Christmas Movies II

film 13 of 25

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

Lots of TV production values. George C.’s accent slips a bit. That ghost of Christmas yet to come is a bit silly, if you want to think about it overly. But the text is very well served and, especially, very well delivered. Actors! Many of them find something new, or something more to say with these super and now over-familiar characters. Or, they’re just really fine in their own right. Scott. Rees. Finlay and Woodward and Warner! The latter is married, in this film, to Susannah York. Flash back to the two of them, all antagonistic in Tony Richardson, 1963.


Look at them now, so sweetly reconciled. It’s stirring, somehow, these people dedicating their lives to performing things that might instruct and inspire us. Also, what Warner’s Cratchit does on the subject of Tiny Tim is exceptionally true and beautiful. Such little ones, and all the world to us.

P. Brueghel, Children's Games

P. Brueghel, Children’s Games

“…Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child…”