Carol for Another Christmas


Drama / Fantasy

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Joe Santos Photo
Joe Santos as Number 32
Peter Sellers Photo
Peter Sellers as Imperial Me
Robert Shaw Photo
Robert Shaw as Ghost of Christmas Future
Britt Ekland Photo
Britt Ekland as The Mother
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
790.11 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 2 / 23
1.43 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 1 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scarecrow-889 / 10

A Carol for Another Christmas

Although it spends its running time preaching an anti-war, global- unity message, Serling's 60s-contemporary Christmas Carol variation has its heart in the right place, even if many might consider the pulpit sermon and bong sounding a bit wearisome. This cast is top to bottom with incredible talent, which might explain how important the United Nations Special meant to those involved.

Sterling Hayden as the heart-hardened military powerhouse, Daniel Drudge, a lonely, bitter man who lost a son to WWII and is against his nephew's (Cassavetes' vet, Ben Gazzara) UN peace efforts; Steve Lawrence as Ghost of Christmas Past, a phantom representing all the soldiers, from every nation, taking Drudge to the battlefield; Eva Marie Saint as a Naval officer in the past who accompanied Drudge to a particular bombed area of Japan where they encounter a tent housing burned-face children for which anguished her; passionate Pat Hingle as Ghost of Christmas Present, at a dinner table covered in food and the finest trimmings, reveals barbwire fences and captives singing carols, certainly confronting Drudge about the plentiful times he's enjoyed the finer things while many others starve; Robert Shaw as Ghost of Christmas Future, in robe and speaking with righteous indignation, presenting an America wrought in rubble and madness; a masterful Peter Sellers as a rabble-rousing, messianic madman instigating a remnant of human deviants out of the Holocaust of the future to embrace selfish doctrine and hold close to Imperial Me instead of unifying to salvage what is left of mankind; Percy Rodrigues as both Drudge's butler/manservant and a rational, peace-minded man of conscience trying to appeal to Sellers' followers in a future fallen to ruin; pre- stardom Britt Ekland as a knitting Imperial Me follower.

This one doesn't have Hayden returning from his visits in time with the phantoms a spiritually rejuvenated man ready to make the world a bright and shiny place. Serling instead realistically ends it with Hayden and Gazzara agreeing that they need to help do something that makes a difference in the world they live. Not extravagant or extraordinary but just something instead of nothing. The Serling-ian dialogue is cerebral, thought-provoking, confrontational, long- winded, and heavily political. It asks not only Hayden but us how we will help make a difference. Nothing much has changed since 1964, which many might say this film is as relevant today as ever before. But it uses Christmas Carol as a platform for change and might be a nuisance to those not quite beholden to the message it wishes for us to accept and be influenced into action by. If anything this film just wants us to listen.

Reviewed by F Gwynplaine MacIntyre10 / 10

Skip the message, savour the performances

'Carol for Another Christmas' features a teleplay by Rod Serling at his most dead-earnest. As often happened with this controversial writer, Serling's script ran afoul of network censors who insisted on major changes ... inevitably making the material much more innocuous. Astonishingly, 'Carol for Another Christmas' manages to be an entertaining drama anyway, well-directed (by old pro Joe Mankiewicz) with a first-rate cast.

The story is a blatant reworking of Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol', modernised and addressing the concerns of Americans in the 1960s: a fairly original idea when Serling did it. But in the years from 1964 to the present there have been dozens of rip-offs of Dickens's tale (such as the wretched movie 'Scrooged') ... so, from a 21st-century viewpoint, 'Carol for Another Christmas' suffers because it's now one of many, many, MANY reworkings of Dickens's source material. Fortunately, Serling manages sporadically to improve upon the original. For example, this story has no annoying little Tiny Tim character.

In Serling's original script, the main character in 'Carol for Another Christmas' was an embittered industrialist named Barnaby Grudge. This is clearly a Dickensian pun, but Serling also meant it as a pun on 'B. Grudge'... because Grudge begrudges charity to people less fortunate than himself. Television executives insisted that Serling must change this character's name; they were certain that 'Barnaby Grudge' would be perceived as a thinly-disguised attack on Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater (same initials). Serling changed the character's name to Daniel Grudge, and Sterling Hayden gives a standout performance in the lead role as Grudge, the surrogate Scrooge.

