ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



Click on CAPCon
for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report

The Ghosts of Dickens' Past (1998), G
CAP Score: 95, CAP ID: 0.10

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

Become a

The Global

Christian Network

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.


"The Ghosts of Dickens' Past" (G) -- really was G! A great family film by Feature Films for Families. There were a couple matters which might require your intervention and counsel: physical assaults, robbery and attempted robbery, an adult kicking a chair out of anger, and fist fighting between children. But one issue that may have an indelible imprint in your child's mind is the dark and abusive child labor factory operations with a hateful labor master.

Of significant importance in "The Ghosts of Dickens' Past" there was no foul language! No sex! No murder! None of God's name in vain! And no "Go to -- , mom/dad!"

Though not a Christian film, pe se, the makers of this film were not afraid to give credit to God: were not afraid to admit His Sovereignty. It was a story of benevolence, charity, and prayer. In the shadows of Dickens' "Christmas Carol", a little girl about 12 years old portrayed an "angel" sent to pace Dickens through scenes from his past, of his present, and of his future. In this movie, only one angel led Dickens on the tour through his life instead of the three angels of the original "Christmas Carol." An argument between Dickens and the angel might suggest to your adolescent that s/he has the autonomy to argue with you, but the severity of the argument was not anywhere near even close to the arguments heard onscreen nowadays between parents and children: nothing like the "I hate you", "I'll kill you" "Kiss my ---" wordings now used by adolescents against their parents in even half-hour sitcoms for teens and late pre-teens. Nonetheless, such arrogance against fair authority is not in accordance with His expectations of us. Also, while not a matter for incoproation into scoring, some 'spritual' compression of time might need your attention.

While the intellect level needed for this movie is a little above that possessed by what I would expect to be the intended audience, sharing your wisdom with your child(ren) as you watch this show together should prove to be a bonding experience for the two (or more) of you and should have an experiential benefit for the kid(s). "The Ghosts of Dickens' Past" is a good job by Feature Films for Families.

FINDINGS / SCORING: The Ghosts of Dickens' Past (1998) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Impudence/Hate (I)(1) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Other examples of entertainment ignominy, each warranting the loss of the minimum point level, included

  • attempted robbery with assault and robbery with assault
  • child labor factory operations with hateful labor master
  • an adult kicking a chair twice out of anger
  • Dickens blamed God for abandoning him.
  • swinging of a four by four at a man

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Tax exemption applies in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Go back to the CAP Reports Page
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP)