The First Film Adaptation of A Christmas Carol (1901)

Australia might be able to claim the first feature film (1906), but here’s something from 1901!

As an appendix to our previous post on the interesting history of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, here is a link to a Youtube video containing the first known film adaptation of Dickens’s classic story. Directed by Walter R. Booth, the British-produced film was only a short piece, and the only surviving footage we have is incomplete. The film’s title was Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost. Until the 2011 discovery (or rather rediscovery) of a short film from 1900/1 called The Death of Poor Joe (based on the death of the crossing sweeper in Bleak House), this was the oldest known film adaptation of Dickens’s work.

Since the film was made in 1901, it is, of course, a silent film. As a result, a number of intertitles (pieces of filmed printed text edited into the midst of the photographed action of the film) had to be utilised. This was…

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