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Tear Jerker / A Christmas Carol (1984)

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  • Fred isn't quite as boisterous as most versions, and he quietly asks Scrooge why they can't be friends early on, wanting nothing but to know his uncle. The frequent comparisons to his mother, who died giving birth to him, make it sadder.
  • Jacob Marley sincerely regrets never being as charitable as he ought to have been in life, and honestly wants nothing more than for his old friend to avoid making the same mistake. The music when he first appears is melancholy, reinforcing this.
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  • After hearing Jacob Marley's tale and how haunted he is, Scrooge feels sorry for him and asks if there's anything he can do for him. Marley sadly replies that it's too late.
  • Young Scrooge is alone reading books for company, without any real friends. When the Ghost of Christmas Past mentions this, present-day Scrooge asks if the characters in the stories weren't real, as they were dear friends to him.
  • Fan tells young Scrooge that their father has changed and wishes him home. When Scrooge meets him, however, he's still cold and dismissive of his son and only sees him for three days before making him work at Fezziwig's. The look on present-day Scrooge's face is very pained.
  • Young Scrooge tells Belle he'll go through life with a grin on his face. Present-day Scrooge smiles at that before frowning as he reflects on it.
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  • Scrooge, upon seeing his younger self break up with Belle, says "I almost went after her." The Ghost of Christmas Past replies that "'Almost' carries no weight, especially in matters of the heart."
  • When Belle's husband tells her about Scrooge working alone and miserable, she's quite saddened by the life he has made for himself. Ebenezer snaps that he doesn't need her pity before Christmas Past helpfully reminds him that Belle can't hear him.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge a family of four living on the streets, eating food picked up from the ground after it fell off a wagon, with the father desperate enough to split up if it means they'll be okay, but the mother refuses and insists they stay together. Their children also worry that their father has become a thief when he procures food for them.
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  • The Cratchits' grief when Tiny Tim dies in the future, especially Bob's. He puts on a cheerful face and is thankful for his remaining family, and starts to break down when he relates Fred meeting him and expressing sympathy for the loss.
  • Scrooge completely breaks down on seeing his own grave in the future, falls at the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come's feet sobbing and pleading "Spare me," then appears back on the bed.
    • George C. Scott's performance here is especially worthy of note; he's been fairly restrained even in his energetic moments throughout the film, but he absolutely goes to the mat here, powerfully committing that the spirits will strive within him and howling "I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!"
  • After Scrooge reconciles with Fred and his wife, Janet tells him he's made them both very happy. Scrooge responds with a quiet "Have I?" as if he'd never heard that said before.
    • "God forgive me for the time I've wasted."


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