Ghost Of Dickens' Past, The
G
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +4

FEATURE FILMS FOR FAMILIES has produced another high quality, engrossing drama in its latest feature film, THE GHOSTS OF DICKENS' PAST. Although rated G, this superbly produced and acted story is not primarily for young children. Instead, it will appeal mostly to children over 8 years of age as well as to their parents and grandparents. It's unique storyline is developed around the actual events which influenced Charles Dickens in his writing of his famous story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Set in London in the mid 1800's, it tells how a mysterious, ghostly 12 year old girl(Jennifer Bertram) appears to Dickens (Christopher Heyerdahl) as he is struggling to write his next book. She is one of many poor children who must work long, arduous hours in British child labor factories . But she has a loving spirit and exhorts Dickens not to write just for money, but to help others less fortunate than he with his stories. In doing this, she introduces him to her poor, but loving family with a crippled son, and a man who once exploited child labor in his business but now has had a change of heart. These and other characters are clearly reminiscent of those in Dickens' CHRISTMAS CAROL . Some of Dickens' experiences are dream like, and have a powerful effect on his life. The mystery and intrigue of this partially fictionalized story will hold audiences in rapt attention. But its appeal may be somewhat limited by its rather melancholy, serious nature.

Like previous FEATURE FILMS FOR FAMILIES movies, this one has some compelling uplifting messages. Dickens recognizes that his life's work should benefit mankind, particularly the exploited children and poor families of his time. And he has a wise, caring friend, Miss Couts(Sheena Larkin), who suggests that God has sent him help in various way to develop his next book and that he should recognize this and be thankful. Interestingly, the film carries the same theme as Dickens' CHRISTMAS CAROL itself, namely, that employers should be concerned about the welfare of their employees, and that poor families will be happy and blessed if they too are based on love and concern . The film doesn't actually have any ghosts, but the young girl who helps Dickens appears and disappears in a rather mystical way. The working children are treated rather harshly and fight among themselves, while Dickens himself is roughed up by some hoodlums one night on a dark street. But this violence is realistic and not exploitive, As expected, this wholesome film is devoid of any foul language , nudity or sexual content. It is a very refreshing break from the degenerate, offensive nature of most current films.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Feature Films for Families, 5286 S. 320 W, Suite A-116, Murray, UT 84107

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Several Times-Moderate (hoodlums rough up man, children treated harshly in child labor factory, girl chased by hoodlums, children in factory fight each other, man tries to hit another with stick)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Girl mysteriously appears and disappears
Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Children over 8, teenagers and adults

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