A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1999)

"God Bless Us Everyone "

Quality:
Content: +3 Some minor questionable elements.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

Robert Halmi, Sr., famous for his television renditions of classic literature, has teamed up with Patrick Stewart to recapture the essence of the Charles Dicken’s novel, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This production is faithful to the novel and is more Gospel oriented than the other productions. After he repents of his miserly ways, Ebenezer Scrooge goes to church on Christmas day and starts singing Christ-oriented Christmas carols. This production is full of Christ-oriented carols like “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Silent Night” and other favorites which tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Finally, this rendition ends with Tiny Tim saying, “God Bless You.”

Because of its faithfulness to the text of the novel, some of the scenes in this television rendition are redundant and impede the storyline. Also, Marley’s statement that the ghosts of the dead traverse the earth is theologically wrong. After all, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).” Even so, this redemptive rendition needs to be commended. The acting is excellent. The settings are authentic. And, the good news is that this is a Scrooge reborn, and this production focuses on the real meaning of Christmas.

 

Content:

(CCC, BBB, FR, L, A, D, M):

Christian morality tale with a few arguable theological points; one “da*n”; no violence; no sex; drinking; smoking; and, a very effeminate looking ghost of Christmas past.

More Detail:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a Christmas favorite. Whether it be a Charles Dickens book read by the Christmas tree, or a staged reading, or a Broadway production, or one of the many movie adaptations, everybody has their favorite production of this perennial classic. Many people lean toward the George C. Scott TV production, or one of the older productions, such as the classic British movie with Reginald Owen. My children love the MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, which surprisingly enough is close to the book and has a lot of Christian content.

Now, Robert Halmi, Sr., who is famous for adapting classic literature for television, has teamed up with Patrick Stewart to recapture the essence of the Charles Dicken’s novel. The result is a production which is more faithful to the novel and more Gospel oriented than the other productions. Scriptwriter Peter Barnes took much of the dialogue straight from the book. Thus, after he repents of his miserly ways, Ebenezer Scrooge goes to church on Christmas day and starts singing Christ-oriented Christmas carols. Furthermore, this production is full of Christ-oriented carols like “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Silent Night” and the other favorites which tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Finally, this rendition ends with Tiny Tim saying, “God Bless You.”

This faithfulness to the novel is the strength and the weakness of this production. Some of the scenes, such as the Ghost of Christmas Present showing Scrooge how people in ships and in prison are celebrating Christmas, become redundant and impede the dramatic development of the storyline. (Of course, this doesn’t happen in the novel because these vignettes add depth and breadth to the literary aspects of the book.) Furthermore, Marley’s statement that the ghosts of the dead traverse the earth is theologically wrong. After all, the Bible says, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).”

Even so, this redemptive rendition needs to be commended. The acting is excellent. The settings are authentic. The style captures the darkness as well as the redemptive qualities of Dicken’s story. Joel Grey is a frightening Christmas Past, if only because he is so effeminate, but perhaps that is the point.

The good news is that Scrooge is reborn. Scrooge goes to church. And, this production focuses on the real meaning of Christmas.

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