A Christmas Carol (2004 film)

Infobox Film
name = A Christmas Carol


image_size =
caption = DVD cover
director = Arthur Allan Seidelman
producer = Howard Ellis
Steven North
writer = Charles Dickens
Mike Ockrent
Lynn Ahrens
narrator =
starring = Kelsey Grammer
music = Alan Menken
cinematography = Hanania Baer
editing = Bert Glatstein
distributor = NBC
released = flagicon|USA November 28 2004
flagicon|UK December 25 2004
runtime = 97 mins.
country = Hungary
United States
language = English
budget = $17,000,000 (estimated)
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:318021
imdb_id = 0406649

"A Christmas Carol", also known as "A Christmas Carol: The Musical", is a 2004 television movie 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.

Cast

* Ebenezer Scrooge - Kelsey Grammer
* Ghost of Christmas Past/Lamplighter - Jane Krakowski
* Ghost of Christmas Present/Sandwich Board Man - Jesse L. Martin
* Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/Blind Old Hag - Geraldine Chaplin
* Jacob Marley's Ghost - Jason Alexander
* Bob Cratchitt - Edward Gower
* Mrs. Cratchitt - Linzi Hateley
* Tiny Tim - Jacob Moriarty
* Fred Anderson - Julian Ovenden
* Sally Anderson - Julie Alannagh-Brighten
* Scrooge's Mother - Ruthie Henshall
* Emily - Jennifer Love Hewitt
* Young Ebenezer Scrooge - Steven Miller
* Mr. Fezziwig - Brian Bedford

The Adaptation

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".

As in other musical adaptations of A Christmas Carol, 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.

The Ghost of Christmas Past, portrayed in this film by a young woman (Jane Krakowski) rather than a man, 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 debtor's 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 virtually the entire cast.

See also

* List of A Christmas Carol adaptations

References

*
* cite web | title=A Christmas Carol: The Musical | work=Hallmark Entertainment
url=http://www.hallmarkent.com/property.php?propertyId=ChristmasCarolMu | accessdate=December 28 | accessyear=2005

*


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