Carol For Another Christmas

From the poster of this video:

Carol For Another Christmas. Rare 1964 movie is probably the bleakest Christmas movie ever made. When Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, I wonder if he imagined it might one day be made into a film about the horrors of nuclear war? Funded by Xerox as propaganda for the United Nations, at a cost of $4 million, it originally aired on US television (ABC) on 28 December 1964. Despite the impressive cast (Sterling Hayden, Peter Sellers, Britt Ekland) and involvement of respected writer Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone) and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Cleopatra, All About Eve), reaction to the film was understandably negative, with distinctly un-Christmassy scenes that include a visit to Hiroshima.

The “Ghost of Christmas Future” section with Peter Sellers is so surreal that I’m now wondering if this film actually exists or was just a weird dream. ABC never aired it again and it became a bit of a lost classic for almost 50 years, until TCM resurrected it for occasional airing (though it seems they are showing an edited version with Henry Mancini’s music and credit removed, making this original unmodified version even rarer).


Awards: Two Emmy nominations – “Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment, Art Directors and Set Decorators” (Jack Wright Jr. and Gene Callahan), and “Outstanding Program Achievements in Entertainment” (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)

Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Screenplay: Rod Serling (based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
Cinematography: Arthur J. Ornitz
Production Design: Gene Callahan
Set Direction: Jack Wright Jr.
Music: Henry Mancini
Film Editing: Nathan Greene, Robert Lawrence
Cast: Sterling Hayden (Daniel Grudge), Eva Marie Saint (The Wave), Ben Gazzara (Fred), Barbara Ainteer (Ruby), Steve Lawrence (Ghost of Christmas Past), James Shigeta (The Doctor), Pat Hingle (Ghost of Christmas Present), Robert Shaw (Ghost of Christmas Future), Peter Sellers (Imperial Me), Britt Ekland (The Mother), Peter Fonda (The Son, his scenes were cut from the film but is still present in images on the set).