What version of “A Christmas Carol am I thinking of?

i All,

I received an answer to my last question about an old 1960’s movie called Quartermas and the Pit. I did not even know the name of the movie, but within fifteen minutes, I had the answer. Now I have another question about a movie that I know the name of: A Christmas Carol.

I remember watching this classic as a child on a 19 inch B&W tube TV when I was a child. It was the traditional Dickens Christmas Carol. I do not know if it was in color or black and white. What I do remember are two things: First, the Ghost of Christmas past was a woman, and she seemed to trifurcate into three images and then merge back into one. She was very Ghostlike, and she held a stalk of wheat. Second, this version had a scene from the book that most movies leave out… that is the Ghost of Christmas Present opened his robes and there were two very ghost like emaciated children, a boy and a girl, and the ghost told Scrooge that they were his children, their names were Ignorance and Want, and the Ghost also told Scrooge to “beware them both, but especially beware of Ignorance”

I have looked all over for this movie, can’t seem to find it. It might have been made for TV, but again, I think it might have predated TV, but like the last movie I asked about I do not know. I was very young, and the Ghost of Christmas present scared the crap out of me.

Thanks again!


Joe Herdler

13 thoughts on “What version of “A Christmas Carol am I thinking of?

  1. Also, this movie soundtrack music was a very creepy version of ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen’. To this day, whenever I hear this particular Christmas song, I think of this movie!


    1. I believe it is the 1971 animated TV version with Alastair Sim again as Scrooge. This has Christmas Past as you describe. It has very realistic art like the old 19th century illustrations, not cartoony. It is on YouTube

    1. Hi,

      I do not think that this is it. The ghost of Christmas past is not the one that I remember. The one that I remember would like “split” into three images then merge back into one. And she (he?) was holding a branch of something, I thought that it was a stalk of wheat, but it might have been something else). The version that I remember was very dark. Thank you again! Joe

    1. Alas, no. The Ghost of Scrooge 1970 was very human.

      I am beginning to suspect that the movie that I remember was a “made for TV drama, maybe even an old kinescope copy. None of the versions that I have seen on You tube are what I remember. I do know that what the Ghost was holding in the movie that I remember was not wheat or grain, but most likely holly. But he/she (the ghost was very androgynous if I remember correctly) was almost a specter. I do not know how they did that effect back then. But she would “split” into two or three images and merge back into one. It was like looking at something right when you wake up and your eyes are not focused and are watery for lack of a better term. And if I remember right, she was very stern, very strong yet looked to be frail if that makes any sense. I fear that if this was a made for TV special movie, that it might be lost…

  2. Someone out in cyberland sent me a link that does not appear on this thread, https://archive.org/details/AChristmasCarol1971VHSRip_201803. This is very close, especially with the Ghost of Christmas Past. Just what I remember. However, I could have sworn that the movie that I saw was not animated. Maybe I am mixing this up with the 1951 version and in my memory they are combined. However in this link, the Ghost of Christmas Past was just what I remember… splitting into two or three images then recombining, and holding a branch of something. Was there a non-animated version of this? This was made in 1971, and I had a sister then and my folks had a color TV by then. I remember watching this before my sister was born, being the only child a the time and on the old B&W TV that had to warm up before it would turn on.

    Thanks again!

    1. All the versions are well documented. The 1971 animated one is the only one with a three headed female Christmas Past.

  3. Thank you all for the help! It was the animated version, I asked an older cousin that watched this with me as a small child. I was indeed mixing up the 1951 version with Alistair Sim with this 1971 animated version (with Scrooge voiced by Alistair Sim). I have ordered a new unsealed DVD of this 28 minute animated TV special for my collection. They are very hard to find, I found this on e-pay for twice what amazon had it listed for (but unavailable). I have already watched this on youtube, and it is indeed what I remember.

    Thank you all again!


    Joe H

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *