March 5th 2013
A Christmas Carol Final Draft In Charles Dickens’ holiday novel
A Christmas Carol
, the main character Ebenezer
Scrooge goes from a “covetous old sinner” (Dickens 2) in the beginning of the story to “A good friend, as good a master, and as good a man” (Dickens 68) by the end of the book. He is lead through this change of heart by several phantoms. When turning this wellknown story into film, the directors of the movies adhere closely to Dickens’ words and descriptions of the ghosts.
Three of these spirits are perfect examples of the filmmakers’ adherence to the novelist’s original story. The first ghost to appear to Scrooge, a man who in his life was Jacob Marley, is accurately portrayed in the movie versions of
A Christmas Caro
l. In the book, Marley has a bandaged jaw, a waistcoat on, and is fettered (Dickens 11). In the movie
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas
, the former business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge wears a cloth that suspends his jaw. He is also outfitted in “his usual waistcoat” (Dickens 11) like mentioned in the book. Furthermore, he is bound by chains, safes, and padlocks in both the movie and the book. In
A Christmas Carol
, Jacob Marley is just as wellrepresented by the filmmakers. His motionless eyes and tall, thin shape match those of Charles Dickens’ original words. In all the movie versions, these similarities show that the producers wanted to keep Charles Dickens’ original
In accordance with the accuracy of Jacob Marley’s ghost on film, the last poltergeist to reveal himself to Ebenezer is also consistent throughout its mediums of publication. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is depicted in the films every bit as mysterious, lurking, and shadowy as he is in the pages of the classic novel. A silent phantom,
“shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand” (Dickens 50) is introduced by Charles Dickens in the book, as well as sprung to life by the producers of
and A Christmas Carol (Patrick
, though the Scroogeesque main character is trying to talk to the figure, the figure remains silent, similar to the onesided conversation going on in the book (Scrooged). The uniformity of these Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come proves that Dickens’ spirits are used to create the movies.
Just as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and Marley’s ghost, Scrooge’s third supernatural visitor from the novel, the Ghost of Christmas Present, is (literally) a dead ringer for his moviescreen replicas. In the movies
The Muppets’ Christmas Carol and A Christmas Carol
(George C. Scott)
, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by a jolly giant, head adorned with brown curls and topped with a holly wreath. This large, rosycheeked gentleman wore a green robe in both the movie versions (The Muppets’ Christmas Carol) (A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)). This matches Dickens’ descriptions of a spirit with “dark brown curls”, “a simple deep green robe” and a “cheery voice and unconstrained demeanor” (Dickens 33). Yet again, the moviemakers have crafted characters for their productions from the ones created by Charles Dickens.
Some people would argue that the small differences in appearance of the ghosts from the book versus those from the movies indicate that the