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A Christmas Carol (1999)

0:35 | Trailer
An old bitter miser who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve.


David Hugh Jones (as David Jones)


Peter Barnes (written for television by), Charles Dickens (novel)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Stewart ... Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge
Richard E. Grant ... Bob Cratchit
Joel Grey ... The Ghost of Christmas Past
Ian McNeice ... Mr. Albert Fezziwig
Saskia Reeves ... Mrs. Cratchit
Desmond Barrit ... The Ghost of Christmas Present
Bernard Lloyd ... Marley's Ghost
Dominic West ... Fred (Scrooge's nephew)
Trevor Peacock ... Old Joe
Liz Smith ... Mrs. Dilber
Elizabeth Spriggs ... Mrs. Riggs
Kenny Doughty ... Young Scrooge
Laura Fraser ... Belle
Celia Imrie ... Mrs. Bennett
John Franklyn-Robbins ... Crump


In 1840s London, Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean-spirited businessman who receives his terrifying comeuppance. One Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his dead business partner. Marley foretells that Scrooge will be visited by three spirits, each of whom will attempt to show Scrooge the error of his ways. Will Scrooge reform his ways in time to celebrate Christmas? Written by Mike Konczewski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In just one night, he has seen his past, his present, and his future... and they've all come back to haunt him.


Drama | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Joel Grey (Ghost of Christmas Past) was the only non-British cast member. He is an American. See more »


At the end of Scrooge's visit to the Cratchit's during Christmas Present, Tiny Tim starts singing "Silent Night" which is then taken up by others in various scenes. Originally a German-language hymn written in Austria, it was not translated into English until 1863, a full 20 years after Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol". See more »


[first lines]
Clergyman: A man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower.
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Alternate Versions

Although the opening credit sequence is basically the same, the typeface used for the sequence in the "letterboxed" version is entirely different. In this version, the credits are printed entirely in capital letters. See more »


Version of Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) See more »


We've All Been Having a Go
Performed by Saskia Reeves, Tom Towndrow, Zoe Timmins, Tabitha Francis and Barnaby Francis
See more »

User Reviews

Good and touching TV rendition with top-notch performance by Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge
6 January 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Charming and worthwhile adaptation about timeless and quintessential Christmas story . ¨A Christmas Carol¨ is an enjoyable British production, a wonderful and straight forward approach to the Dickens's source material being perfectly adapted . It is given the full sense of wonder , a deluxe treatment in this superior TV film . The production values & acting are both excellent, with just enough attractive to appeal to the tenderhearted , and with some doses of horror , case of the potentially frightening elements the Ghosts of Past (Joel Grey), Present (Barrit) and Future , adding sentiment ; all of them are blended into the mix , until , like a nice Christmas punch , the result appeals to all . Scrooge (Patrick Stewart) is a miserly old businessman in 1840's London . He displays no charity to mankind generally, and in particular, to his employee Bob Cratchett (Richard E. Grant married to Saskia Reeves) and his unfortunate son, Tiny Tim . One Christmas Eve he is visited by the ghost of Marley (Lloyd), his dead business partner. He is warned that he must change his miserly ways or face damnation. Marley foretells that Scrooge will be visited by three spirits, each of whom will attempt to show Scrooge the error of his ways . In Just One Night , He Has Seen His Past, His Present, And His Future. And They've All Come Back To Haunt Him Will Scrooge reform his ways in time to celebrate Christmas? . To his delight, the spirits complete their visits in one night giving him the opportunity to mend his ways. The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, shows Scrooge visions of his own past in which had spent much of his childhood neglected by his father over the holidays at boarding school until he was finally brought home by his loving sister , who died prematurely after giving birth to his nephew Fred (Dominic West). A past in which appears a young Scrooge (Doughty) and including a broken engagement to his girlfriend (Laura Fraser) . Will Scrooge change his life in time to celebrate Christmas? .

A wonderful recounting of a Christmas vintage classic and Patrick Stewart demonstrates once again his versatility on screen in this retelling of Charles Dickens' immortal story . Atmospherically, the movie is as comfortable and heartwarming as an old Christmas card . The whole concept of looking at your life in the past, present and future is creative in and of itself . After watching the movie, you may look at your life from the same perspectives . Special effects add a nice little touch , but it is Patrick Stewart's interaction with the 'ghosts' and various characters that really steal the show . Though most of us , if not all of us, have seen other adaptations in the past or read the story , and know already what to expect, Stewart manages to capture pure magic with his stunningly awesome portrayal of main character Ebenezer Scrooge and it is definitely worth a look . It's fun and different approach to the Christmas classic with acceptable effects by means of computer generator . Furthermore , an emotive musical score by Stephen Warbeck and an appropriate cinematography by Ian Wilson add assets in this splendid TV film . A highly recommended picture that nobody should miss it especially during Christmas time . ¨David Hugh Jones's Christmas Carol¨ still ranks as one of the best TV adaptations of the Dickens classic ever . This retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption will appeal to Patrick Stewart fans .

Other versions about this stunning story courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions are the following : The rather obscure 1935 version,with Sir Seymour Hicks ; adaptation released by MGM , directed in 1938 by Edward L Marin with Reginald Owen ; the 1951 British production with Alastair Sim and the 1970 musical by Clive Donner with Albert Finney. Under the title of 'A Christmas Carol' a cartoon rendition (1997) by Stan Phillips and voiced by Tim Curry and another (1991) by Jimmy T Murakami with Simon Callow ; in addition adaptations made by classic animated characters as ¨Mickey Mouse's Christmas Carol and ¨Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol¨ . Finally the made-for-TV productions: 1984 with George C. Scott , 1999 with Patrick Stewart, and the 2004 musical with Kelsey Grammar and the recent made by means of Motion Capture starred by Jim Carrey and directed by Robert Zemeckis .

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

5 December 1999 (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


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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