human heart.

Originally Charles Dickens' only motivation for writing A Christmas Carol was to make money. His previous novel had not done well financially and he continued to fear memories from his childhood when he was separated from his family after they were put in debtor's prison. Young Charles had been on his own and had to work long hours in horrific conditions, before the age of child labor laws which finally prohibited this kind of child abuse. Always deep within himself he worried about being poor again, and so he used this as an excuse to stop charitable giving, without seeing that God wanted him to give of himself to others regardless of his financial condition. Because Charles' heart was closed to charity his inspiration for writing had ceased.

A dreamlike sequence then results which is strangely reminiscent of the original story by Dickens. He is led around the poor streets of London by an unusual young waif of a girl who teaches him that financial security is not what is most important in life. Is she a ghost or is she an angel or is she in his life as the result of a time warp? That question is not answered, however what is clear is that her interest in him is to show him the errors of his thinking, and to get him back on track spiritually, so he can once again write and tell the world about the evil conditions of child labor in England.

A perfect film for the Christmas season, however its principles are worthwhile any time of the year.

10 stars out of 10!

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