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A Christmas Carol


Dec 02, 1951

Latest Home Video

Nov 01, 2011

MPAA Rating

Not Rated


Brian Desmond Hurst


Alastair Sim


1951 Renown Pictures Corporation/ VCI

Still shot from the movie: A Christmas Carol.

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This 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' well-known story A Christmas Carol is a black and white version of the holiday classic. It stars Alastair Sim as the miserly Scrooge.

Content Details

Why Is A Christmas Carol Rated Not Rated?

A Christmas Carol is rated Not Rated

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Here is additional information on sex, violence and profanity in A Christmas Carol...

Overall: A
Alastair Sim is the perfect Ebenezer Scrooge in this 1951 black and white version of Dickens’ classic tale. Although the ghostly visitors may be a little scary for very young viewers, the reminders of Christmas’ true meaning and “Mankind is our business” are messages that can “...bless us, everyone.”

Violence: B+
The helpless plight of the poor and homeless is depicted throughout the film. Ghostly apparitions portrayed, one in dark hooded cloak has “grim reaper” appearance. Character occasionally screams or whimpers in fear. Unexplainably, bell rings, clock chimes, and door flies open. Deaths of ailing man and woman shown. Frightened woman screams and runs away from man who appears crazy.

Sexual Content: A
Embracing man and woman exchange ring. Man affectionately kisses woman on two occasions.

Language: A
At least: one term of Deity exclaimed in prayerful fashion.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A-
Gin punch served at dinner. People make toasts at social gathering. Man claims he is “as giddy as a drunken man.”

Character justifies embezzlement. Several characters use unfair advantage to secure business deals. Thin and scantly clad beggar children shown. Characters justify stealing from dead man.

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to A Christmas Carol.

For a lighter (and more colorful) interpretation of this story try A Muppet Christmas Carol. Another Christmas film that explores the value of selfless giving is It’s A Wonderful Life.

Canadian Movie Ratings

Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: G

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Details on home video releases of A Christmas Carol...

Home Video Notes: A Christmas Carol: 60th Anniversary Diamond Edition (1951)

Release Date: November 1, 2011

A Christmas Carol releases to DVD and Blu-ray in a 60th Anniversary Diamond Edition on November 1, 2011. (The Blu-ray has been digitally restored from a new 1080p, 24fps high definition transfer master produced from the 35mm negative and fine grain.)

- Commentary Tracks By Marcus Hearn and George Cole

- Introduction by Leonard Maltin

- Dead to Begin With: The Darker Side of A Classic—Documentary exploring the films bleaker themes and how they rivaled London of the 1950’s. Featuring British film historian and culturalist Sir Christopher Frayling. (25 mins)

-Scrooge By Another Name: Distributing A Christmas Carol—Featurette detailing the American release of this British holiday classic. Featuring US distributor Richard Gordon. (10 mins)

- The Human Blarney Stone: Life and Films of Brian Desmond Hurst—Documentary chronicling the life of Ireland’s most prolific filmmaker. Featuring Allan Esler Smith, the great, great nephew and biographer of Hurst. (40 mins)

- A Scholar’s View—Video narrative by Fred Guida, author of A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations (35 mins)

-Silent Dickens—Collection of early examples of Dickens on film. (includes HD: Scrooge -1922, Bleak House 20 mins)

Bonus DVD

- More Silent Dickens (A Christmas Carol 1914, Scrooge, or Marley s Ghost 1901, Scrooge 1913)

- Campbell’s Playhouse: A Christmas Carol—Digitally remastered version of original 1939 radio dramatization, narrated by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore. (Audio only. 54 mins)

- Bibliographic Essay—by Fred Guida (10 mins)

Holding true to the literary masterpiece on which it is based, the 1951 rendition of A Christmas Carol (also known as Scrooge in the UK) provides a perfect Ebenezer Scrooge thanks to the masterful performance of Alastair Sim. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be reminded that giving of oneself is where the true joy of Christmas will be found. You’ll also have an opportunity to explain to your children that all TV used to be black and white (that’s why it was called the dark ages…right?)  Parents should also be aware that youngsters might find the ghosts a little frightening.

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