Carol For Another Christmas – Tom Secker on PPR
Pearse invited me on his radio show to discuss the 1964 TV movie A Carol for Another Christmas. This was the first in a series of TV films designed to promote the United Nations and sponsored by the Xerox corporation. A Carol for Another Christmas is a remake of A Christmas Carol, only this time the protagonist’s three visions (of Christmases past, present and future) convince him to abandon his isolationist beliefs and embrace the UN’s vision of international affairs.
On today’s episode Tom Secker joins me for a Christmas themed episode. We discuss the 1964 television film Carol For Another Christmas. Commissioned by the United Nations and produced by the Xerox corporation this 1964 film would feature a disturbing retelling of A Christmas Carol. Tom and I discuss the people involved in this movie including director Joseph Mankiewicz, actor Sterling Hayden, and writer Rod Serling. We talk about some of the various intelligence connections some of the individuals had prior to making this film with the UN. Tom and I explore the film as a piece of propaganda and whether or not it succeeds in promoting the United Nations. We break down Peter Sellers amazing performance as “Imperial Me” the hyper-individualist cult leader who takes over in the post apocalyptic world with out the UN. We discuss how this fear based vision represents the “Liberal Consensus” of the UN: with out us there will be WWIII.
Through much of the second hour Tom and I devote time to laying out how ineffectual and corrupt the UN has become. We talk about the contradictory political messages the film presents us with and how this mirrors the many problems of the UN. Looking ahead to the future Tom and I discuss if we are headed to WWIII, and why so much of the news the past week has been decidedly dark for the Christmas season.
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