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The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

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The journey that led to Charles Dickens' creation of "A Christmas Carol," a timeless tale that would redefine the holiday.



(screenplay), (book)
3,109 ( 1,014)
1 win. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Mrs. Fisk
Jacob Marley
Mrs. Fezziwig
William Makepeace Thackeray
Mr. Grimsby
Signor Mazzini
Anna Murphy ...
Tara / Ghost of Christmas Past
John Forster


In 1843, the celebrated British novelist, Charles Dickens, is at a low point in his career with three flops behind him and his family expenses piling up at home. Determined to recover, Dickens decides to write a Christmas story and self-publish it in less than two months. As Dickens labors writing on such short notice, his estranged father and mother come to bunk with him. Still haunted by painful memories of his father ruining his childhood by his financial irresponsibly, Dickens develops a writer's block which seems to have no solution. As such, Dickens must face his personal demons epitomized through his characters, especially in his imagined conversations with Ebenezer Scrooge. Now with a looming deadline, Dickens struggles for inspiration against his frustrations and his characters' opinions in a literary challenge creating a classic tale that would define the essential soul of modern Christmas. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 November 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dickens: L'uomo che inventò il Natale  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,353,297, 26 November 2017, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,675,534, 21 January 2018
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Company Credits

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Did You Know?


At 87 years old Christopher Plummer is the oldest actor to ever play Scrooge. In fact Scrooge is apparently elderly in the book while in the previous films Scrooge is played by various middle aged actors. See more »


Despite their portrayal, Dickens and Thackeray were on very friendly terms in 1843. Their feud only started towards the end of the 1850's when Dickens became jealous of Thackeray being compared to him. Thackeray responded by publicly criticising Dickens' decision to abandon his wife. In addition, Thackeray boasts about the money his latest book has earned. In reality, Thackeray was a struggling hack writer in 1843. He didn't achieve a major success until the publication of Vanity Fair in 1847. Dickens and Thackeray were reconciled shortly before the latter's death in 1863. See more »


Featured in Box Office: Episode dated 30 November 2017 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

The Man Who Invented Christmas
26 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

The Man Who Invented Christmas, is an account whereas how much is purely fiction and how much is based on fact is completely unbeknownst to me, but it does make a very entertaining and at the same time heartwarming story of how author Charles Dickens came to write one of his most beloved stories, A Christmas Carol. The film takes place in the mid 1800's and Charles has just had a string of unsuccessful books and is badly in need of a bestseller and yet unfortunately he is currently having a bad bout of writer's block and no inspiration, or ideas seem to be forthcoming. As the Christmas season approaches and while Charles has various stresses as well as pressures of everyday life going on around him not only in his home and with his family, but with the mounting pressure of having to come up with the next big story and also find a way to pay the bills and keep the family afloat with some of their more lavish living and a new baby on the way as well. However as the tension builds, Charles eventually starts to get inspiration from the various people in his life from complete strangers he has chance encounters with to as well considering his own past and his relationship with his father. These spark ideas of a story set at Christmas and with various influences as well as based on the negativity and bitter spirit of those he meets in the street who seem to have much contempt and no empathy whatsoever of the homeless and the growing problem of poverty that surrounds the country, he then comes up with his lead character that will forever live on in infamy both on page and the screen with the name of Ebenezer Scrooge. Whilst Charles is trying to put the perfect story together, visions of the characters he has created narrate and show him visions of where the story should go as well as getting inspiration and insight from the everyday people in his life. This is not giving anything away, but we all know how the story eventually turns out, but an interesting side note to pay attention to is the creative process of writing and of Charles Dickens himself. Again, I have no idea how factual the information here really is, but like I mentioned earlier, it still makes for a very watchable and interesting film. Charles is plagued with writers block and at times he can be a ferocious beast to the ones around him including his own family and the people who serve and are loyal to him. Also whilst writing this new story and Scrooge coming to his eventual epiphany of living a different life than the cold, miserly and selfish one he once lead, this will eventually also touch Charles and elements of his own life and he will eventually come to the realization that perhaps he has been distant from his own family and loved ones and missed what is truly important in life as well as perhaps being just as cold and heartless as the character who he is writing. This is a perfect family film as it captures not necessarily the true meaning behind Christmas as few films really do, but it does show a sense of loving your neighbour and being kind to others and I think that in itself is a noble enough thing and something that will hopefully touch and shatter even the most hardened of hearts. We see how through his fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge, how he eventually learns more than anything else is how to love, be charitable and help your fellow man. Charles whatever he was like in reality makes an interesting counter point to the Scrooge character and drives home a valuable lesson here as well as making it's subject matter entertaining and well done technically as a film as well as boasting some excellent cinematography and it's attention to detail for that time period is exquisite and seems to have been excellently researched and developed. The acting is all very good here as well and allows for times of both laughter as well as more touching and humane moments as well. The cast who for me were mostly newcomers who I was unfamiliar with all do a serviceable job here and should definitely be commended on a job well done. As far as modern Christmas films go this is definitely one of the better ones to have come out lately and it succeeds not just because of the warmth it gives, but also championing the spirit of love and goodwill to your fellow man as well as being a film that is appropriate for the whole family and also one that all should enjoy. For these merits alone this film is one to see during this Christmas season and should be a staple on television as well on Christmases to come become it definitely has the potential to become a classic.

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