The Christmas Carol

The Christmas Carol is a 1949 low-budget, black and white television special narrated by Vincent Price. Compressing Charles Dickens' classic 1843 story into a half-hour, it is stated to be "the oldest extant straight adaptation of the story" for television.[1] It was originally produced as a syndicated production for airing on 22 stations across the United States on Christmas Day in 1949. It was sponsored by Magnavox and represented that company's first use of television advertising.[2] In 1952 the show was acquired by Consolidated Television Sales for further syndication.[3]

The production is considered primitive by modern standards; it is also noted for misspelling Ebenezer Scrooge's name as "Ebeneezer" in the opening credits. The cast is led by Taylor Holmes as Scrooge and includes an early appearance by Jill St. John, then age 9 and billed as Jill Oppenheim, who plays one of the Cratchit daughters.[1][4]

The director was Arthur Pierson.

See also


  1. Fred Guida, A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations: A Critical Examination of Dickens's Story and Its Productions On Screen and Television, McFarland & Company, 2000, ISBN 978-0-7864-0738-5, p. 179. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  2. "Magnavox Christmas TV on 22 stations", Billboard, December 24, 1949, p. 15.
  3. "Consolidated Handles 'Carol'", Billboard, December 6, 1952, p. 8.
  4. "The Christmas Carol (1949): Review", Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television (accessed 2012-01-21).

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