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A Christmas Carol (movie, 2009)

50 years later, Charlie Brown turns out to be a 'Christmas' winner after all

50 years later, Charlie Brown turns out to be a 'Christmas' winner after all

When they finished making "A Charlie Brown Christmas" 50 years ago, the producers sat back and looked at their work. And they thought: Good grief.

"We just thought it was a little slow, and it was certainly not a traditional Christmas show," said Lee Mendelson, the producer who persuaded "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles M. Schulz to adapt his popular strip about lovable loser Charlie Brown and his childhood friends into an animated holiday offering. "When you're too close to something, you get a little worried."

A week before the December 1965 premiere, they screened it in New York for CBS, where two executives watched in stony silence. When...

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