7.8/10
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A Christmas Carol (1984)

An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Clive Donner

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Roger O. Hirson (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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On Christmas Eve, an old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and miserly as Scrooge ... See full summary »

Stars: Ron Haddrick, Robin Stewart, Barbara Frawley
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Ebenezer Scrooge
Frank Finlay ... Jacob Marley
Angela Pleasence ... Ghost of Christmas Past
Edward Woodward ... Ghost of Christmas Present
Michael Carter ... Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
David Warner ... Bob Cratchit
Susannah York ... Mrs. Cratchit
Anthony Walters ... Tiny Tim
Roger Rees ... Fred Holywell / Narrator
Caroline Langrishe ... Janet Holywell
Lucy Gutteridge ... Belle
Nigel Davenport ... Silas Scrooge
Mark Strickson ... Young Scrooge
Joanne Whalley ... Fan
Timothy Bateson ... Mr. Fezziwig
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Storyline

Made for television version of the Charles Dickens classic of the same name. Ebenezer Scrooge is a hard-nosed, single-minded businessman in Victorian London. He has no friends, has disowned his only living relative - his nephew Fred Holywell - and generally treats everyone he meets with extreme contempt. He hates Christmas, only cares about making money and only gives his clerk, Bob Cratchit, the day off. However, he is taught the true meaning and spirit of Christmas by three ghosts who show him his own past and present. He is also shown what the future holds for him after his death if he doesn't change his behavior for the better. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rediscover the Joy of Christmas Spirit! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

17 December 1984 (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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Scrooge is abandoned by the Ghost of Christmas present, he asks if they can come to a "meeting of the minds". A "meeting of the minds" is one of 6 required elements under the formalist theory of contract. As a Businessman, Scrooge would have been familiar with this term and likely resorted to using it in his desperate situation. See more »

Goofs

Fred's wife, Janet, is wearing her hair in a style called "a la Frankie," created in Paris during the 1780s to resemble the beaver skin cap worn by Benjamin Franklin. This would have gone out of style by the 1830s, when the story is set, and would not likely have been seen in Enland much at all. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The more recent DVD and Blu ray releases by 20th Century Fox edit out the fade to blacks where advert breaks originally would have been (which ironically had dramatically broken the film up into the five 'staves' as per the novel). This has made for some rather abrupt jump cuts in the visuals and music. See more »

Connections

Version of The Virtue of Rags (1912) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw Three Ships
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hard to imagine a better version.
17 December 2006 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

So this made for TV film scores only a 7.6 on this site? Bah! Humbug! Without question this 1984 version of Dickens' classic tale is the best ever made. And yes, the Hound has seen the 1951 version which was also good, but not good enough. The lack of color is perhaps the biggest shortcoming of that version, although the acting was wonderful.

George C. Scott is simply incredible as Ebenezer Scrooge. We all know the story of this stingy businessman who is haunted by the ghost of his dead partner, then by three other spirits later on that evening. Scott is properly gruff as Scrooge. Too gruff in fact for some critics who claim he is unable to project the new-found glee that he awakens to on Christmas morning after the spirits teach him a valuable lesson. But hey, this is George C. Scott. He's never going to go dancing down the street in a fit of joy. He has too much dignity, and his Scrooge projects his emotion in a realistic manner.

The supporting performances are uniformly excellent, as are the costumes, music, and scenery. 19th Century London comes to life in Clive Donner's visionary style. The film even borders on frightening in several scenes involving the spirits. The important tale of morality shines through in every frame, though.

You won't often find this version aired on television anymore, and that is a disappointment. The 1984 version of A Christmas Carol should be a required part of every household's celebration of the holiday. When the decorations come out of the basement, this film should find its way into the DVD player at least once during the season.

10 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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