For our last Christmas podcast of 2018…even though it’s now 2019, here’s the 1984 made for TV version of A Christmas Carol, my personal favorite take on Charles Dickens novel, featuring a fantastic performance by…well, almost everyone in it.
First and foremost is George C. Scott. Not usually known for his TV work, Scott here is also an uncredited producer as he somehow owned the rights to the production after its original airing. So until his death, it wasn’t shopped around on TV that often, which is a shame. It’s very well made, with great costumes, and doesn’t go overboard like most productions of A Christmas Carol do. Scrooge isn’t standing out in the snow in his bedclothes, and the old miser even finds the time to laugh at his own jokes now and then.
Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present is also a standout. He is, at times, mournful, jolly, and filled with righteous anger at Ebenezer and his greedy ways. This spirit in other productions is not given the gravitas here that Woodward manages, and the movie is all the better for it.
David Warner, Roger Rees, Susannah York, Joanne Whalley, and Lucy Gutteridge are all great in this worthy production, with David Warner proving to us all that he could be better than the villain he was perpetually cast as, and Roger Rees giving perhaps the most appealing portrayal of Fred Hollywell, Scrooge’s nephew who just wants everyone to be nice to each other, and still has hope of saving the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge. If you’ve not found this version of A Christmas Carol, you’re letting yourself down, and may likely be visited by the spirit of your 7 years dead business partner, threatening you with a haunting unless you give in and watch it!