A Christmas Carol (2004 film)
|A Christmas Carol|
|Directed by||Arthur Allan Seidelman|
|Produced by||Howard Ellis
|Written by||Charles Dickens
Jesse L. Martin
Jennifer Love Hewitt
|Music by||Alan Menken|
|Edited by||Bert Glatstein|
|Release date(s)||November 28, 2004|
|Running time||97 minutes|
A Christmas Carol, also known as A Christmas Carol: The Musical, is a 2004 television film based on a 1994 stage musical of the same name, with songs written by Alan Menken (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics). The musical is based on Charles Dickens' famous 1843 novella of the same name, produced by Hallmark Entertainment for NBC. It was directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and features Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge, Jason Alexander as Jacob Marley, Jesse L. Martin as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Emily.
- Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge
- Jane Krakowski as Ghost of Christmas Past/Lamplighter
- Jesse L. Martin as Ghost of Christmas Present/Sandwich Board Man
- Geraldine Chaplin as Ghost of Christmas Future/Blind Old Hag
- Jason Alexander as Jacob Marley's Ghost
- Edward Gower as Bob Cratchit
- Linzi Hateley as Mrs. Cratchit
- Jacob Moriarty as Tiny Tim
- Julian Ovenden as Fred Anderson
- Julie Alannagh-Brighten as Sally Anderson
- Ruthie Henshall as Mrs. Scrooge (Scrooge's mother)
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Emily
- Steven Miller as Young Ebenezer Scrooge
- Brian Bedford as Mr. Fezziwig
Lyricist Lynn Ahrens wrote the teleplay, based on her and Mike Ockrent's book for the original Madison Square Garden stage musical. The score contains 22 songs, also adapted from the stage. The opening number, "Jolly Good Time", is a more jovial reworking of the first two numbers in the stage version, "The Years Are Passing By" and "Jolly, Rich, and Fat". In the next number, "Nothing to Do With Me", Scrooge first encounters the three ghosts of Christmas in their real-world guises as a lamplighter (Past), a charity show barker (Present), and a blind beggar woman (Future). We also see Scrooge's long-suffering employee Bob Cratchit buying a Christmas chicken with his son Tiny Tim in the song "You Mean More to Me".
The visit of the ghost of Jacob Marley becomes a large-scale production number ("Link By Link"), featuring a half-dozen singing, dancing spirits presented with various levels of makeup and special effects. One of these ghosts in this version is known to be an old colleague of Scrooge and Marley's, Mr. Haynes, who was said to be "mean to the bone", resulting in his charred skeleton. Other puns include a headless spirit who wanted to get ahead.
The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jane Krakowski) sings "The Lights of Long Ago", a number reinforcing her signature theme of illuminating Scrooge's worldview. One notable departure from Dickens' novella in this portion of the film is its depiction of Ebenezer Scrooge's father, identified as John William Scrooge, being sentenced to debtors' prison while his horrified family looks on (a scene inspired by events from Dickens' own childhood).
The Ghost of Christmas Present gets two numbers, "Abundance and Charity" and "Christmas Together", in which he makes his point that Christmas is a time for celebration, generosity, and fellowship. The former takes place at a fantastical version of the charity show he was seen promoting on Christmas Eve, and the latter whisks Scrooge on a tour of London that includes the homes of his nephew Fred, his clerk Bob Cratchit, and Mr. Smythe, a recently widowed client of Scrooge's lending house.
Unlike the faceless phantom that embodies Christmas Yet to Come in most versions of A Christmas Carol (including the book), this film features a mute sorceress figure clad in white (a transmogrification of the blind hag who appears on Christmas Eve). The entire Christmas Future sequence plays out in song ("Dancing On Your Grave", "You Mean More to Me (Reprise)", and "Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today"), culminating in Scrooge's awakening in his bedroom on Christmas morning.
"What a Day, What a Sky" serves as a musical bookend to "Nothing to Do With Me", dramatizing Scrooge's new outlook as he races through the streets of London making amends. The film concludes with a reprise of "Christmas Together" featuring the entire cast.
- A Christmas Carol at the Internet Movie Database
- "A Christmas Carol: The Musical". Hallmark Entertainment. Archived from the original on 25 December 2005. Retrieved December 28, 2005.
- "Official Site of the Stage Musical".