The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)

  • Year: 1978
  • Released: 23 Dec 1978
  • Country: United States
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: TV-PG
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
  • Runtime: 60 min
  • Writer: Janice Torre, Romeo Muller, Charles Dickens
  • Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
  • Cast: Walter Matthau, Tom Bosley, Theodore Bikel
  • Keywords: holiday, christmas, anime,
100% – Critics
58% – Audience

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The Stingiest Man in Town Movie Reviews


There were three main reasons why I wanted to see The Stingiest Man in Town. One was that I simply adore the story A Christmas Carol, for me the quintessential Christmas story and easily the most accessible of Charles Dickens’ work. Two was that I have loved a lot of what Rankin/Bass have done, Rudolph The Red Nosed, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town, Frosty the Snowman and The Year Without a Santa Claus are classics. And three, anything with Walter Matthau, Tom Bosley or both are well worth watching. I found myself loving The Stingiest Man in Town, it doesn’t quite surpass the 1969, 1971 and Disney animated versions of the story, but it is miles ahead of the 2001 one. The animation is similar to the style of Twas the Night Before Christmas, which is a good thing as that special was beautiful to look at as well with character designs that are distinctive traditional-animated Rankin/Bass and simple but atmospheric colours and backgrounds. The music is also great, with whimsical scoring and songs that are guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings in some way or another, Yes There is a Santa Claus is very touching. The dialogue is sweet and well-meaning while never falling into the over-sentimentality trap, while the story is charming, heart-warming and moving as well as true in spirit to the Christmas Carol story. If there was any complaint I had of the special actually, it was that I did find the Ghost of Christmas Future, admittedly though that part is not as lengthy as the past and present parts in the first place, part too brief and rushed. The characters all engage, Scrooge’s change from miser to humble is very convincing as it ought to be, B.A.H.Humbug was a good narrator-character, the spirits are imposing and the Cratchit family you can always relate to. The voices are spot on, Walter Matthau isn’t the best singer in the world but he still makes for a brilliant Scrooge, and Tom Bosley’s voice work as Humbug is done with a lot of warmth. All in all, a lovely special and a more than worthy animated adaptation of the timeless story. 9/10 Bethany Cox

This story seems awfully familiar.

I am sure I have seen this tale in some other incarnation somewhere before, I swear.

In a bizarre, alternate history London, where everyone apparently speaks with an American accent, Ebeneezer Scrooge (Walter Matthau) is about to be visited by ghosts…sound familiar yet? As Bart Simpson once said, TV writers have been milking that goat for years. The Stingiest Man in Town is not the best version of Scrooged…I mean A Christmas Carol, but it’s a nice intro to the story for kids. Back in the days when lots of obscure children’s animation were released on VHS by flash-in-the-pan distributors I rented this 50-minute cartoon and it kinda stayed with me.

Still, Mickey’s Christmas Carol is the best animated version.

Underrated Classic

This movie is one of the best renditions of “a Christmas carol” that i have ever seen, and yet most people have never heard of it! it doesn’t get to all aspects of Dickens’ original work, but it hits all the major points, and is coupled with great creative and original songs that get stuck in your head for days. The third person narration by B.A.H. Humbug it a very cute extra touch. In my opinion, the movie is neck-in-neck with Mickey Mouse for the best take on “Carol.” It doesn’t always get a yearly playing, but it is definitely worth keeping your eye out when scanning your TV guide around Christmas. It is really a fantastic retelling of a classic!!