Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2021 continues with another look at lost Carol versions from early television. For the previous look click HERE.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1947) – Yet another Christmas Carol version produced by the long-gone Dumont Network. This one aired live on December 25th, 1947 and starred John Carradine as Ebenezer Scrooge. According to Variety the broadcast was simulcast in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore. There were 22 cast members and 12 sets.
The one and only Eva Marie Saint made her television debut in this production. Bernard Hughes also appeared in this Carol which costarred Ray Morgan as Nephew Fred, who did double duty as the narrator. A young David Carradine was in the cast, by some accounts as a Cratchit child but not Tiny Tim.
Variety panned this program, calling it “stiff and formal” with a “slow, drawn-out opening” which “became tedious.” The publication also trashed John Carradine’s performance as Scrooge, saying he “lacked conviction” and that “He was too ready to be kind – never the nasty, selfish, money-grubbing tyrant of Dickens.”
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1948) – Broadcast live by NBC in a one-hour time slot on December 19th, 1948. This Carol aired as an episode of Philco Television Playhouse and ended with an epilogue featuring Bing Crosby & the Mitchell Boys Choir singing Silent Night.
Dennis King starred as Ebenezer Scrooge with James Coll as Bob Cratchit and Frank M Thomas as Marley’s Ghost. Harry Sothern played the Ghost of Christmas Past and Loring Smith played the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Variety was full of praise on December 22nd, writing “The familiar story was mainly powered by Dennis King’s brilliant performance as Scrooge. King projected the role so forcibly that it broke out of the small-screen limitations into a three-dimensional portrait with a terrific emotional kick.”
The publication also said “There were some incidental flaws in the camera angles but these did not materially detract from the overall impact. More serious, however, was the repetitious use of a tricky photographic effect for the ghostly flights through time and space.”
DICKENS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL (1948) – CBS broadcast this Carol live from 6-7:00 PM on December 25th, 1948. Very, very little is known about this version except that it was performed by a Baltimore children’s group.
DICKENS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL (1949) – KTTV in Los Angeles aired a brief FIFTEEN MINUTE version of A Christmas Carol. It was broadcast December 24th, 1949 from 6:15 PM to 6:30 PM and was performed by the Children’s Theater.
FOR MORE VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/