Box art for A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (1938)

children & family

In this adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale, an elderly miser learns the error of his ways on Christmas Eve when he is visited by ghosts from Christmases past, present and future.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
0 out of 5

A gentle, less scary version of the classic.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that younger viewers might still be unnerved by the ghosts.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what Christmas is really about. Families with teens can compare this movie to later versions. The theme that one man's cruelty affects the lives of many is a worthwhile subject for families to discuss. Families may also want to discuss how people survive and deal with unfair circumstances. How do the Cratchits cope?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A lovely and passionate classic recreation of the legendary tale. It retains the compellingness of the story and holds very good acting, a smooth pacing, excellent effects for the time and many more pros. All characters are very strong, felt for and loveable, expressing human compassion and joy without exaggerating. Ultimately, the film is an exciting and entertaining masterpiece that will have you applauding with the biggest of smiles on your face.

- crossbladezero, Monday, December 20, 2010

5 stars

This is film number 7 of 30, the first and original Christmas Carol. Thought I have seen many different versions of this film, this is the first time I have seen this edition, and I must say it's the best by far, old school black and white film. Scrooge is played as good as one can play that part, the ghost are not meant to be scary and there not. This version is an excellent family film that can be watched by all. 5 Stars

- bbcfloridabound, Monday, November 22, 2010