The Dickens You Say by Jerry Robbins | Script Revolution

The Dickens You Say

When fictional characters materialize from a magical first edition of "A Christmas Carol" into a young woman's living room, she tries her best to keep them out of the town and out of trouble.



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SYNOPSIS: Brooke Copley (30), bookstore owner, is astonished to lay eyes on the very first signed edition of A Christmas Carol, brought in by Hugh Chatwin (30s), English and quite dashing. He inherited the book and wishes to have it appraised. Brooke is swept up by Hugh's gentlemanly sweetness and awkwardly proposes a lunch date, which he graciously accepts. At lunch, Hugh notices how charmed and enthusiastic Brooke is about the book and insists she takes it home with her to read.

She sets down to read the famous tale from beginning to end. That night, awakened by noises, she is shocked to find a crew of Dickens characters have taken over her home! Old Scrooge, Young Scrooge, Belle, Tiny Tim and The Ghost of Christmas Present are as perplexed as she is. They explain that because she read it in one sitting, her favorite characters materialized from the book and will stay until Christmas Eve.

Brooke tells them to stay put in the house. Wanderlust prevails and the brooding Belle strolls into the park, drawing the attention of a policeman. Likewise, Tiny Tim lands the role of Tiny Tim in the local theater's play to the disgust of the competing boys and their ruthless stage mothers-one of whom plots to have him removed by the Department of Social Services.

In their search for Tim, Young Scrooge and Ghost of Christmas Present stop for a bite at the local diner where Brooke and Hugh just happen to be enjoying their second lunch date. The cat's out of the bag and she tries to explain it all to Hugh, but not before she is told of Tiny Tim's disappearance. They find Tim walking home from his audition, secretly followed by the stage mother, who witnesses the reunion of this strange "family."

All are assembled at the house when an eviction notice for Brooke's bookshop is delivered. She privately confesses to Hugh that she should just give up her store, but Hugh sees the love she has for these old books and encourages her with an (almost) kiss-abruptly cut short by the oblivious Scrooge who asks Hugh for a ride to the bank.

Scrooge enters the office of Joe Travis (60s), the miserly bank manager, warning him that he'll be visited by a spirit unless he retracts the foreclosure; then employs Christmas Present to materialize in Travis' bedroom that evening, a la Jacob Marley, to complete the scare!

D.S.S removes Tiny Tim and brings him to a halfway house. Young Scrooge and Belle, disguised as modern physicians, convince the house's social worker that Tim is dangerous and must be released into their custody. As the three climb into Hugh's get-away car, the social worker realizes the scam.

It's Christmas Eve and all the characters finally reunite. Travis arrives and cancels the foreclosure - but the police close in for an arrest. They find nothing except a sparkling mist dissipating over the magical book.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Semi-Finalist in The Comedy Screenplay Awards. 

Submitted: August 4, 2020
Last Updated: October 27, 2022

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The Writer: Jerry Robbins

I'm a produced writer of two features - CATCH THE BULLET (Lionsgate) and THE LEGEND OF LAKE HOLLOW (Penumbra Films, being released in 2023). My screenplay THE UNEXPECTED ROMANCE OF CAPTAIN SAM is under option with Citizen Skull Productions. I began in the world of audio dramas, writing 480 audio drama scripts (features and series episodes) that were hosted on Sirius/XM Radio for eight years. In that time, with the Colonial Radio Theatre, I was fortunate to have collaborated with Ray Bradbury, William Luce, and Walter Koenig on various audio productions. I adapted one of my audio dramas into a screenplay, which later resulted in my leaving audio behind to write exclusively for film - my true... Go to bio
Agency: Stephanie Rogers & Associates
Manager: Stephanie Rogers

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