A Christmas Cheer by Clint Ford | Script Revolution

A Christmas Cheer

When Scrooge passes away years after his redemption and learns Jacob Marley still roams the earth in chains, he puts his Eternal Reward at risk so to confront Marley’s own Spirits of Christmas.



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Based On: 
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

EBENEZER SCROOGE (75), a formerly cold-hearted businessman and miser, has enjoyed the benefits of his soul’s redemption for the past seven years, thanks in no small part to a haunting by his condemned former business partner, JACOB MARLEY (75). When Scrooge awakens on Christmas Eve morning a surprise guest at his own funeral, he is elated to be greeted by the ghost of his long-departed, beloved sister, FAN (25), come to escort him to his Eternal Reward earned from his goodness and charitable works. But when Scrooge learns he will be joining everyone in paradise except Marley – his own redeemer – he refuses to enter. Fan pleads with Scrooge but he is adamant: he will not accept his Reward until he has done everything in his power to rescue Marley from his tragic fate. Fan relents and agrees to summon Marley’s own Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come, Present, and Past so Scrooge may plead his case. In the event they all agree, Marley will be released from his eternal condemnation.
1AM: Scrooge first encounters Marley’s GHOST OF CHRISTMAS YET TO COME – a beautiful, young spirit which glows with the light of Christmas. Yet to Come takes Scrooge to the bedroom of another old miser. In secret, they witness Marley’s warning to the miser as Marley sends him off to confront the miser’s own Christmas spirits. Yet to Come and Scrooge then present themselves to Marley, explaining why they are there. Yet to Come has seen the good works Marley has done (and will do) as a condemned spirit, visiting those whom have lost their kindness and the spirit of Christmas, and helping them to become redeemed – just as he did with Scrooge. Marley is touched, but his hopeless heart has already accepted his fate. Only when Marley’s own Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come reveals she has already chosen to free him does finally agree to accompany Scrooge to plead Marley’s case to the remaining two spirits.
2AM: Scrooge & Marley suddenly arrive at the home of EMILY (40) and BOB CRATCHIT (45). They are greeted by Marley’s GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT – an enormous man resembling a young Santa Claus, but in green. They witness the arrival of a visitor, JOHN STUART MILL. Mill has arrived to inform the family that, not only has their son, Tim, been accepted to the prestigious University College London, but he has been granted a full scholarship – thanks to an endowment from a deceased UCL alum: Jacob Marley. Scrooge uses this in his case, but Present is still not convinced. The spirits are then whisked away to Marley’s home – which now stands derelict and is inhabited by the homeless. While Present tries to refuse to believe Marley intended to leave his home to the homeless, Scrooge is able to prove otherwise. Begrudgingly, Present relents and agrees to release Marley, but he cautions the men about their final obstacle: convincing Marley’s Past to do the same.
IN HIS OWN GOOD TIME: Scrooge & Marley ultimately find themselves in the presence of Marley’s GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST – a speechless, floating mass of fluid black – full of rage and hatred for Marley. Scrooge begins to plead his case for his friend, but Past is unwavering. Scrooge demands to see the reasons behind Past’s refusal, and Past takes the spirits through time – displaying offense after offense, crime after crime, and immorality after immorality – all the way back to Jacob’s youth. So much so, that Marley himself begins to give up and believe his punishment is deserved. At the last minute, Scrooge mounts one final, brilliant argument in support of his friend, proving that – while Marley is guilty of past crimes – so, too, was Scrooge, and he was redeemed. Scrooge notes Marley’s great works of redemption over the last seven years are also in his past, and should therefore be counted.
Scrooge & Marley are returned to the cemetery where they are buried, Marley still shackled and chained. Marley woefully thanks Scrooge for his efforts and accepts his fate. It is only then that his chains, shackles and lock-boxes begin to collapse and disintegrate. Marley’s Christmas Spirits appear to reveal he has been forgiven, but with a caveat – he must continue his redemptive work each Christmas. Scrooge chooses to join Marley on his Christmas redemption missions, and Marley is finally allowed to experience the joy of the spirit of Christmas before accompanying Scrooge to their mutual Eternal Reward.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Winner, Script Summit 2020
Semifinalist, Roadmap Writers - JumpStart Writing Competition 2020
Semifinalist, ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship 2021
Semifinalist, The Script Lab - TSL Free Screenplay Contest 2021
Semifinalist, ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition 2020
Second Rounder, Austin Film Festival 2021
Semifinalist, Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards Winter 2020
Second Rounder, Launch Pad Feature Competition 8th Annual
Semifinalist, WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Lab Spring 2021
Semifinalist, Filmmatic - Inroads Fellowship 3rd
Quarterfinalist, Emerging Screenwriters - Genre Screenplay Competition 2020
Quarterfinalist, Dallas International Film Festival's Screenwriting Competition 2020
Semifinalist, Big Apple Film Festival Screenplay Competition Fall 2020
Official Selection, Coverfly - Pitch Week Fall 2020
Official Selection, WildSound Screenplay Festival May 2020

Submitted: April 8, 2020
Last Updated: April 22, 2023

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The Writer: Clint Ford

A former Disney staff writer, Clint Ford has been professionally writing since 1998. Along with performing character voice overs and writing novels, Clint is currently a full-time writer seeking literary representation for his feature film scripts. Go to bio

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