Christmas Carol first editionFirst edition

A Christmas Carol

Publication details ▽ Publication details △

Original title
A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.

First publication
1843

Literary form
Novella

Genres
Literary

Language
English

Author's country
England

Length
Approx. 28,000 words

Scrooged scene
TV executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray) has a surprisingly uplifting message to be delivered via airwaves.

A Chistmas Carol

THE NOVELLA | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

1935, 1938, 1951, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1988, 1997

Modern Scrooge catches the old spirit

Scrooged (1988): Director Richard Donner; writ. Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue; featuring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Robert Mitchum

Scrooged (1988) is said to be "suggested" by the Dickens story. If anything, it's an updating—from early nineteenth-century British to late twentieth-century American.

Comic actor Bill Murray is TV executive Frank Cross whose station is producing a live version of A Christmas Carol. He's a cynical bastard himself and, in a parallel characterization to Scrooge's, he doesn't get the Christmas spirit.

That is, until he's visited by the spirits—though they aren't quite the ghosts Dickens envisioned.

In fact, all the characters in this film are funny, while behaving quite normally for the situation.

And, although the film seems at first to be a satire on A Christmas Carol, and despite flirting with nastiness from time to time, it follows the same storyline and concludes with the same uplifting message.

Surprisingly this story of Scrooge once-removed was a middling success when it came out two decades ago and has proven popular over the years, popping up every Christmas, as much or more than any straightforward Dickens rendition.

— Eric McMillan

THE NOVELLA | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

1935, 1938, 1951, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1988, 1997