The story begins as ever in the counting house of Ebenezer Scrooge . His lowly clerk, Bob Cratchit, makes the mistake of lighting a piece of coal in the fireplace in an effort to keep warm. Enter Scrooge, aghast at Cratchit’s nerve, removing the coal, and throwing a couple of sprigs of holly down onto the floor for good measure. Not even a visit from his nephew, Fred and his niece, Belle with an invitation to join them at Christmas, can overcome his mean-spirited mood. And as if that wasn’t enough, he has to contend with a visit from two charity workers looking for donations. What’s a miser to do with all these demands on his time and his money?
The answer is make no changes whatsoever. At the end of the day, Scrooge visits a local tavern; even there his attitude spoils the evening for the other patrons. Meanwhile, Cratchit has returned home to the bosom of his family, and with his wife and children – including poor old Tiny Tim – is able to be happy and carefree. Scrooge arrives home, but is startled to see the face of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, appear in place of the door-knocker. Scrooge, rattled by this, retires to bed but is soon visited by Marley’s ghost, who warns the old skinflint that he’ll be visited in turn by three ghosts.
The first, the Spirit of Christmas Past, is a jolly, holly-bedecked phantom who takes Scrooge firmly by the wrist and drags him away back into Scrooge’s childhood, back when he was a much happier person than he is now. Reminded of better times makes Scrooge upset. The Spirit of Christmas Present shows him how he’s regarded by others, from Bob Cratchit and his family, and his nephew Fred’s family and friends, and he learns that his manner has alienated him from them. The third Spirit, that of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge his tombstone, the blunt summation of his life. Returned to his bedroom, Scrooge wakes the next morning, determined to make amends…
|George Bellamy||Bob Cratchit|
|Charles Rock||Ebenezer Scrooge|
|Mary Brough||Mrs. Cratchit|
|Arthur Cullin||Spirit of Christmas Past|
|Windham Guise||Spirit of Christmas Present|
|Asheton Tonge||Spirit of Christmas Future|
|Edward O'Neill (uncredited)||Jacob Marley|