Monday, December 14, 2009

Vincent Price Narrates A Christmas Carol

When cable television first hit Baltimore County in the early 80s, I was fascinated by all the old, obscure stuff the fledgling cable channels would dig up to fill air time. Each Christmas, The Christian Broadcasting Network (which later became The Family Channel) would air an extremely old television version of A Christmas Carol narrated by Vincent Price. The production budget must have been under $10 and the story is hopelessly truncated, but the sheer cheesiness of the whole thing made me fall in love with it. I especially like how Vincent Price is pretending to read directly from Dickens' text, but much of what he is saying does not appear in the book. It's just exposition created to fill in the bits of the story they didn't have time for or couldn't afford to shoot. The whole thing feels like you're watching a local church group production.

Each year, I would seek out this little treasure, but by the mid-80s, CBN had become too sophisticated to run such an old, rickety gem. I was certain I would never see it again, but thanks to the wonders of teh internets, here it is again. It certainly won't put Robert Zemeckis out of business, but it's kinda fun:

1 comment:

The Carrie Kelley Fan Series Blog said...

I took note of this! Look for a 9-year-old child actress by the name of Jill Oppenheimer. She went on to appear in Batman and in a James Bond film (Diamonds Are Forever, 1971), as well as marry actor Robert Wagner. Of course, I am talking about Jill St. John!

And yes, this is cheesy, but it is also a very, very early television production. Thank you for sharing this!