First published in 1843, Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol achieved instant success. Laurence Olivier both narrates the tale and stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!” His wretched clerk, Bob Cratchit, is paid so meagre a wage that he cannot help his sickly son, Tiny Tim.
However, Scrooge has supernatural visitors in the form of his old, dead business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns against what may befall him, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. And just as icy winter gives way to the warmth of spring, so is his cold, pinched, unfeeling heart transformed and restored to the warmth and innocence of childhood. The true spirit of Christmas finally prevails.