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A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
Actors: Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, Ian McNeice, Saskia Reeves
Director: David Hugh Jones
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
NR     2000     1hr 35min

A Christmas Carol ? TNT Original Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) stars as Scrooge, the mean-spirited miser who gets his terrifying comeuppance when he imagines he?s visited by the ghosts of Christma...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, Ian McNeice, Saskia Reeves
Director: David Hugh Jones
Creators: Patrick Stewart, Chris Thompson, Dyson Lovell, Peter Barnes, Robert Halmi Sr., Charles Dickens
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Fantasy, Television
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/07/2000
Original Release Date: 12/05/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 12/05/1999
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 30
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Scott K. (puterguy) from TIPPECANOE, OH
Reviewed on 2/23/2011...
Patrick Stewart is always great to watch as an actor. Loved this version of Dickens classic. Would recommend that we never forget what made for a joyous hoilday atmosphere. Dickens was awesome.
Patti S. from MAYFIELD HTS, OH
Reviewed on 11/2/2009...
Patrick Stewart plays the best Scrooge I have ever seen. Overall, this is the best version of The Christmas Carol -- if you haven't seen it, you need to! This is a family tradition -- we watch it every year!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kristen W. (Piper) from S HAMILTON, MA
Reviewed on 7/1/2008...
In my opinion the best, most faithful to Dickens' Christmas Carol out there! Patrick Stewart is wonderful, but so are all the other characters, including Richard Grant as Bob Cratchit. And keeps many of the scenes from the book that usually get cut from the typical adaptations.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Patrick Stewart IS Scrooge
Jim Jr | Buffalo, NY United States | 08/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For years Patrick Stewart has done a one person stage version of "Christmas Carol" playing all the parts. Twice he has taken it to New York where he received rave reviews. Those of us who could not get to New York had to be satisfied with an audio tape version. Then someone had the brilliant idea of doing the video. Naturally it was expanded to have a full cast and sets. Because of his years of doing the stage version Mr. Stewart fits so easily into the role that he is not playing a part, he IS Scrooge. There are other fine versions of the story, notably the wonderful George C. Scott production, but none can compare with Mr. Stewart. The adaptation of the story to film is so true to Dickens, he must have sat on the script writers shoulder as it was written. I taped it from the TV broadcast and now can not wait for the DVD to be released. Anyone who makes "Christmas Carol" part of their holiday or just loves magnificent acting should definitely add this version to their library."
A Brilliant Performance from Patrick Stewart
M. Hart | USA | 10/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"160 years ago (1843), Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote one of his most beloved short stories, "A Christmas Carol". After the advent of film early in the twentieth century, several different directors have attempted to capture Charles Dickens' story, and various actors have portrayed the story's protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge.Such was the case in 1999 when director David Hugh Jones directed an updated version of the classic story for television, which stared the venerable Shakespearean-trained actor Patrick Stewart. (Patrick Stewart was also one of the film's executive producers.) Patrick Stewart, who is well known for his portrayal of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the 7-year TV-series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and 4 "Star Trek" feature films (as well as many other roles), has always used his Shakespearean training to create a very realistic performance in most anything that he does, and his portrayal of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge was no different.Though some viewers have commented that the 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol" is joyless and that they haven't enjoyed it, the reality is that that more closely resembles the environment of Charles Dickens' original story. Hence, Patrick Stewart created a very realistic embodiment of what Charles Dickens envisioned for Ebenezer Scrooge: a joyless miser who has completely forgotten what it means to live and to love. Also, these same viewers neglect the amount of detail present in this rendition of the film that has often been absent in previous big-screen film versions, such as young Ebenezer's (Kenny Doughty) work for his first employer Mr. Albert Fezziwig (Ian McNeice) and the old women (played by Liz Smith and Elizabeth Spriggs) fighting over a deceased man's belongings.Other memorable performances in the film include Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), Bob Cratchit (Richard E. Grant), Mrs. Cratchit (Saskia Reeves), Tiny Tim Cratchit (Ben Tibber), Ebenezer's nephew Fred (Dominic West), Ebenezer's sister Fran (Rosie Wiggins), Mrs. Fezziwig (Annette Badland), the Ghost of Christmas Past (Joel Grey), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Desmond Barrit), The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Tim Potter) and Belle (Laura Fraser). Of the many actors who have portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge over the past century (George C. Scott in 1984, Albert Finney in 1970, Alastair Sim in 1951, and Reginald Owen in 1938 to name a few), I am glad to see Patrick Stewart numbered among them.Overall, I rate the 1999 version of "A Christmas Carol" with 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. Sadly, since the film was produced for television, it was not filmed in widescreen format (which is my only complaint about the film), but that does not take away from this film's splendid portrayal of Charles Dickens' classic short story."
A "Christmas Carol" for the 21st Century.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 12/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Given the enormous potential for failure, it takes either a lot of guts or a big ego to remake a classic and step into a pair of shoes worn so well by the likes of George C. Scott and Alastair Sim - you don't have to have grown up in an English speaking country to take those two names and their portrayal of Dickens's miserly anti-hero for granted as part of your Christmas experience. And I suspect a good part of both guts and ego was at play in this production; but let's face it: after years of bringing Scrooge to the stage in a much-acclaimed one man show and after also having recorded the audio book version of "A Christmas Carol," a movie adaptation starring Patrick Stewart was probably due to come out sooner or later. Yet, while it does sometimes have the feel of another huge star vehicle for Stewart (even without the self-congratulatory trailer and brief "behind the scenes" features included on the DVD), his experience and insight into the character of Scrooge allow him to pull off a remarkable performance, and to make the role his own without letting us forget who originally wrote the tale. From a "humbug" growled out from the very depth of his disdain and his audible desire to boil "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips" with his own pudding and bury them with a stake of holly through their heart, to the "splendid" and "most illustrious ... father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs," coughed up and spit out after years of having been out of practice, this is the Scrooge that Dickens described; and Stewart obviously has the time of his life playing him.

This made-for-TV production is sometimes criticized for its use of special effects; I don't find those overly disturbing, though - in fact, they're rather low-key and for the most part used to show nothing more than what Dickens actually described. (This *is* a ghost story, remember?) Scrooge really does see Marley's face in his door knocker; we all know that Marley's ghost does indeed walk through Scrooge's doubly locked door ... and last but not least Dickens himself describes the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as "shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand." (Granted, no gleaming lights for eyes, though.) The script could have spared a modernism here and there, but again, mostly the lines are exactly those that Dickens himself wrote. Even where the characters don't actually speak them, they are part of their reflections - such as Marley being buried and "dead as a door-nail" (which, after all, is the tale's all-important premise) and Scrooge's rather funny musings how the Ghost of Christmas Past might be deterred from taking him for a flight (where citing neither the weather nor the hour nor a head cold nor his inadequate dress would do). Richard E. Grant, known to TV audiences as Sir Percy Blakeney in the recent adaptations of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," moves to the opposite end of the social spectrum in his portrayal of gaunt, downtrodden Bob Cratchit; and he is a very credible caring father and husband, albeit a bit too well-educated - unlike the rest of his family, who speak and come across as decidedly more cockney. Joel Grey, whose Master of Ceremonies in "Cabaret" stands out as one of those "one of a kind" performances that are few and far between in film history, is almost perfectly cast as the Ghost of Christmas Past, combining the spirit's wisdom of an old man with his child-like innocence, frail stature and luminous appearance. A great supporting cast and solid cinematographic and directorial work round out an overall very well done production.

Many actors are remembered either for one career-making role or for a certain type they have cast. No doubt Patrick Stewart, who as a teenager had to face an ultimatum between a steady job and the theater and chose the latter, will go into film history as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Treck's "Next Generation." But I would not be surprised if the other major role he will always be remembered for will be that of Ebenezer Scrooge - on stage, in audio recordings *and* in this movie adaptation, which successfully brings Dickens's timeless tale of bitterness, sorrow, redemption and the true meaning of Christmas to the 21st century, and which before long, I think, will attain the status of a classic in its own right. I know that I, for one, will be watching it again with renewed pleasure next Christmas.

Also recommended:
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings (Penguin Classics)
A Christmas Carol (Reissue)
A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color)
Classic Ghost Stories
The Charles Dickens Collection (Oliver Twist / Martin Chuzzlewit / Bleak House / Hard Times / Great Expectations / Our Mutual Friend)
The Charles Dickens Collection, Vol. 2 (David Copperfield / The Pickwick Papers / The Old Curiosity Shop / Dombey and Son)"