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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol(1951)

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The opening title cards of the viewed print read: "Renown Pictures Corporation Ltd./ Alastair Sim as/ Scrooge adapted from Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol.'" The film was copyrighted and released in the United States under the title A Christmas Carol, but released in Great Britain as Scrooge. According to information in copyright records, the American release May have changed the opening title card to read: "George Minter presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge."
       Just before the action begins, a shot of the title page of Dickens' novel is shown. Narrator Peter Bull then reads the famous last sentence of the first paragraph of Dickens' novel: "Old Marley was as dead as a doornail." When the action opens, Bull delivers the first line of dialogue as a businessman in the stock exchange. At the end of the film, Bull is again heard in voice-over narration, relating words from the end of the novel. Like the novel, the film ends with the words, "And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!"
       As noted in the onscreen credits, the film was produced at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-On-Thames. According to contemporary sources, prior to the film's production, Renown received financial backing from United Artists, which distributed the picture in the United States. According to press information contained in copyright records, for several key scenes in the film, director Brian Desmond-Hurst recreated vignettes from well-known illustrations of the book, among them the four color plates by John Leech, who illustrated the novel's first edition in 1843.
       There have been many film and television adaptations of Dickens' story. For information on other versions, please consult the entry for the 1938 M-G-M production, directed by Edwin L. Marin and starring Reginald Owen and Gene Lockhart in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40.