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A Christmas Carol (1984)

December 17, 1984 - 1 hr. 40 min.

Director - Clive Donner

Writers - Charles Dickens, Roger O. Hirson

Starring - George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence

Listen to the Review:

A Christmas Carol (1984) Reviewby Keith Cheatham
Read the Review by Keith Cheatham

With all the adaptations of a Christmas Carol I have reviewed, this one may be the most faithful in its presentation. I have already reviewed my favorite, with Sim giving I believe the definitive performance as Scrooge. Now I present the runner up. 


The 1984 TV movie A Christmas Carol. Starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. As I said this adaptation may in fact be the most faithful telling of Scrooge’s story as Dickens wrote it. Where I feel the Scott version lacks is while it is more faithful it doesn’t quite drive the themes home as well as Sim’s. Proving that being the most faithful doesn’t necessarily make you the best. Scott is an excellent Scrooge, but lack some of Sim’s nuance truly making you feel for the man who lost everything he loved and turned to the only thing constant in life his life: his money. His transition back to the caring man who learns the lesson of love being important even with loss too, while great, lacks some of Sim’s depth. Scenes play out exactly as Dickens wrote, but again, I feel they just don’t drive the point home as well.


Some of this I feel is due to set and costume design, and production value. It’s sad to say that a movie in the 80s doesn’t hold up as well as a movie from the 50’s but in this case, I feel it’s true. Most set pieces look fine, but often feel made for TV with, some costume and makeup just not being convincing. It’s a minute detail but still enough alongside its themes not being driven as well as the ‘51 version to knock it down from being the best for me.


It’s still and amazing film and second best in my opinion. I give 1984’s A Christmas Carol 3.5 out of 4 stars.

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