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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Gratitude, empathy, compassion.
Positive Role Models
Everything the word "Scrooge" has come to stand for is questionable behavior, but in the end he mends his ways.
Violence & Scariness
Two heart-wrenching deathbed scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know this adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic may be too frightening and dramatic for younger viewers. Serious themes are the center of this film: A man is forced to relive his greatest agonies; and there are two heart-wrenching deathbed scenes. And a cycle of guilt and anger is passed from an embittered father to his emotionally-wounded son. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Aided by Noel Langley's (The Wizard of Oz) insightful script and some truly phenomenal performances, director Brian Desmond Hurst gave us a grand Christmas present with this film. It's inarguably the best version of Dickens' immortal tale of greed and redemption ever to be captured on film. Alastair Sim breathes depth and complexity into Scrooge, showing us a man bewildered at times by his own cruel nature; it's like an unshakeable illness he's come to accept over the course of his life. Resigned to his lonely fate, he resists the spirits who might save him, telling them he's beyond help.
Maybe it's that conviction, the utter dourness he exudes, that makes the ghosts especially hard on this Scrooge. Marley shrieks lamentably and bangs his chains for attention. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows him painful scenes that no other version has presented: a heartbroken young Ebenezer at the deathbed of his beloved sister; his and Marley's evolution as shrewd and tyrannical businessmen; a dying Marley telling Scrooge with his last faint breath that they were wrong, to save himself. Sim's transformation at the end is the most dramatic you'll ever see, hilarious and touching and insanely energetic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.