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Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge learns the error of his ways through the intervention of the ghost of his former partner and of three spirits in this faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic. Written by
Jerry Milani <email@example.com>
Although this film is widely regarded as the best film version of Charles Dickens' story, it is the only one which omits Scrooge's famous line: "If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart". Alastair Sim would eventually get a chance to say it however, when he reprised his role in the animated A Christmas Carol which also featured Michael Hordern returning as Marley. See more »
When Scrooge and Marley offer to buy up the company from Mr. Jorkin, the medium shots show Marley with his hands in his vest pockets, but every close-up has his hands clasped on his stomach. See more »
In life, my spirit never rose beyond the limits of our money-changing holes! Now I am doomed to wander without rest or peace, incessant torture and remorse!
But it was only that you were a good man of business, Jacob!
BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business! And it is at this time of the rolling year that I suffer most!
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The blatant plug first: If you haven't seen this film, you have deprived yourself of one of the great performances of all time. Do not miss the opportunity, order it, buy it, or just plain rent it at once.
When I was a boy my father introduced me to this version of Scrooge. I can remember how we had to all sit very quietly whilst he recorded the soundtrack from our TV using a mike onto his tape recorder. From there on in, every year at Christmas the tape would come out and we would listen to the soundtrack complete with the introduction music to the adverts. Eventually the tape became a cassette and then we had the video.
Now I am the owner of this magical film on DVD and there has not been a year pass me by that I haven't sat and watched the film at least once.
The joy of watching this version has never left me, and as other commentators have remarked, Alastair Sim as Scrooge, seems to provide everything that you could want in the part. The transition from miser to benefactor is handled well, with Sim fighting the spirits all the way: "I'm too old to change". The dizzy happiness of the final scenes in stark contrast to the character in the opening of the film.
Everytime I see this film I find myself captivated by the way Sim manages to find an inner character to Scrooge, one that has not previously revealed itself. The young Scrooge played by George Cole, may not be the nasty money grabbing character whilst interacting with his sister, working for Fezziwig, or courting Alice, but he doesn't have that intoxicated happiness, there is still something sour about him.
Perhaps that is what truly makes this film. If the novel is about redemption and a rediscovery of humanity, then Alastair Sim finds it in abundance within his portrayal.
I cannot reach the end credits without undergoing some form of renewal myself. The characterisation carries you with it. I have seen and heard this film at least 50 times and I still smile to myself whilst waiting for the words : "Cratchit! you're late." the attempt to keep up the old Scrooge breaking down very quickly.
Perhaps some more people in the world could do with a revelation such as this Scrooge undergoes. Would it be so bad if we all felt at times that: "I don't deserve to be so happy".
The other part I have always enjoyed is that of Kathleen Harrison as Mrs Dilber. Throughout she plays the put upon house keeper with great style. The comments she makes at Old Joe's are telling in their rightness and her initial reaction to the transformed Scrooge is bewilderment and terror in equal measure.
I am relieved to read that I am not alone in this world in being able to quote almost every line, and some of the these have become catch phrases in my family: "I always know" seems to be a favourite of my father :-)and a meal cannot pass without "ha'penny extra" being put forward if more bread is requested.
So to finish - let the enthusiasm of the other contributors and myself encourage you to at least try this film. And now to get this in the post: "I'll send it to Bob Cratchit. Label, label, label, label, must have a label."
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