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In 1860, the stingy and cranky Ebenezer Scrooge that hates Christmas; loathes people and defends the decrease of the surplus of poor population runs his bank exploiting his employee Bob Cratchit and clients, giving a bitter treatment to his own nephew and acquaintances. However, in the Christmas Eve, he is visited by the doomed ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley that tells him that three spirits would visit him that night. The first one, the spirit of past Christmas, recalls his miserable youth when he lost his only love due to his greed; the spirit of the present Christmas shows him the poor situation of Bob's family and how joyful life may be; and the spirit of future Christmas shows his fate. Scrooge finds that life is good and time is too short and suddenly you are not there anymore, changing his behavior toward Christmas, Bob, his nephew and people in general. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When young Ebenezer and Isabelle are on the horse-drawn carriage in the countryside (shortly after the Fezziwig ball), there is a white car crawling its way along a country lane in the far background, midway between the centre and right-hand side of the screen. See more »
[In front of a toy store window]
Well, my loves, which one do you like best, eh?
I like the dolly in the corner.
I like all of them.
Good boy? And why not one in particular?
Well... you said I can't have none of them, so I might as well like them all.
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The phrase "Merry Christmas" appears at the end of the movie. See more »
In this delightful musical adaptation of The Charles Dickens' classic, Albert Finney is cast as Ebenezer in `Scrooge,' directed by Ronald Neame, who successfully manages to put a fresh face on the familiar tale. Original music and songs (by Leslie Bricusse), from the jaunty to the poignant, add to this uplifting and appealing version, skillfully crafted and delivered by Neame, and beautifully acted by one and all. At 7:00 on Christmas Eve, Scrooge finally tears himself away from his counting house and makes his way home, commenting along the way (in song) that `I Hate People,' only to be greeted at his front door by the apparition of his late partner, Jacob Marley (Alec Guinness). And of course for Scrooge, it's only the beginning of a night that will change his life forever. First, the visit from Marley's ghost, followed, in succession, by the spirits of Christmas Past (Edith Evans), Christmas Present (Kenneth Moore) and Christmas Yet To Come (Paddy Stone). Though not, perhaps, the definitive portrayal of Scrooge, Finney is outstanding and does lend some distinction to the character of the curmudgeonly miser, from the stoop-shouldered walk he affects to his twisted mouth. But, more importantly, he gets beyond the mere physical aspects to capture the personality and singular perspectives of the man as well, and in doing so makes his Scrooge unique; no small accomplishment considering how many times on stage and screen this character has been done, and by how many different actors. Also turning in notable performances are Edith Evans, who makes her spirit of the past warm and accessibly intimate, and Kenneth Moore, whose spirit of the present is as big and engaging as the life he represents. But the real highlight of the film is the portrayal of Marley's ghost by Alec Guinness. What a magnificent actor, and what a magnificent performance! When Marley first enters Scrooge's room he fairly glides, disjointedly across the room, encumbered by the chains he forged in life and which he now must carry around for eternity. There is a fluid rhythm to his every movement, to every step he takes, that lends a sense of the ethereal to him, without-- it must be noted-- the help of any special effects whatsoever. With nuance and precision, with care given to every minute detail, Guinness truly makes him an otherworldly presence. There has never before been, nor will there ever be in the future, an interpretation of Marley any better than this. It IS the definitive portrayal, and a tribute to talents and abilities of one of the great actors of all time.
In addition to the music and songs, there are a couple of scenes that consign this presentation of `A Christmas Carol' the stamp of uniqueness. The first involves the visit from Marley's ghost, wherein Scrooge is taken in flight by Marley, and once aloft they encounter lost souls and phantoms, doomed to wander aimlessly for all eternity. The second is courtesy of the Ghost of the Future, who gives Scrooge a glimpse of the nether world, where he is greeted by Marley, who shows him to the `office' he will occupy for eternity, as well as the massive chain Scrooge has forged for himself during his lifetime. The supporting cast includes Anton Rodgers (Tom Jenkins), who delivers one of the most memorable songs, `Thank you very much;' Mary Peach (Fred's wife), Kay Walsh (Mrs. Fezziwig), Laurence Naismith (Mr. Fezziwig), David Collings (Bob Cratchit), Frances Cuka (Mrs. Cratchit), Richard Beaumont (Tiny Tim) and Suzanne Neve (Isabel). Heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining, `Scrooge' is a welcome addition to the annual holiday festivities. It's always fun to see a new spin on a familiar story, especially when it's as well crafted as this; moreover, this one will leave you whistling a tune and humming for the rest of the day, maybe even for the rest of the year. And that's a deal that's just too hard to pass up. I rate this one 9/10.
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