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The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

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The journey that led to Charles Dickens' creation of "A Christmas Carol," a timeless tale that would redefine Christmas.


Bharat Nalluri


Susan Coyne, Les Standiford (based on "The Man Who Invented Christmas" by) | 1 more credit »
3,902 ( 93)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Stevens ... Charles Dickens
Mark Schrier Mark Schrier ... Presenter
Patrick Joseph Byrnes Patrick Joseph Byrnes ... Stage Manager
Miriam Margolyes ... Mrs. Fisk
Morfydd Clark ... Kate Dickens
Justin Edwards ... John Forster / Ghost of Christmas Present
Cosimo Fusco ... Signor Mazzini (as Cosimo Massimo Fusco)
Jasper Hughes Cotter Jasper Hughes Cotter ... Walter Dickens (as Jasper Hughes-Cotter)
James Heffernan James Heffernan ... Charley Dickens
Aleah Lennon Aleah Lennon ... Mamie Dickens
Ella Mai Delaney Ella Mai Delaney ... Katey Dickens
Donna Marie Sludds Donna Marie Sludds ... Maid
David McSavage ... Hall
Ian McNeice ... Chapman
Miles Jupp ... Thackeray


In 1843, the celebrated British novelist, Charles Dickens, is at a low point in his career with three flops behind him and his family expenses piling up at home. Determined to recover, Dickens decides to write a Christmas story and self-publish it in less than two months. As Dickens labors writing on such short notice, his estranged father and mother come to bunk with him. Still haunted by painful memories of his father ruining his childhood by his financial irresponsibly, Dickens develops a writer's block which seems to have no solution. As such, Dickens must face his personal demons epitomized through his characters, especially in his imagined conversations with Ebenezer Scrooge. Now with a looming deadline, Dickens struggles for inspiration against his frustrations and his characters' opinions in a literary challenge creating a classic tale that would define the essential soul of modern Christmas. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" and created a tradition. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Ireland | Canada



Release Date:

22 November 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Homem Que Inventou o Natal See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,353,297, 26 November 2017, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,676,486, 25 January 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The booklet Dickens borrows from Tara the maid, "Varney The Vampire or The Feast of Blood", is a real gothic novel written between 1845 and 1846 by James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Preskett Press. The novel was written in a format of monthly weekly deliveries, one penny a piece pamphlets, usually containing cheap horror literature, so each was commonly known as a "penny dreadful". This can be a nod to the fact that the movie was filmed in the same sound stages as the Showtime TV series 'Penny Dreadful' (2014). See more »


Grip was the raven featured in Barnaby Rudge written in 1841, yet in this film Grip the raven was introduced to Dickens by his father. See more »


Charles Dickens: No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.
See more »


Birthday Jig
Written by Chris Perry
Performed by Peakfiddler
See more »

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User Reviews

20 December 2017 | by matthewssilverhammerSee all my reviews

I don't think we can avoid getting a filmed version of Dickens' immortal "A Christmas Carol" once every few years. It's a wonderful tale of redemption that fits perfectly within the larger Christmas narrative, and The Man Who Invented Christmas presents that with a unique twist. Unfortunately, the twist it gives it isn't nearly as strong as Dickens' tale itself. It's the "Saving Mr. Banks problem": wishing you were watching the subject of a film (the actual "Christmas Carol") instead of the film itself (Dickens' writing of it), which is as gentle and foggy as a London breeze, and very nearly as vapid. Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (Stevens) was coming off a 3-book slump when he had the inadvisable idea to self-publish a novel about Christmas, which (SPOILER ALERT!) became a huge success. This story is told through the compelling mechanism of Dickens imagining his characters to life and wrestling with their decisions face-to-face, giving us the unique perspective of how a writer creates. Unfortunately, there's little naturalism in any of it. His initial visions and ideas are (ridiculously) exactly as they appear in the novel, and the movie keeps desperately forcing us to make connections between Dickens' real life and his story. And Stevens doesn't help, giving a performance more akin to Chandler Bing than Alastair Sim. Sure, the production (sets, costumes) is beautiful. We're treated to gregariously be-wigged characters and smoggy old streets in this study of artistic inspiration and madness. Unfortunately, it's all stuck on top of a much-too-safe story on the plight of the rich man, that's just more proof that an artist's imagination is often more compelling than his life.

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