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|Index||143 reviews in total|
I disagree with all of the critics. I always felt that this was the best Christmas movie ever made. Albert Finney is an incredible actor and he brings the character of Scrooge to life more than any other actor has. I personally never liked the Alistir Sims portrayal. Like some of the other comments, my family has a yearly tradition of saving this Christmas movie for the last one of the season to really get us in the Christmas spirit.
Christmas films, like Christmas songs, are a hugely personal choice,
and depend so much on childhood experience. But this is one film which
does not lose it's charm, no matter how often I see it. The songs, sets
and costumes are fantastic, the acting is inspired, and the musical
scenes are beautifully choreographed. In fact, there is no other
Christmas film, which has contributed so many songs to my Christmas
repertoire! The fact that this version is an English production also
helps considerably in the credibility department - the accents are
Aside from the scene in "hell", this film is admirably true to the spirit and content of Dicken's text, with some inevitable cuts which frankly, I didn't miss. More importantly, I have seen no other version which manages to combine the miserable qualities of Scrooge with the touches of wit and humour which Dickens so skillfully wrote with. Other versions of the film so often succeed at being dour, while failing to capture the joyous aspects of the story, and the humour Scrooge himself sometimes provides. Happily, this version Succeeds at both.
The 1951 version of the film, with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, is often touted as being the best. This may be where my age betrays me, but when I saw it recently, it left me feeling rather flat. Sim did a good job of appearing afraid of the ghosts, but where was his bitterness, skepticism and sarcastic wit? By contrast, Albert Finney's portrayal is a joy to watch - you cannot help but both love and hate the miserable old creature, which makes his transformation at the end all the more joyous.
The clever use of songs like "Father Christmas" and "Thank You Very Much" to convey very different sentiments at the end of the film than they do when first introduced in eaarlier scenes - marvelous!
Albert Finney, as the hilariously miserable Scrooge, singing "I hate People"
Alec Guinness as a truly original ghost of Jacob Marley - fantastic!
Kenneth More's Ghost of Christmas Present - what presence, what a costume!
Laurence Naismith as the exuberant Fezziwig - exactly as he should be, and a good dancer too!
Edith Evans (Elderly Ghost of Christmas Past), in response to Scrooge's "You don't look like a ghost", primly replying "Thank You!".
Mrs. Cratchhit's scream of shock when she realises who is delivering the enormous turkey to her door! I could watch it a hundred times!
...and too many others to mention. This movie was released on DVD this year - by all means see it!
I have just read a negative comment about this movie. I believe it's
the first I've ever encountered. Yes, I was a bit scared when I was
young, but I had reassuring parents and saw that in the end, it was
upbeat and fun.
One favorite part is while Bob Crachit and his kids are getting last minute things for Christmas Eve (During Christmas Children), there is such an obvious display of the differences between the rich and the poorer classes. The rich pick up their things and he, a poorer man, picks up what he can with his 15 schillings - yet stays upbeat, thankful and loving. It's really a beautiful scene.
I love to watch this movie at any time of the year. Albert Finney really nails this character. It's hard to believe that he was only 34 when he made this film. My kids (4 and 7) could not believe that was really him in the Christmas Past scenes.
The rest of the cast indeed are incredible. Bob Crachit was outstanding and so tender and the ghost of Christmas Present was so fun.
I attempted to watch the latest musical version with Kelsey Grammar, I really tried. It was a painful 15 minutes. You just can't create another musical version of this story that tops this one!
Scrooge is one of those films where you can sit down and let it wash all over you. Finney is the perfect Scrooge: despicable, mean, sarcastic and a lot better than others who have portrayed the miserly character. Scrooge's love and loss of Isabelle is touching as is Tiny Tim's song about his dream of Christmas. The depth of feeling, character and love combines into this absolutely wonderful musical which, while showing the horrific differences between the two classes of society, shows how they can be combined with a little Christmas cheer. By the end of the film, you might just find that there is a little more to Christmas than you thought. I dare you to watch it and sing along to all those catchy numbers!
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
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.
