On Christmas Eve in 1843 Ebenezer Scrooge (Sir Seymour Hicks) a cold-hearted and greedy elderly money-lender is seen working in his freezing counting house along with his suffering, under-paid clerk Bob Cratchit (Donald Calthrop). Two fellow business men arrive at the counting house to collect a donation for the poor from Scrooge but the old man instead supports the prisons and workhouses and goes as far to say if the poor would rather die then they ‘better do it and decrease the surplus population’. Scrooge catches Bob trying to take some coal but warns him he will be out of a job if he does not go back to work. Scrooge then refuses to dine with his only relative Fred his nephew and claims Christmas is ‘Humbug!’.
That night after work Bob goes home to celebrate the holidays with his family while Scrooge dines alone at a seedy pub while the lords and ladies of London celebrate Christmas with the Lord Mayor of London. At his house Scrooge encounters the ghost of his seven-year dead partner Jacob Marley (Who is invisible in this version) who wears a chain he ‘forged in life’ from his own wicked career. He tells Scrooge he will be haunted by three spirits in order to escape his fate.
That night as Marley warned Scrooge is haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Marie Ney) who shows Scrooge when he lost his fiancée due to his greedy nature towards others including a debt-ridden couple. Scrooge then sees that his ex-fiancée is now married and has many children.
The next sprit the Ghost of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche) shows Scrooge just how poor Bob and his family are as they have a meager Christmas dinner of goose and pudding. The spirit threatens that unless the future changes Tiny Tim (Philip Frost) the youngest son who is ill will die. Scrooge then sees how others keep Christmas before seeing Fred celebrate with his wife and friends.
The Ghost of Christmas of yet to Come (C.V. France) shows Scrooge what lies in store the following year. Scrooge discovers Tim is dead and that the man that was robbed and spoken of by some businessmen was himself after seeing his grave.
Scrooge returns home a changed man and becomes a generous person. He orders a turkey for Bob and his family, gives a healthy donation to the two men from the day before and dines with Fred. The film then ends with Scrooge raising Bob’s wages and that he will be a stepfather to Tim before the two attend church together.
By Henry Edwards and Julius Hagen (Scrooge (1935) at Internet Archive) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons