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The Ghost of Dickens' Past
The Ghost of Dickens' Past
Actors: Christopher Heyerdahl, Jennifer Bertram, Tony Calabretta, Paul Fowles, Seann Gallagher
Director: Bruce Neibaur
Genres: Drama
G     2004     1hr 30min

Getting beyond our own needs," a close friend tells Charles Dickens, "takes thought and effort and, above all, an unselfish heart." The timely advice is given as the author struggles to write ? only for profit. Unfortunate...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Christopher Heyerdahl, Jennifer Bertram, Tony Calabretta, Paul Fowles, Seann Gallagher
Director: Bruce Neibaur
Creators: Yves Bélanger, Josée Mauffette, Rick B. Larsen, Serge Denis, Patricia Lavoie
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Bonneville Ent.
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/06/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Cheryl E.
Reviewed on 1/12/2011...
I love this movie. It is well done in all aspects of movie story telling. I feel like I'm there.

The author's spin on how Dickens may have come to write his story of "The Christmas Carol", taps into the kinds of fear that arise when people are raised in "lack" and try to make up for it in adulthood "success". While I discovered and fell in love with this movie last century (I love saying that), when I watch it, today, it resonates on new levels due to the world economic crisis that has occurred in recent years.

In this story, Dicken's experience mirrors Scrooge, as is often the case when someone re-tells this story. But because it is ABOUT how Dickens write's the story, and about Dickens, himself, it's more interesting to me, as a huge fan of Charles Dickens and "A Christmas Carol". And because it is quite believable and touching, I want to believe it's true!

Movie Reviews

Dickens Comes To Life
K. Giorlando | Eastpointe, Michigan United States | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I came across this movie quite by accident and I'm sure glad I did! Being a student of Dickens and Victorian England in general, this film has to be one of the most accurate portrayals of 1840's London that I have seen. It's as if someone took a camera and found a portal into the past! The clothing and hair styles are perfect for the time period represented (1843), as is the old time dialogue spoken. Also, the actors portraying Charles and Catherine Dickens have done their homework. Compare old paintings of the two to their filmed counterparts here. Quite astounding!
The storyline itself is rather entertaining, although only having partial truth. It is more of a ghostly little tale built around a spirit-like mature young girl guiding Dickens through experiences (memories) that eventually gives the author the idea of writing his famed "A Christmas Carol" story. It shows the period when his latest novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, was not selling so well and, because of this frustration, words seemingly do not come to him for the writing of a new novel. But, through a series of almost other worldly circumstances, the girl shows Mr. Dickens how to search himself and the world about him to find the premise for his next story. The fact that Dickens was down on his financial luck before writing "Carol" is true. And, I know that his idea of the story line did not come about in quite the way this movie tells it. But that's fine - the movie itself doesn't claim to be a biography. But there are many factual biographical scenes here, such as the long walks through London at night, the way he spoke to himself as he wrote, and how he laughed out loud and cried as he completed each chapter to 'A Christmas Carol.'
Lots of truth - lots of fiction. Very enjoyable.
Since it's not truly a Christmas film per se, it's an excellent movie to watch in late October or early November, when it's too early to pull out your Holiday movies. It's a very enjoyable family flick that not only entertains, but has the values that seem to be missing in so many of today's films without being overly preachy.
If I had to pick one inaccuracy it would be the Christmas time snow falling with trees full of leaves!
By the way, this movie was filmed not in Merry Old England, but in Canada! I would never have known."
Thought You'd Want to See What's on the Box
Gandalf | U.S.A | 08/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow a great movie, absolutely unknown to most of us. The Studio is dedicated to family films that strengthen traditional family values through entertainment. This tape even has a Parent's Guide printed on the back with topics for family discussion. Just superlative all around!

Now for the story: Getting beyond our own needs," a close friend tells Charles Dickens, "takes thought and effort and, above all, an unselfish heart." The timely advice is given as the author struggles to write - only for profit. Unfortunately, his desire for financial security only fuels his own fears and self-pity. When his soul-searching leads him into peril, he receives unexpected help from a young girl. Hauntingly, her life mirrors his own childhood. Though the strange events she reveals to Dickens, she reawakens in him a desire to refocus his priorities. But he runs into a wall built upon his own painful memories of a childhood marred by debtors prison. He wants desperately to solve the plight of child labor but doesn't know how. Unless he can discover the healing power of a simple act of charity, his dream of truly making a difference is as dead as a doornail."
Entertained and delighted
JJ | United States | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Came across this movie with no prior knowledge of it and didn't know what to expect. It was entertaining even if not completely factual. I was delighted with the angle used to tell the story of how Dicken's Christmas Carol came to be written and it certainly speaks to all of us to trust in God to provide what we need when we need it. A story for all ages."