Film and action summary
In one of the first film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic story, Reginald Owen plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-blooded businessman who hates Christmas and despises all revelers. But when the ghost of his former partner appears before him on Christmas Eve and warns him that he can share his cursed fate if he doesn’t change his ways, Scrooge embarks on a magical journey through the past, present and future that will give the grumpy man a new perspective on life and Christmas.
Film Christmas Carol Abstract
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In one of the earliest film adaptations of Charlie Dickens’ classic, Reginald Owen plays the protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge. In 1843, on Christmas Eve in London, Fred (Barry McKay) slides with Peter and Tiny Tim Cratchit (John O’Day and Terry Kilburn) over the sidewalk on ice. Fred is the only living relative of Ebenezer Scrooge (Reginald Owen). Scrooge is a cold-blooded businessman with an incredibly bad temperament and a penchant for tanning flint. Scrooge hates Christmas and everything it stands for, and despises everyone who celebrates it, including his own nephew Fred. At the beginning of the film, Scrooge refuses his cousin’s invitation for Christmas dinner and urges two gentlemen (Charles Coleman and Matthew Boulton) to raise money for charity. Scrooge would prefer to put the poor in chaplains or graves before they help anyone.
Scrooge has a dedicated employee, Bob Cratchit (Gene Lockhart), who works next to Scrooge in the freezer. Eventually Cratchit started a snowball fight outside and accidentally dropped Scrooge’s hat. Scrooge shoots Cratchit, and withholds his weekly pay to make up for the destruction of his hat. Cratchit uses the rest of his wages to buy food for the family Christmas dinner while Scrooge goes home.
Scrooge lives only with a minimum of comforts. That night Scrooge meets the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Leo J. Carroll). Marley warns Scrooge that he must repent and say goodbye to Christmas in his heart, otherwise he is condemned to share his miserable fate in the afterlife. The deceased businessman informed Scrooge that three spirits would visit him that night. But once Marley was gone, Scrooge was convinced he’d imagined a ghost.
Shortly after midnight Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Ann Rutherford). The ghost whistles Scrooge’s return in time and reveals a grumpy, younger version of himself (Ronald Sinclair) who was placed in a boarding school after Scrooge’s father refused to see the boy because of his mother’s death during childbirth. A visit by Scrooge’s sister, Fran (Elvira Stevens), brings some light into Scrooge’s gloomy existence. His sister brings the unexpected news that she has to bring him home because their father has changed. Spirit also shows how Scrooge’s determination to accumulate wealth as an adult has widened the gap between him and society, and reminds Scrooge of the death of Fred’s mother Fran. At the end of their journey Scrooge returned to his bed.
Shortly afterwards Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Gift (Lionel Bram). The ghost shows Scrooge how others celebrate Christmas. During the ceremony Fred and his fiancée Bess (Lynn Carver) are presented as happy and in love. However, Fred’s financial situation forced the couple to wait to get married. The Phantom tells Scrooge that the couple is not allowed to marry at all, and that their love will end, because Scrooge lost his wife in his youth. The Ghost takes Scrooge to the house of Bob Cratchit, where Scrooge is surprised that his employee has such a large family. Scrooge saw the Cratchit family celebrate Christmas with a meagre meal of goose and pudding. Cratchit has great difficulty losing his job, although he doesn’t trust anyone but his daughter Martha (Bunny Beatty). Scrooge feels sorry for Bob’s sick son, Tiny Tim. The ghost warns Scrooge that if things don’t change, Tiny Tim will die.
Finally, Scrooge meets his latest appearance, the Ghost of Christmas Coming (D’Arcy Corrigan), who appears as a silent, masked figure. This ghost shows Scrooge what the next year has in store for him. The ghost shows the Cratchit family mourning Tim’s death. Moreover, the ghost reveals that Scrooge’s death is not mourned by anyone, but in fact celebrated by some. Overwhelmed by guilt and emotions, Scrooge has sworn to change his habits and take every day as if it was Christmas.
Suddenly Scrooge wakes up in his own room on Christmas Day. Excited to live and have a chance to repent, Scrooge begins to make up for years of boredom. He took to the streets of London and began to spread happiness and joy among the people. He meets two businessmen who have raised money for charity and make substantial donations. Scrooge sends a turkey dinner for the Cratchit family. He also attends his nephew’s annual Christmas dinner, where he receives a surprisingly warm welcome. Scrooge offers Fred a position as Scrooge’s new partner in the House of Count.
After dinner at Fred’s, Scrooge visited Cratchit’s house, and hired him as a servant. He also raises Cratchit’s salary and promises to cover Tiny Tim’s medical expenses.
Additional information about the film
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