A Christmas Carol (1999)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 7/10

Stewart is a good Scrooge

Looks like a TV movie occassionally

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Christmas Carol

Studio:  Hallmark Entertainment

Genre(s):  Drama/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  December 5, 1999

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Ghost of Christmas Past…I think you’re creepier than all the rest

Ebenezer Scrooge (Patrick Stewart) is a cruel and bitter man.  His hatred toward life affects the world of everyone around him.  As Christmas approaches, Ebenezer is forced to recall his life and the holiday he hates.  Visited by his former partner Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), Scrooge is told that he’ll be visited by three spirits.  The Ghost of Christmas Past (Joel Grey) shows Scrooge his childhood with his sister Fran (Rosie Wiggins) and his fiancé Belle (Laura Fraser).  The Ghost of Christmas Present (Desmond Barrit) shows Scrooge the lives of his nephew Fred (Dominic West) and his assistant Bob Cratchet (Richard E. Grant) and his family including a sick child named Tiny Tim (Ben Tibber).  The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge what will become of him if he doesn’t change his ways…Can Scrooge save his immortal soul?

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I kind of thought you were bigger…

Directed by David Hugh Jones, A Christmas Carol was a TV movie for cable network TNT.  Based on the classic 1843 story by Charles Dickens, this version of “A Christmas Carol” first aired on December 5, 1999 and received mostly positive reviews.  It was nominated for an Emmey for Cinematography for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

A Christmas Carol has been done to death, so it is hard to put a new spin on the classic tale.  This movie is no different.  The story is rather straight forward with no real twists or turns to the character.  There is a bit more lead-up to Scrooge’s visit from Marley and less of an abrupt ending than some versions.  The story however follows the novella and most film verisons of the story.

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Seriously, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come…Quit breathing down my back!

With a story everyone knows, it often comes down to if you like the performance of Scrooge.  Patrick Stewart has a history with the Scrooge character.  He brought the character to life in a one man play beginning in 1988 and frequently performed it around the holidays.  It might have been interesting to see this version of the play put to film, though probably impossible.  The supporting cast including Joel Grey as the creepy Ghost of Christmas Past is decent, but it would have really changed things up and put a different spin on the tale to see Stewart do it all.

The movie unfortunately has that “made-for-TV” look to it.  The sets and London streets look like a stage and don’t have much realism.  It is unfortunate because sometimes the weaker visuals take away from the nice story of “A Christmas Carol”…I wish they had pumped a bit more money into it.

A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart isn’t the worst versoin you’ll ever see, but I have seen better versions.  I wish I could see the stage play someday, but if I can’t, this is a nice substitute.  Patrick Stewart plays a good, if not a bit dramatic Scrooge, and is a worthy addition to the actors who have performed him.

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Related Links:

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) (1951)

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

Scrooge (1970)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

Christmas Carol—The Movie (2001)

A Christmas Carol:  The Musical (2004)

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

Batman:  Noel

Zombies Christmas Carol

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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