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A Christmas Carol (1908)

The miser Scrooge passes down a London street the morning before Christmas, on his way to his counting house. So much is he detested that no one speaks to him until a beggar approaches, ... See full summary »


Charles Dickens (short story)


Tom Ricketts


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Cast overview:
Tom Ricketts


The miser Scrooge passes down a London street the morning before Christmas, on his way to his counting house. So much is he detested that no one speaks to him until a beggar approaches, asks for alms, and is angrily stricken to the ground. A spirit appears and tells the miser that the beggar will again appear that night. Scrooge approaches his counting house, and as he is entering, the beggar again appears before him. He places his hands before his eyes to shut out the apparition, and when he looks again the figure has vanished. The interior of the counting house where Bob Cratchett, the clerk, and Fred, the nephew of Scrooge, are attending to their duties. Fred announces that he has just been married. His bride, together with the crippled boy, Tiny Tim, enter the office. Looking out the window, they discover the approach of Scrooge, and at the advice of Fred the ladies conceal themselves. Scrooge enters and is told of Fred's marriage. He kisses the bride, but immediately regretting ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Fantasy | Short


Did You Know?


The earliest known film adaption of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol that was produced by an American film company. It's also the earliest known Christmas Carol film that is lost. See more »


Version of The Merry Christmas (1955) See more »

User Reviews

Scrooge's first film adventure.
25 December 2006 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

We can only wonder how the world of literature (and indirectly of movies) might have changed had not Charles Dickens wandered past a cemetery one day and noticed an weatherbeaten tombstone on which was carved "Scrooge. Miser. Died without a Friend" With just that as a foundation his writers imagination soared and he gave us a novel which is loved to this day.

Many filmmakers also found a challenging topic in the short novel and film version of the popular story started popping up early in movie history. Thomas Edison got there first and the first person to play Ebeneezer Scrooge was Charles Ogle, the Edison stock company player who would go on to be the first Frankenstein monster just 2 years later.

We all know the story, but Edison's version was just one reel and so a lot had to be dropped. Gone is Scrooge's nephew and Bob Crachit is nowhere to be seen but it's the ghosts we care about, right? Well they are there in all their surrealist glory. Edison "borrowed" some techniques from Georges Melies as the spirits teach the miserly Ebeneezer his lesson. Double and even triple exposures, which were pioneered by Edison photographer Edwin S. Porter in shorts like DREAMS OF A RAREBIT FIEND in 1906, are used to the fullest here. Okay so the effects are a little bit creaky today, I'll bet people could not take their eyes of the screen back in 1908! The visions of Scrooge's past life and his bleak future are still quite good and performances are better than average.

People used to todays overabundance of CGI will probably say "Humbug!" to this oldie but I for one still enjoy it very much. Give it a try, and don't wait for next Christmas to check it out.

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Release Date:

9 December 1908 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Carol See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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