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A Christmas Carol

129 customer reviews

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$4.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

A Christmas Carol! One of the most beloved and retold of all Christmas stories, this adaptation features Fredric March (The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit) as Ebenezer Scrooge and Basil Rathbone (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) as Jacob Marley. This version is great family entertainment and is sure to help capture the spirit of Christmas.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Fredric March, Basil Rathbone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory / Timeless Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002M0HOV4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,049 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Christmas Carol" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 114 people found the following review helpful By CD Maniac on November 3, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This "Christmas Carol" is an early TV version from 1954 with Fredric March as Scrooge (he won an Emmy) and Basil Rathbone as Marley. It's not a bad effort for TV for the time, but rather dated by today's standards. (Scrooge even tries to refer to hell, but was not allowed to say the word on TV at that time which leads to an unintentionally funny moment.)
The background music is by Bernard Hermann (of Hitchcock Psycho fame) and is the best part about this version (listen to the spooky chorus underneath Jacob Marley's scene). But the actual songs (also by Hermann) are less than memorable (especially the song of Christmas Present). However, the two original carols, sung by the outstanding Roger Wagner Chorale are great (if not time-appropriate to the story).
As for the acting: Fredric March was an outstanding actor, but he's trying too hard (and there are several gestures thrown in over the hour that are over the top). However, I think it was well received at the time (winning an Emmy). The story is rather bare bones (this version is only an hour--with songs), but still makes it's point.
This version is basically for those old enough to remember it, or those interested in TV of the time (or perhaps Bernard Hermann fans--who knew he did TV?). Perhaps also for those who are Christmas Carol completists. Look for Bonnie Franklin's first TV acting role (as one of the Cratchit kids).
This version, however, should not be the only version of this story you have.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard Masloski on December 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a surprisingly delightful take on the classic Dickens' tale. Shot in the late fifties (and in color, I believe, although this DVD is not in color), the production values are extremely good for the time. Fredric March makes a wonderful Scrooge - despite a ridiculously big nose. The doubling of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present with Scrooge's lost lady-love and nephew Fred playing the dual roles is a nice innovation. Basil Rathbone makes for a haunting, understated Marley with chilling music underscoring his post-mortem agonies.

And speaking of music the real "star" of this treasure of the early years of televison is the wonderful score by the wonderful Bernard Hermann. As hinted at by another reviewer on this board, the Tiny Tim song is one of the most beautiful, tender and touching Christmas songs ever written. The lyrics equal the melody and both combined truly touch one's heart. The other songs are also memorable, especially the song for the opening sequence. And there is an extended shot of Scrooge's face (with the Tiny Tim song sung by full chorus to accompany the shot) that was very brave on the director's part and shows an incredible range of emotions playing across Scrooge's face as he reflects on years wasted and the reborn years to come. Fredric March displays truly great acting in this daring, imaginitive, non-verbal, extended moment. It is a moment totally unique to all other Scrooge adaptations. And this entire version concludes with a fantastic shot that will definitely move you - unless you are made of stone. There are faults: Tiny Tim isn't tiny and the American accents are distracting to the time and place being depicted. But these are small matters. This is 50 minutes of pure gold from the Fifties - and for the low price of the item, you can't miss. Highly recommended!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By it on December 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a television program probably shot on video tape. The technical quality is surprisingly good for being over fifty years old.

They had to cut out many of my favorite portions to make it fit in 30 minutes of story with the 20 minutes of singing solos and duets to make a total of 50 minutes. Most dramatizations are 60-90 minutes long without any singing interludes. One example of things cut out is the late partner's face on the front door where the knocker usually was. Another is the dressing gown hung on the wall and looking like it was occupied.

This is a US television production and lacks the "Britishness" of the original book and British dramatizations of the book.

All in all well worth the time to watch it once, but it may not stand the test of time for you if you have some of the British productions on DVD.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Wurzelbacher on November 7, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a very serious collector of Christmas Carol DVDs. I have every version of this story available on DVD beginning in the year 1910. I have studied Fred Guida's wonderful book "A Christmas Carol and it's Adaptations" so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I bought this version because I am a serious collector. As far as this version goes, it is definitely not a favorite of mine. At the end there is a painfully LONG continuing shot of Scrooge sitting at the Cratchet table while music plays. It is an awful thing to do to any actor, have such a very long, continuous close up. The other scene that was difficult was the Ghost of christmas present's song "A Merry christmas". It was so loooong and horrible that I was ready to throw something at the TV screen. I agree with another post that it should not have been a musical because they were trying to tell the story in less than an hour and the music did nothing to the story except cause major scenes to be completely left out. Instead we get songs that add nothing to the story that we have to painfully sit through.
In short, it is great for collectors to have but for a casual viewer I'd say skip this one.
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a cristmas carol
It is the 1938 version with Reginald Owen playing Scrooge.
Dec 25, 2010 by BellaJack |  See all 3 posts
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