CBS-TV's A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott came to television in 1984. Amazing A Christmas Carol TV trivia encompasses Charles Dickens, Clive Donner, Ebenezer Scrooge, humbug, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward, Susannah York, Fredric March and Marley's Ghost.
A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott came to television in 1984. It's the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his reawakening of the holiday spirit following a visit by four ghosts one memorable Christmas Eve. Here are 21 A Christmas Carol (1984) television movie trivia items and fun facts...
1. A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being A Ghost Story of Christmas – its full title – was first published in England by Chapman and Hall on December 19, 1843. It was one of five Christmas books written by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) during his prolific literary career, the others being The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846) and The Haunted Man (1847).
2. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was originally written as a kind of potboiler, designed to bring in some badly needed royalties so the author could pay off a debt. During its first week of publication, the slim, expertly-illustrated novel sold an amazing 6,000 copies – not bad for 1843 England.
3. A Christmas Carol was first filmed in England in 1901 under the title Scrooge; or Marley’s Ghost. This primitive, eleven-minute silent film, produced by Robert W. Paul, was comprised of 620 feet of film, of which about half still survives today in the archives of the British Film Institute.
4. The first A Christmas Carol TV adaptations came in the 1940s. One early A Christmas Carol television production was aired in 1947 and stars John Carradine and Eva Marie Saint.
5. The first color television production of A Christmas Carol was telecast in 1954 as a 60-minute episode on CBS-TV's Shower of Stars, with Fredric March as Scrooge and Basil Rathbone as Marley's Ghost.
6. The 1984 TV version of A Christmas Carol was a joint British-American production. Directing the made-for-TV movie was Clive Donner, who had also directed the 1951 movie Scrooge.
7. George C. Scott was initially reluctant to sign on as Scrooge. “I didn’t want to do it, because of Alistair Sim’s  version – that seemed to be the definitive version – but I found a [different] way to approach the character,” Scott recalled years later. “I decided that he was the loneliest man in the world, and that’s how I played him."
8. Joining George C. Scott in the cast were Frank Finlay as Marley’s Ghost, Angela Pleasence as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Edward Woodward (who replaced Leo McKern) as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Michael Carter as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, David Warner as Bob Cratchit, Susannah York as Mrs. Cratchit, Roger Rees as Fred Holywell/Narrator and Anthony Walters as Tiny Tim.
Frank Finlay as Marley's Ghost in A Christmas Carol (1984) - CBS-TV
9. A Christmas Carol (1984) was filmed entirely on location in Charles Dickens’ native England. Serving as the 19th century setting was the historic town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire County.
10. A Christmas Carol (1984) producers promised: “A new powerful presentation of the most loved ghost story of all time!”
11. A Christmas Carol (1984) begins seven years after the death of Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner.
12. George C. Scott delivers his first dour "humbug" in the first scenes after his nephew wishes him a Merry Christmas.
13. Scrooge shows his cutthroat business practices at a commodities exchange, telling several businessmen that his price for corn will continue to go up until they meet his demands. They finally relent, and agree to pay his price.
14. Scrooge is visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve in this order: Marley's Ghost, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
15. The Ghost of Christmas Present reveals two dirty, bedraggled children beneath his robes, calling them "Ignorance" and "Want." The ghost later leaves Scrooge outside with the destitute and homeless. “What have I done to be abandoned like this?” a frightened Scrooge calls out.
16. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come reveals the shape of a figure lying beneath a sheet. A woman is seen selling off the man’s possessions – silverware, jewelry, a familiar watch – which nets her a little more than a pound from a pawnbroker. Scrooge remarks that only “greed and avarice” have been displayed regarding the man’s death. The dead man of course is him.
17. Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning to find himself kneeling near his bed as the clock outside tolls nine o'clock.
18. Scrooge's tip to the boy whom he sends to fetch the prize Christmas turkey hanging in the poultry store: a half crown.
19. A changed Scrooge doubles Bob Cratchit's salary and agrees to help out with Tiny Tim's recovery.
20. Entertainment Partners Ltd’s A Christmas Carol was first released in the United Kingdom in November of 1984. The movie then came to the United States, where it was telecast over CBS-TV on December 17, 1984. Venerable TV Guide gives 1984's A Christmas Carol four stars out of a possible five, reporting: “It’s easy to mock the sentimentality of A Christmas Carol, but this version…preserves the story’s dark heart. The Victorian atmosphere feels authentic and Scott is outstanding; the supporting cast is more than his equal.”
21. George C. Scott (1927-1999), one of Hollywood's greatest actors, garnered a 1985 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for his performance in A Christmas Carol. Winning the award that year, however, was Richard Crenna for The Rape of Richard Beck.
“And God bless us, everyone.” - Anthony Walters as Tiny Tim
- George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1984) - CBS-TV
Copyright © 2011 William J. Felchner