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A Merry Ghostly Christmas to you

The funniest memory I have about A Christmas Carol comes from my days in Dublin. I worked in a café and one night close to Christmas I and other three Italians were closing the shop on the late shift.
While cleaning up the hot counter, I could hear Roberta, Agnese and Daniele discussing in another room, but I didn’t hear what they were talking about. After a while, Roberta came over to help me close the hot counter. While cleaning up the tools, she asked me, “Sarah, you know A Christmas Carol is a book, don’t you?”
“By Dickens,” I said.
Roberta all brightened up. “I love you! Agnese and Dani were pestering me about that being just a film. I felt stupid.”
Well, that’s a testament to the extreme popularity the story has gained on screen and to be honest, I myself thought for years it was just a film, before discovering it is actually a book, actually from the 1800s, actually by one of the most popular authors who ever wrote novels.

So I’m not at all surprised to find this film adapting the story in 1910… and apparently it isn’t the first one either.
This was filmed by Edison Production in Bronx country of New York City  with some of the most complex and sophisticated special effects of the time.

The Christmas Carol in a few silent brushes of silver #silentfilm Share on X

I’ve always been fond of A Christmas Carol since the first time I watched it on tv when I was a kid, though not for  the Christmas theme. I’m afraid the ghosts were what won me out. And the story of redemption, which have always been my favourite.
I like watching different renditions. I enjoyed watching this too, although it’s sure choppy and quite superficial. It looks like the special effects were the main course (bit like today in some productions, isn’t it?). You don’t really get much other than the ghosts, there’s very little in terms of characters’ building, not to mention Dickens’s original social commentary.
Still there is something charming about it. Although definitely overly dramatic as it was the case in those early silent films, I think Marc McDermott is a pretty awesome Scrooge and the only character who really gives something to the viewer.
I also find the special effects fascinating and still quite charming. They must have been mind-blowing for people at that time.

So, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy your family and friends. Eat well and plenty and have bountiful presents to give and receive.

happy christmas 1920s

RESOURCES

JB Kaufman – Film Historian/Author – A Christmas Carol (1910)
A.V. Club – Ghosts of Christmas Movies Past

16 Comments

  • Anabel
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 12:21

    Happy Christmas, Sarah! My first introduction to A Christmas Carol was a cartoon version starting a character called Mr Magoo which (in my memory anyway) was on TV every Christmas Eve of my childhood. Have a lovely day.

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted December 26, 2015 at 08:52

      Well, I suppose it’s time for wishing a Happy New Year 😉

      First time I watched A Christmas Carol was a cartoon too, but it wasn’t Mr Magoo. It really hooked me.

  • Sue Vincent
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 12:38

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Sarah 🙂

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted December 26, 2015 at 08:53

      Thanks, sue, it was a nice one. Hope yours was good too.
      Now, let’s hope for a good 2016 😉

  • Holly Gonzalez
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 15:34

    Merry Christmas, Sarah 🙂 I hope you have a most wonderful holiday and a great new year!

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted December 26, 2015 at 08:54

      The same to you, Holly. Wish you a 2016 full of health, satisfation and fulfilment 🙂

  • Amy
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 16:46

    One of my favorite stories of all time. God bless us all, Tiny Tim! 🙂

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted December 26, 2015 at 08:54

      It is a good story. I’ve always loved the message of hope and goodwill.

  • Lene Fogelberg
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 10:22

    Merry Christmas Sarah and Happy New 2016!

  • TP Hogan
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 21:29

    Merry Christmas to you too. Enjoy fun with friends and family, and I hope 2016 is very productive for your writing. (Without the need for ghosts to show you the way 😛 )

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted January 2, 2016 at 09:02

      A very happy and fulfilling new year to you too! We have a rendezvous in March, haven’t we? 😉

  • Ali Isaac
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 22:22

    I hope your Christmas was fabulous, Sarah, and that 2016 will be good to you! All the best, Ali xxx

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted January 2, 2016 at 09:03

      Have a fantastic 2016, Ali. All the best to you 🙂

  • Shaun | 8BitPickle.com
    Posted October 12, 2021 at 08:10

    Too bad the video is broken. I am going to have to go out and find this one.
    Thanks

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted October 13, 2021 at 20:55

      Thanks for commenting, Shaun, so I had the chance to fix the link 🙂
      The film should be visible, now. It is a great one, don’t you think?

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