A Christmas Carol (1984)

christmas carol 1984 dvd cover george c scott
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great presentation of a classic story


Movie Info

Movie Name: A Christmas Carol

Studio: CBS

Genre(s): Family/Drama/Seasonal

Release Date(s): December 17, 1984

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

christmas carol ebanezer scrooge george c scott

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to be an ass

Ebenezer Scrooge (George C. Scott) is one of the cruelest men in London. His anger toward the world spreads beyond his office and now it is his least favorite time of the year. While everyone is celebrating the Christmas season, he is just trying to run a business. His nephew Fred (Roger Rees) can’t reach him, and even his employee Bob Cratchit (David Warner) hopes something will change. Now with the help of his former partner Jacob Marley (Frank Finlay), Scrooge is going to get a chance to turn his life around. Visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Angela Pleasance), Ghost of Christmas Present (Edward Woodward), and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Michael Carter), Scrooge will be thrust into the past and have to face the events that made him hate the season.

christmas carol jacob marley ghost frank finlay

I’m the scary Marley

Directed by Clive Donner, A Christmas Carol is a holiday family movie.  The film adapts the Charles Dickens 1843 classic story.  The film premiered on CBS on December 17, 1984 but received a theatrical release in England.  It received positive reviews and is frequently aired during the holiday season.  George C. Scott received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special.

Clive Donner’s version of A Christmas Carol has some good staying power.  After the musical version of Scrooge, it was the version we often watched.  It was a loyal adaptation of the story and did keep certain points of the story that other adaptations had dropped.

A Christmas Carol is always an actor’s dream for the person who portrays Scrooge and Scott is no different. He’s gruff and cranky and his natural demeanor seemed to help pull it off. Scott skips the traditional pajamas (at his request) for a more dressed up Scrooge, and the ending reflects more on his desire to reconnect with his nephew.

christmas carol want ignorance scary children

I don’t know what you’re into Ghost of Christmas Present..but those are some creepy kids under your robe

The story follows the book and has a lot of nice acting by Scott’s supporting cast. Every ghost has a bit of creepiness to them (even the Ghost of Christmas Present’s booming nature is a bit frightening despite his friendly demeanor…he shows the scary-as-hell Ignorance and Want). It is a good take and helps remind the viewer that the beings before Scrooge aren’t just spiritual guides but spectral figures.

One thing that all renditions of A Christmas Carol have omitted which feels a bit odd is religion. It really isn’t in the story so to add it wouldn’t really make sense, but it feels like movies set in the past usually are heavier on religion. It is a bit odd to see a Christmas movie like this that doesn’t have a religious base.

George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol is one of the best versions of the film out there so if you are wanting a traditional holiday movie, seek this title out. It tells the story, and Scott performs Scrooge with class. It is another great example of a made-for-TV movie that surpasses many movie theater performances.

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)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

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/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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