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A Christmas Carol (1908)

5.8
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The miser Scrooge passes down a London street the morning before Christmas, on his way to his counting house. So much is he detested that no one speaks to him until a beggar approaches, ... See full summary »

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(short story)
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Title: A Christmas Carol (1908)

A Christmas Carol (1908) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Cast

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Tom Ricketts
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Storyline

The miser Scrooge passes down a London street the morning before Christmas, on his way to his counting house. So much is he detested that no one speaks to him until a beggar approaches, asks for alms, and is angrily stricken to the ground. A spirit appears and tells the miser that the beggar will again appear that night. Scrooge approaches his counting house, and as he is entering, the beggar again appears before him. He places his hands before his eyes to shut out the apparition, and when he looks again the figure has vanished. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Short

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Release Date:

9 December 1908 (USA)  »

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A Christmas Carol  »

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1.33 : 1
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Version of A Christmas Carol (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Scrooge's first film adventure.
25 December 2006 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

We can only wonder how the world of literature (and indirectly of movies) might have changed had not Charles Dickens wandered past a cemetery one day and noticed an weatherbeaten tombstone on which was carved "Scrooge. Miser. Died without a Friend" With just that as a foundation his writers imagination soared and he gave us a novel which is loved to this day.

Many filmmakers also found a challenging topic in the short novel and film version of the popular story started popping up early in movie history. Thomas Edison got there first and the first person to play Ebeneezer Scrooge was Charles Ogle, the Edison stock company player who would go on to be the first Frankenstein monster just 2 years later.

We all know the story, but Edison's version was just one reel and so a lot had to be dropped. Gone is Scrooge's nephew and Bob Crachit is nowhere to be seen but it's the ghosts we care about, right? Well they are there in all their surrealist glory. Edison "borrowed" some techniques from Georges Melies as the spirits teach the miserly Ebeneezer his lesson. Double and even triple exposures, which were pioneered by Edison photographer Edwin S. Porter in shorts like DREAMS OF A RAREBIT FIEND in 1906, are used to the fullest here. Okay so the effects are a little bit creaky today, I'll bet people could not take their eyes of the screen back in 1908! The visions of Scrooge's past life and his bleak future are still quite good and performances are better than average.

People used to todays overabundance of CGI will probably say "Humbug!" to this oldie but I for one still enjoy it very much. Give it a try, and don't wait for next Christmas to check it out.


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