6.7/10
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A Christmas Carol (1977)

Miser Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas, but then gets a visit from his companion Jacob Marley, who has been dead for seven years. He urges Scrooge to change his life.

Director:

Moira Armstrong

Writers:

Charles Dickens (short story), Elaine Morgan (dramatised by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Hordern ... Scrooge
John Le Mesurier ... Marley's Ghost
Bernard Lee ... Ghost of Christmas Present
Patricia Quinn ... Ghost of Christmas Past
Paul Copley ... Fred
Clive Merrison ... Bob Cratchit
Carol MacReady ... Mrs. Cratchit
Maev Alexander Maev Alexander ... Fred's Wife
Zoë Wanamaker ... Belle
Stephen Churchett ... John
Will Stampe Will Stampe ... Fezziwig
Christopher Biggins ... Topper
Tricia George ... Little Blonde
John Salthouse ... Scrooge as a Young Man
Veronica Doran Veronica Doran ... Caroline
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Storyline

It's the end of December and professional miser Ebenezer Scrooge absolutely despises this time of the year. He thinks Christmas is all humbug. He doesn't buy his nephew's talk of Christmas being a kind time, thinks it's absolute madness his servant Cratchit wants a day off and sends away collectors of donations for the poor penniless. It's also the time of the year in which his companion Jacob Marley died seven years ago. When he is all alone, he suddenly sees Marley again, in the door handle, in a tile, a bell suddenly rings. Humbug, thinks Scrooge. But then Marley really appears for him and tells him he should change his life. He warns Scrooge he will be haunted by three spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Carol See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This short, one hour version was shot entirely on video for TV by the BBC and broadcast in the UK on two occasions - Christmas Eve 1977 and 1979. Because of the proliferation of other versions, the BBC has never made a full-length film and so this abridgment continues to live as their only color version and has been issued on VHS and DVD. See more »

Connections

Version of Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Undeservedly forgotten
30 September 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

A Christmas Carol is such a timeless story, one that almost everybody knows and is Charles Dickens' most accessible works. This 1977 adaptation is a very good one and, while not as good as the Sim, Scott and Muppet versions, deserves to be better known. It is too short in length and did feel rushed as a result, it needed another thirty minutes at least. The production values are not quite of the highest quality but are at least acceptable and hardly ugly-looking, they also at least give some atmosphere, with Cratchit trying to warm his hands you can actually feel the cold in which he works. The adaptation is directed assuredly, and is well-performed too. Michael Hordern is a most credible Scrooge, Alastair Sim is still the definitive Scrooge but Hordern does a fine job as well. There's also John Le Meseurier's spooky Jacob Marley, Clive Merrison's humble Bob Cratchit, Paul Copley's jovial Fred(one of the better actors as the character alongside Barry MacKay in the 1938 film) and Timothy Chasin's heartfelt Tiny Tim. The Three Christmas Ghosts are very well-characterised as well, especially Bernard Lee as Ghost of Christmas Present, funny and imposing. What makes this adaptation as worthwhile as it is is how it tells the story. The dialogue, being amusing, dark and with pathos, is very Dickenesian and adapted intelligently. And the story, for one told in such a short running time, maintains the spirit of the story, and is every bit as magical, charming and enthralling as it should, the message is one to warm the heart and the darker aspects are genuinely foreboding. Overall, a very good adaptation and deserving of more credit. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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