I too happened to catch this movie-title when it was about to air, and knowing about Mancini's song, and how lovely and dramatic its melody was, the title of the movie-to-air, made me curious if the 2 were somehow linked(?) -- as I couldn't remember if Mancini's famous Christmas album (and its memorable cover) had any liner-notes that mentioned the origin of this song in either THAT cd-release, or the remastered version which later went under a different album name and had Mancini's photo on it (but at least one can obtain the remastered version that way, unless of course Chip, if you know of a better pristine version of the song, and which album one can find it on?), but I watched the movie in bewilderment, especially when Robert Osborne mentioned Rod Serling having involvement with the picture, and I was so hoping the picture, and the famous carol (that's a part of The Yule Log's famous roster; rightfully so), would be linked together. So reading your news Master-Chip of being a bit puzzled about its omission, is quite a mystery at this point; and considering Osbourne quoted that it "hadn't been shown since it was last shown in the 60s", perhaps he got hold of a too-early print or something which hadn't quite been given the Mancini treatment just yet.(?) So yes. Any digging up history of this, would be most welcomed Lawrence! As I watched this unique piece with a twist on the old Dickens tale, with great interest; noticing how well it was made, and what unique cinematography and directing it had (good transitions into other scenes), as well as a fine cast. But when I didn't hear the famous carol in which I was certain it was linked to while watching the whole thing, I was sure hoping that perhaps it was being saved for the film's poignant closing; and was so saddened that it wasn't, that I began to realize that in no way, could Mancini, and the movie, have anything to do with each other.
Being a lover of film, I couldn't help but wonder how it would've brought even MORE to this memorable picture (which seemed to include an entire array of race-equality overtones, right down to its closing shot!), to have had Mancini and the movie be linked together. That carol has a way of building its melody on lush classicalness upon its intro, then dives into one of the most beautiful and surprisingly elongated abridgments EVER! I have the 2-disc Varese "Thorn Birds" soundtrack (in which they goofed up a bit a few years back when releasing it because a few key instruments Mancini decided to use, were left out of Varese's mix), and I recall that the piece listed on that soundtrack for one of the epic-mini-series' Christmas scenes, has traces of Carol For Another Christmas; I saw Thorn Birds first, before having ever come across Carol For Another Christmas, is the reason I noticed this sounded a bit familiar to me, even though Carol came out years before Thorn Birds did. But yes, sometimes, the score can lift the movie from unique ... and lead it into legend land. So the omission of Mancini's score on TCM's presentation, was sincerely a sad thing for the viewer; SO sad in-fact, that when my ear didn't HEAR the carol that matched its title during any frame of its story, I almost felt let DOWN and almost wanted to regret having ever watched it; but just couldn't, because it was such a well-made film, especially for a telefilm, and to know that's how telefilms were made then, my GOSH; how far we've slid off the production-value of telefilming SINCE! To newcomers, the MOVIE Carol For Another Christmas, if anything, serves as a great classic text-book example of how well-produced, written, acted, and directed TELEfilms once were, in addition to a further peek into Rod Serling's mind; which in MY mind, has always been a genius, that evolved us entirely, by tricking us into watching spooky Twilight Zone episodes, then delivering subtle social-commentary THROUGH that spook; how perfect it was, for a man such as him, to have been involved with this GEM of a picture. Wish they still made movies this well today, and WISHED they would've aired (or found) the print that contained Mancini's music.
From what I have come to understand, Mancini always preferred (as many composers did in his era) that his films have their own separately recorded scores for their soundtrack-albums, rather than use the actual score he did for the desired picture. And although we all settled for those re-scored-for-album-presentation-soundtrack-versions-of-the-films for a few decades, recently, a few of his works have been dug up for full-scale-presentation on CD; finally representing his original scores (as heard in the films themselves), and audiences, young and old, have eaten these up; with complete-scored films such as "Charade" and "Hatari" getting wonderful releases from the Intrada Records label this past year I believe, as well as a few expansive Pink Panther releases from other labels. Many are now PRAYING "Breakfast At Tiffany's" will soon finally have ITS complete score out soon TOO! Especially given that it was one of his best, and launched the song "Moon River" into the world-lexicon, straight into Andy Williams' wondrous version of it. I would love if a SOUNDTRACK to Carol For Another Christmas was made, including all music used, and UNused.
Forgive me if this has been written somewhere else Master Chip, but the print that was aired on TCM a few weeks back, the music they used in that version, is ANY of that score Mancini's do you know? I couldn't help but ponder, while watching it. Granted, it was well scored, but the missing famous carol, would've SO pushed the film into tear-duct land, had it just been used a few times; such as opening-credits, subversive element theme midway, and then in closing with full disclosing of the complete song that's now so famous; perhaps with the scene in the kitchen. That wonderful part in the song when it modulates into an almost entirely different and more dramatic piece that tugs at the heart and one's Christmas past, can already make us shed emotion, just for how transportive the carol, by itself, truly IS; so I'll have to acquire this release sometime, and will hope for a blu-ray HD release of it sometime. Loved the subtle tone in everyone's acting in the picture. Would've loved it even MORE, if Mancini's transcending Carol For Another Christmas had been used; particularly in the closing scene. God only know what was going on in Mancini's brain to come with such an original piece for not only Christmas, but for a movie; and in MY rule-of-thumb, any movie scored by Mancini, which DOESN'T utilize his tracks in the finished product, is truly a sad thing; given that he was so full of emotional range. It's good to see that a few were already discussing this song and the movie, here on the blog, when I thought I would've been the only one who caught it. I hope a more-correct Thorn Birds soundtrack gets put out sometime soon too; that was one of Manicni's most original and beloved melodic compositions.