After some surly dialogue with his black servants Charles and Ruby, and an argument with his nephew (Ben Gazzara, giving the worst performance hereabouts),Grudge gets some unwanted advice from a surrogate Marley, and then the story proper begins ... with Grudge getting a look at the state of humanity in Christmases past, present and future. (Rod Serling's birthday was 25th December, and he had a traumatic experience on Christmas Day during his wartime hitch as a paratrooper ... I wonder if either of those facts helped inspire this story. I also wonder if the title of this script was a pun on the name of Rod Serling's wife: Carol.)

Grudge's escort to the past is a World War One doughboy, extremely well-played by Steve Lawrence ... yes, the singer who married Eydie Gorme. Steve Lawrence was a very talented actor who seldom got material worthy of his talents: he gives a fine performance here, with some of the best dialogue Rod Serling ever wrote. (I'm a Serling fan, but plausible dialogue was always thin on the ground in Rod Serling's universe.) Lawrence brings Grudge to Japan on Christmas Day 1945, where a Japanese doctor and a U.S. WAVE are trying to help Japanese children who were caught in an American bombing raid. (There does seem to be an unfortunate 'blame America' tone here.)

The Ghost of Christmas Present is well-played by the excellent Pat Hingle, an actor who never achieved the stardom he deserved. Grudge finds the stocky Hingle gorging himself on food at a banquet table, while nearby Third World children starve behind a fence. Hingle invites Grudge to join him: Grudge is willing to eat, but not with those starving children watching him. The fact that those children ARE starving does not particularly disturb him.

Next stop, the future: with the flash of an atomic bomb, Grudge finds himself in the darkness and rubble which are all that remains after World War Three. These are (intentionally) the most disturbing scenes in the drama. What sort of war was this, Grudge wonders? 'A dandy', replies Robert Shaw in a lacklustre performance as the Ghost of Christmas Future. Civilisation was destroyed in the nuclear war, but now one man is trying to inspire the survivors to rebuild the world ... namely, as a dictatorship with himself as the leader. Peter Sellers gives a fascinating performance (with an American accent, better than the one he used in 'Dr Strangelove') as a dictator named Imperial Me. Unfortunately, Sellers seems to be acting in a completely different movie from everyone else. (Which sums up much of his life and career.)

SPOILERS NOW. The character arc of 'Carol for Another Christmas' follows Dickens's novel very closely, so it's no surprise that Grudge/Scrooge ultimately returns to his mansion in the present, where he now sees the error of his ways and he repents. But I found the last scene very annoying and simplistic. As proof that Grudge has reformed, we see him humbling himself by eating breakfast in the kitchen with his black servants. Surely it would be more honest and more ennobling to show Grudge inviting his servants to join him for breakfast in his posh dining room. And the three of them could do the washing-up together. Like so many other liberals, Serling seems more interested in bringing down the mighty rather than uplifting the lowly.

'Carol for Another Christmas' occasionally sinks into knee-jerk liberalism or America-bashing, but this TV movie's good points very much outweigh and outnumber its bad points. I'll rate this story 10 points out of 10. God bless us, every one.

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

The Gospel of Me

Carol For Christmas is about 20 years behind the time when it was presented on TV in 1964. It would have had far more appeal had television been available in 1944.

Industrial tycoon Sterling Hayden is bitter at the world because his son Marley died in World War II. He's the last of the isolationists and wants no foreign involvement anywhere period including humanitarian aid.

The error of his ways is told to him by those spirits of Christmas past, present and future. And if you know the Dickens story and how many in the English speaking world have never heard of it than you pretty much know what the story is.

If this had been done in 1944 when Hayden's son was killed, a lot of people invested their hopes and dreams in a new world organization to come, the planning of which was undertaken even while the guns were still blazing in battle. The story would have resonated well with World War II audiences.

As it is coming out in 1964 before the troop escalation in Vietnam the film came out under the wire. Five years later, ten years later, it would have met with derision from Vietnam era audiences. The message still has problems today with the issues surrounding globalization.

However one portion of it rings very true for what has been determined to be the 'Me' generation. How prescient were the writers in creating Peter Sellers's character of 'Me' the symbol of the ugly American who believes in selfishness and divisiveness. Just grab what you can, whenever you can and if some in the world don't have as much, too bad. Not to mention if they protest, kill them. This part of Carol For Christmas was as prophetic as Network in its way.

I caught this over the Christmas holiday, make sure if you haven't seen it, catch it next year if TCM runs it again.

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