Reviews written by registered user
teacherdan

6 reviews in total 
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Christmas Carol (1978) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A forgotten gem..., 25 December 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The people who rate this movie down must not appreciate the difficulty Rich Little faced in not only the production of this TV movie, but also the difficulty of capturing the vocal, visual, and personality quirks of several stars of television and motion pictures.

I saw this movie when it first aired on HBO in 1978-79. I laughed and laughed and it wasn't until a couple of years later that I wanted to videotape it, and never could seem to catch it. Finally, a friend loaned me a copy that was far from perfect, but it satisfied my need for laughter during the Christmas season until it finally deteriorated to the point that it was unwatchable. I found it on Amazon a few years ago on DVD.

The backdrop for the story is, of course, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In this particular telling, the cast is played by many stars of TV and motion pictures, who are, in turn, played by Rich Little. Many of the newer generation who have not seen the old movies of the 40's, 50's, and 60's, nor the Golden Age of TV will not recognize the parts Little plays. Those of us Baby Boomers remember them well and will appreciate the individuality Little gives to each star. The three businessmen who make jokes are represented by George Burns, John Wayne, and Maurice Chevalier, NOT James Mason. The portrayal of Bob Cratchit's wife (Edith Bunker) is particularly hilarious.

Much of Dickens' story is omitted due to time constrictions, but Little has written a tight script that progresses rapidly to its conclusion. If you can identify the characters, watch some of their material, and you will appreciate this Canadian gem for years to come.

Ebbie (1995) (TV)
Interesting Retelling of the Classic Story, 21 December 2012
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, so this isn't "It's a Wonderful Life." The writing doesn't flow as smoothly as it should, and the connections with Dickens's story seem awkward and forced.

That said, this is still a worthwhile version of A Christmas Carol. The transformation of the beautiful Susan Lucci from a driven, cold, Scrooge-like character to a warm, compassionate, generous woman is very well done. You can almost see her heart of ice melt as the movie progresses.

Watching this movie eighteen years removed from its original airing only brings out the quaint technology. DeMunn's Jake Marley uses a CORDED CELL PHONE! Lucci's Ebbie Scrooge's laptop is as large as a one-volume encyclopedia! No flat-screen TVs, not even a PDA!

I recently found this on DVD at Amazon. Video quality = 8, Audio = 8. It almost appears to be a rip from a VHS, and could use some work to clear up both audio and video. That being said, the flaws are not terribly distracting.

While not an award-winning film, Ebbie seems to have garnered a very faithful audience, and I'm sure our family will continue to watch it each Christmas season for years to come.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Stephen Fermoyle, 12 March 2010
10/10

According to the author of the novel, Henry Morton Robinson, Stephen Fermoyle is a compilation of all the priests that he knew. His purpose was to show both the human and divine natures of the priesthood honestly and clearly. The movie retains the honest, open, and unpretentious nature of the book. The characters are true to their book characters, and aside from some events being created for the movie, the story in the movie should be recognizable by readers of the novel.

For some reason, the scenes in Austria do not ring true. The events in which Stephen wrestles with the love of a woman and the love of God occurred in Italy in the book. The inclusion of this storyline does not "flow" with the rest of the movie. The director would have been better served had he retained the storyline in the book.

The Christmas Wish (1998) (TV)
The Christmas Wish...the TRUE spirit of Christmas, 24 November 2008
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having watched this movie for the umpteenth time, it still retains its freshness and charm. Neil Patrick Harris is perfect as the grandson intent on fulfilling his grandmother's Christmas wish...to discover who the woman Lillian was that her husband wrote about in his journals. Harris comes home to arrange for a long-distance management of his grandfather's real estate business, and discovers along the way that there is more to life than business. He discovers that loyalty, friendship, kindness, and compassion are still values worth embracing. Naomi Watts is perfect as Harris's love interest, and Debbie Reynolds lends charm and dignity to the role of Ruth. The movie could be maudlin, but avoids the syrupy sweet moments that often wreck Christmas movies. Since forgiveness is the true spirit of Christmas, The Christmas Wish delivers. This movie is worth the time invested in watching it. I never leave it feeling empty.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well deserving of the Oscar win., 13 August 2008
10/10

Having watched this movie about 5 times in the last two weeks, I can say that it deserves the Oscar it received, and should be included in any top ten movie list.

Robert Duvall IS Mac Sledge. After a few minutes, you begin to live his life with him.

The cinematography in this movie is incredible. Texas is an incredibly beautiful state, and the various techniques make the actors and the background merge together wonderfully. Every time I watch it, I notice something else that helps draw the viewer into the story without you really paying attention to it.

10 out of 10 stars.

15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Black Like Me, 28 June 2007
8/10

The person who claimed this is a movie about "reverse racism" must be so young that he can't remember those times. I grew up in the 50's and 60's in the south. The movie portrays the prevailing attitude of whites toward blacks in an accurate manner. I can remember the separate waiting rooms, water fountains, "white only," etc. Thankfully, I grew up in a home where racial prejudice was not tolerated, and I'm sure there were a lot of homes like this.

In the book, Griffin passes through the same area as a black and then a white. The difference in his treatment was appalling. What the movie shows is that racial prejudice makes no sense. All people are simply people and deserve to be treated with respect.