The Christmas Carol Poster

The Christmas Carol (1949)

Drama | Fantasy 
Rayting:   6.0/10 333 votes
Country: United States
Language: English
Release date: December 25, 1949

Dickens' classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and three Christmas Ghosts that change his perception of life. Narrated by Vincent Price.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

HarlowMGM 25 November 2012

This half-hour digest telling of Charles Dickens' Christmas CAROL from 1949 is one of the earliest American television programs to survive. Taylor Holmes (a character actor perhaps best known for as Henry Spoffard Sr. in Marilyn Monroe's GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES) is well cast as the sour Mr. Scrooge. Although he is a bit over the top in a few of his early scenes, he is very good otherwise and there is a unusual touch of poignancy in his performance that often is not in other actors as Scrooge, possibly due to Mr. Holmes' having lost two of his sons (including the well-known actor Phillip Holmes) within the previous five years, thus giving him perhaps an emotional link to Scrooge's inner sadness that some actors couldn't quite reach. This little drama is moves quickly of course given the time frame and the cast of mostly unknowns does very well (although the ghosts are fairly ridiculously costumed, particularly the ghost of Christmas present who resembles some actor in a king costume for a 1960's cereal commercial). It's an effective little piece of television and Christmas nostalgia. It won't be anyone's favorite rendition of the classic story but it's worth seeing and rather endearing.

ebeckstr-1 1 January 2019

It wouldn't be fair to judge this version of A Christmas Carol by the same standards as the full-length movie versions. Nonetheless, even within its heavily abridged format, it falls short. The entire cast's acting is poor to mediocre, partly because everyone double-times it through their dialogue, perhaps in an effort to make up for the program's condensed time slot.

Even allowing for the fact that this is one of the earliest surviving TV programs - which does make it worth seeing in any case - the whole production seems uninspired. Still, it's interesting to see Vincent Price in an early television appearance as the narrator, during a period in which he was enjoying success in Hollywood cinema, but prior to his becoming a superstar.

Christmas-Reviewer 5 November 2016

BEWARE OF FALSE REVIEWS & REVIEWERS. SOME REVIEWERS HAVE ONLY ONE REVIEW TO THEIR NAME. NOW WHEN ITS A POSITIVE REVIEW THAT TELLS ME THEY WERE INVOLVED WITH THE FILM. IF ITS A NEGATIVE REVIEW THEN THEY MIGHT HAVE A GRUDGE AGAINST THE FILM . NOW I HAVE REVIEWED OVER 200 HOLIDAY FILMS. I HAVE NO AGENDA. I AM HONEST!

The Christmas Carol is a 1949 low-budget, black and white television special narrated by Vincent Price. Compressing the Charles Dickens classic story into a half-hour, it is stated to be "the oldest extant straight adaptation of the story" for television.

The production will be considered primitive by modern standards; it is also noted for misspelling Ebenezer Scrooge's name as "Ebeneezer" in the opening credits.

This special is worth watching for many reasons. There is something about watching an old black and white movie about Christmas. The production is not the bet ever adaption of the Charles Dickens classic but none the less it is well thought out and executed.

Older adults will like this. Kids will be bored. It is worth seeking out. There is a "Timeless Vibe" to this that big feature films seldom capture.

lastliberal-853-253708 13 November 2013

This is probably the shortest version you will see. With a bare-bones budget, they only managed 25 minutes. No street scenes of Victorian Christmas, and no lavish parties.

The movie was narrated by Vincent Price. He has such a wonderful voice and added immensely.

You won't recognize Cratchit's younger daughter, her name was Jill Oppenheim. She would grow up to be a true piece of eye-candy and a Bond girl as Jill St. John.

One of the most interesting parts is Scrooge's laugh on Christmas morning. If you heard it, you would probably call for the men in the little white coats to take him away.

Stevieboy666 26 December 2020

Vincent Price is one of my favourite actors and A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite stories, so when I stumbled across this I couldn't wait to watch it. Price is great as the narrator, I could listen to him all day long, but sadly this looks like it was filmed on the cheap. The sets are minimal, the mixture of American and English accents in Victorian London is wrong and Taylor Holmes as Scrooge is woefully hammy. The opening and closing credits felt like they took up a quarter of the short running time. But if, like me, you are a Price fan or if you're just looking for a condensed version of the tale then this it is worthwhile viewing.

didi-5 24 December 2011

Mainly because of Vincent Price's excellent and tongue-in-cheek narration, reading the celebrated Dickens story, this works better than it should, especially given the ridiculously over the top performance of Taylor Holmes as Scrooge, acting in a way one associates more with the worst excesses of silent cinema.

However, in twenty-five minutes this production does include a scene in Scrooge's office, Jacob Marley and all the three ghosts, as well as a glimpse at Scrooge's redemption and celebration of Christmas.

As an example of early television's attempts to film the classics, it is very good indeed. There are of course better adaptations of this tale, but this one is worth seeking out even if is just the once.

The version I watched is rather muddy picture-wise, but the sound is clear and understandable, and everyone has clear voices which serve Dickens' text well.

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