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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Preachy and heavy-handed version doesn't work

4/10
Author: highwaytourist from United States
17 December 2009

The premise of an African-American female Scrooge in the modern, struggling city was inspired, but nothing else in this film is. Here, Ms. Scrooge is a miserly banker who takes advantage of the employees and customers in the largely poor and black neighborhood it inhabits. There is no doubt about the good intentions of the people involved. Part of the problem is that story's roots don't translate well into the urban setting of this film, and the script fails to make the update work. Also, the constant message about sharing and giving is repeated so endlessly, the audience becomes tired of it well before the movie reaches its familiar end. This is a message film that doesn't know when to quit. In the title role, the talented Cicely Tyson gives an overly uptight performance, and at times lines are difficult to understand. The Charles Dickens novel has been adapted so many times, it's a struggle to adapt it in a way that makes it fresh and relevant, in spite of its very relevant message.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

wonderful adaption of _A_Christmas_Carol_

8/10
Author: Rich Franzen from Florida
27 December 1998

_Ms._Scrooge_ is a remake of Charles Dickens' _A_Christmas_Carol_. If you are tired of Scrooge as a crotchety old English guy, you can now see the same story modernized with an elderly black woman playing Scrooge. The adaption is well done, and the contrast with the original story is part of the fun.

Cicely Tyson plays Scrooge. I first noticed her years ago in the movie _Autobiograpy_of_Miss_Jane_Pittman_. That award-winning movie and _Ms._Scrooge_ together make an interesting set. In both, Cicely is shown at different times of her life to develop a personal history of how she became who she is now. While the _Autobiography_ is a better movie, _Ms._Scrooge_ is still very good.

The supporting cast does an excellent job. Perhaps Katherine Helmund goes over the top as Maude Marley, and she appears to be enjoying her state more than one would think a lost soul should. Still, she effectively sets the stage for what Scrooge is yet to experience. Julian Richings is totally eery as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Roles where actors don't speak have got to be hard to play, but Julian finds the way.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Another song for Christmas

7/10
Author: lastliberal from United States
16 December 2007

It amazes me how many ways a simple story like Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" can be interpreted. We have the pleasure of watching Cicely Tyson (Idlewild, A Lesson Before Dying) in another strong role.

John Korty, who directed Ms. Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, again directs her as Ms. Ebenita Scrooge. Veteran writer John McGreevey interprets the familiar tale.

Katherine Helmond ("Soap", "Whose the Boss") was funny as Marley, and Michael Beach ("Third Watch", Short Cuts) was super as her nephew.

It was a different twist on a familiar story, told from an African-American perspective, and it really warmed the heart.

Of course, you all know how it ends.

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A little modernization of the Christmas Carol

8/10
Author: colemyst from United States
16 December 2015

This is a well done version of The Christmas Carol. Giving a more modern taste to the setting and characters. I like that Scrooge has become a black woman, showing that not every tightfisted miser must be the typical old white guy. Ms.Tyson is excellent as a 20th century Scrooge. Michael Beach is also very good as her nephew and Reverend of the neighborhood. Katherine Helmond as Marley is over the top fun, I would have like to have seen more of her as a ghost.

One complaint is that the director didn't pull more emotions from some of the actors. With a few exceptions, much of the time people were in the middle of the road emotionally. Afraid to be too joyous or too desperately downtrodden. But overall a nice holiday movie to add to the season.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time!!!

1/10
Author: dramadr from United States
28 December 2014

Honestly, I can't believe this movie received money from backers to even be made.

The acting was abysmal. The editing was atrocious! The directing was lacking.

The story was ridiculous. The fact that they modernized this story wasn't an issue, others have done that very successfully. But why did they feel the need to turn Scrooge into a black woman? What purpose did that serve. I don't have an issue with that, but they didn't pull it off well at all. It was a poorly made statement that served no purpose to the story.

What a complete laugh. Absolutely horrible, not that I expected anything of higher quality from the Hallmark channel.

Don't waste your time.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

sorry to be an old humbug...

1/10
Author: mathorn from United States
27 December 2007

...but this has to be the worst A Christmas Carol adaptation of all time. And that takes some doing, what with the likes of various Lifetime efforts. Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against Cicely Tyson. I've enjoyed her tremendously in other roles (look at Sipsey in Fried Green Tomatoes, for example). But the script gives her no option but to chew the scenery. And chew it she does, with all the enthusiasm of Tiny Tim tying into a Christmas goose.

Give me the classics anytime: Alastair Sim, 1951. With the exception maybe of Scrooged, all the others are just over-the-top efforts to grasp the past, present, or future Spirit of Christmas.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Heart-Warming

10/10
Author: Ainsley_Jo_Phillips (penlady1952@riversongs.tv) from Anderson, Indiana
21 June 1999

Too many tragedies and disappointments made Ms. Scrooge start to build walls. She wasn't born that way. In fact, at the start of the show, she was very open and giving. As the spirits review her life, you share both the joys and sadness that have come her way--and feel sad at the way things will turn out if she doesn't change. The final scene will be sure to get to you even if nothing else gets to you first--and I can assure you that you'll, more likely than not, be "gotten to" and will be reaching for the tissues long before then!

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