Clive Donner – A Christmas Carol (1984)


A Christmas Carol is a 1984 television movie adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous 1843 novella. It was directed by Clive Donner (who had been an editor on an earlier film version of the story, 1951’s Scrooge) and stars George C. Scott in an acclaimed performance as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Filming was done on location in Shrewsbury, England. It originally aired on CBS on December 17, 1984 in the United States (sponsored by IBM), but was released theatrically in Great Britain. The film was marketed with the tagline “A new powerful presentation of the most loved ghost story of all time!” Scott was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for his portrayal in A Christmas Carol.


In the Victorian period, Ebenezer Scrooge is a cynical old man whose greatest concern is money, and who regards compassion as a luxury he cannot afford. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his former business partner, who arranges for Scrooge to be visited by three spirits in an attempt to show him the errors of his ways — the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. The spirits force Scrooge to examine the failings of his own life, as well as the bravery and optimism of his loyal but ill-treated employee Bob Cratchit. Scrooge reforms, learning to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in his heart, ultimately becoming a well-loved and respected man.

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