In 1964, ABC premiered "A Carol for Another Christmas," a made-for-TV movie written by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling as a modernization of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The film, which aired only once on December 28, 1964, is both a retelling of the classic tale and a call for cooperation between nations. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (whose profile photo conjures up "Bob Dobbs"), it was presented as a commercial-free "United Nations Special" and features theme music by Henry Mancini. (via Everlasting Blort)
In Rod Serling's update of Charles Dickens, industrial tycoon Daniel Grudge (Sterling Hayden) has never recovered from the loss of his 22-year-old son Marley (Peter Fonda), killed in action during Christmas Eve of 1944. The embittered Grudge has only scorn for any American involvement in international affairs. But then the Ghost of Christmas Past (Steve Lawrence) takes him back through time to a World War I troopship. Grudge also is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Pat Hingle), and the Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Shaw) gives him a tour across a desolate landscape where he sees the ruins of a once-great civilization.
JohnSeal (IMDB review):
If Ayn Rand had watched this film when it was first broadcast on American television, she no doubt would have had palpitations. Carol for Another Christmas not only revels in bleeding heart humanism, it also drives a stake through the heart of the Randian philosophy of objectivism. That must have been galling for acolytes of Rand in 1964, but here we are in 2013, and after forty or fifty years of relentless anti-humanist propaganda we now live in a world where the quaint liberalism of Rod Serling has been displaced by – you guessed it – the selfish anti-communitarianism of Ms. Rand. This development would have disgusted the vast majority of Americans in 1964, who would have answered Daniel Grudge's (Sterling Hayden) question to The Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Shaw) – 'must it be like this?' – in the negative. The ghost, however, doesn't respond – and now, sadly, we know the answer.