Daniel Grudge, a wealthy industrialist and fierce isolationist long embittered by the loss of his son in World War II, is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who lead him to reconsider his attitude toward his fellow man.
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Presented without commercial interruptions, this "United Nations Special" was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation, the first of a series of Xerox specials promoting the UN. Director Joseph Mankiewicz's first work for television, the 90-minute ABC drama was publicized as having an all-star cast (which meant that names of some supporting cast members were not officially released). In Rod Serling's update of Charles Dickens, industrial tycoon Daniel Grudge has never recovered from the loss of his 22-year-old son Marley, killed in action during Christmas Eve of 1944. The embittered Grudge has only scorn for any American involvement in international affairs. But then the Ghost of Christmas Past takes him back through time to a World War I troopship. Grudge also is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future gives him a tour across a desolate landscape where he sees the ruins of a once-great civilization.Written by
Bhob Stewart <email@example.com>
In Rod Serling's original script, the lead character's name was Barnaby Grudge--i.e., B. Grudge, a play on the word "begrudge". ABC censors thought that viewers would miss that allusion and instead believe the name was chosen as a slap at U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, a man associated with nuclear war, and ordered the author to change the character's name. Serling settled on Daniel Grudge. [Serling's original name would also have made more sense, because it is a play on another Dickens novel, "Barnaby Rudge."] See more »
The Andrews Sisters recorded "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" for Decca Records, not RCA Victor. See more »
[bitterly noting the loss of his son's life in war]
I give them a son, and they give me back his affects. That, I submit to you, is a lousy bargain.
Nobody could argue that. The point is, that kind of bargaining has got to stop.
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The version shown on Turner Classic Movies eliminates any mention of composer Henry Mancini, and replaces the opening 'Carol for Another Christmas' theme with a reprise of the choral music played over the closing credits. See more »
This has to be one of the greatest one-time only dramas ever presented on TV. I remember it vividly from its original broadcast: a venal Pat Hingle devouring a huge turkey leg surrounded by starving refugees; the sweet voices coming from little girls scarred by the atomic blast at Hiroshima, their faces covered with gauze; the demented "Imperial Me" Peter Sellars addressing his crazed flock in a burned out cathedral after the nuclear holocaust of the future; Sterling Hayden, a modern Scrooge, his voice changing from booming commands to whimpering as he is led past the succession of proof of man's inhumanity to man.
I saw this again at the Museum of Broadcasting in NYC and I was not disappointed. This is the lost world of thoughtful, creative TV drama, and what a loss it is to us all.
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