There have been so many versions of this literary masterpiece filmed that it is high praise indeed from me when I say this is easily my favourite version and one of the best. Albert Finney gives a tour-de-force performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge. He is barely middle-age when making the film yet gives one of the best cranky, curmudgeonly old man performances seen in film. Finney gives such life to lines that have become tainted by overuse over the years. All the performers do excellent jobs with some old English stalwarts lending a hand. Dame Edith Evans plays one of the most charming and pithy Ghosts of Christmas Pasts I have seen. Kenneth More, an under-appreciated actor, adds so much life as the Ghost of Christmas Present. And let's not forget Alec Guinness as the Ghost of Jacob Marley. In some moments he is a clown and others a very scary spirit. The scene where Scrooge sees his fate as being a co-worker of Marley's in Hell is one of the most innovative plot additions I have seen to this classic, timeless tale. Guinness hams it up; watch how he walks with those chains all over him. The actors playing Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Nephew Fred, Mr. Fezziwig, and so on are all very believable and give genuine performances. I love the music. I know some people are not musical people, but each song is catchy and some like "I Hate People," "I Like Life," "December the 25th," and the best "Thank You Very Much" will possibly remain in your head days after having seen the film. Because of its status as a tale of redemption and forgiveness and the possibility each of us have in changing our lives, A Christmas Carol(Scrooge) gets little recognition for being one of the greatest ghost stories ever written. I cannot say enough good about this film. What more can you ask for than good, solid acting, mellifluous tunes, authentic Victorian settings, and one heck of a good ghost story with a moral that each of us can relate to. If you don't like musicals, you will be put off by people combusting into song. As for me, Scrooge is the one version that my family and I make a point of seeing every holiday season. It just isn't Christmas here without it!
In response to the other comment posted, I can agree. This version is not
suitable for ALL ages. Parents should be advised to monitor their small
children and perhaps omit the more dramatic scenes involving the Ghost of
Christmas Future. When I share this movie with little friends under 12, I
take care to either distract them from those sections, or omit them,
to the power of the fast-forward button. (But really, today's kids 8-9
up see way more violent & scary stuff these days!)
However, having said that, I own a copy and have watched it faithfully every Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for nigh onto 20 years. It renews my spirit and reminds me of my responsibilities as a human being.
At the tender age of 12, my Dad took me to see "Scrooge" in the theater when it was released for Christmas. At only 12 years of age, the scenes of the Ghost of Christmas Future were quite vivid.
However, the movie made such an impression on me that it influenced my entire Life philosophy. "Mankind is our business" says Dickens through the Ghost of Christmas Present. This joyful movie filled with wonderful songs that bring me the Christmas Spirit every year. It also imparts the value of staying connected to matters of the spirit and heart, and illustrates the difficulties that arise when ones focus becomes only the material or the monetary. That is a valuable lesson to us all, not just at Christmas, but the whole year through.
I recommend this movie to everyone. Personally, I find it much more engaging and inspiring, not to mention, colorful, than any other version. The performances of all the actors are very entertaining. If you're the sentimental type, keep a hankie close by when Tiny Tim sings for his family at Christmas. What an angel!
Just my 2 cents worth!
This film is an underrated classic family musical. In the spirit and
tradition of Oliver! and My Fair Lady, with an energetic memorable score
an eclectic cast all on top form.
Sir Alec Guinness, Dame Edith Evans and the wonderful Kenneth Moore
Moore in one of the last roles before his untimely death, clearly enjoying
hamming it up as the ghost of Christmas present carrying the miserable
scrooge along for the ride of his life whilst singing `I like life!' is a
joy to see.
But Finney's performance is the standout. At a time when he was making films like Charlie Bubbles and Gumshoe, and with a reputation of being one of Britain's foremost angry young men this role was as unexpected as it was wonderful.
As a side note I was lucky enough to be able to see Anthony Newley as the miser in Bricusse's early nineties theatrical revival, and although good was no where near as cutting or humorous as Finney.
A must see at Christmas time, you too will be singing `I like life' and `thank you very much' for days afterwards!
I watched this movie again this year. It has become a tradition in our
household as one the family activities of the Christmas season. When it
came out of DVD last year, I was thrilled to see it widescreen since I
had never seen it in the theaters.
I see so many of the "professional" reviews pan this movie. My advice is to ignore them. Why do we listen to people who wouldn't know how to choreograph the most basic dance scene or perform the visually flawless flying wire shots. I appreciate the movie more and more each time I see it. The skill of the filmmaker is evident. I am very curious about the original 2.5 hour version talked about in several of these posts. I would like to know if this really exist. However, I might be disappointed since I have grown to love this film in this version.
I enjoyed the film and the songs. I especially liked " Thank You Very Much" and "Happiness", written by Leslie Bricusse. The critics panned the film but I enjoyed it and thought it was different to see a musical version of "A Christmas Carol". Unfortunately, I don't have cable TV so I can't see it anymore on TV. I saw it back in 1970 at the Radio City Music Hall plus I got a live Christmas show,too. It cost about $2.50 then! I thought Albert Finney was very good as Mr. Scrooge. Alec Guiness dis a strange performance of Marley's Ghost. The sets showing Victorian London looked very authentic. I wish they would make musicals like this rather than these silly teenage comedies.
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