Brenda Shuttleworth, who plays Fred's fiancee, was married to Daryl Shuttleworth at the time, who plays Fred. See more »
The Ghost of Christmas Present tells Ebenezer to "hop on" implying they will both be riding the same horse. When Ebenezer refuses, the ghost magically jerks him aboard a second horse. One of the subsequent scenes of the two riding through the air is a close-up of Ebenezer talking directly in the Ghost's ear from behind, as would occur if the two were on the same horse. In all other scenes of them riding, they are on separate horses. See more »
A long way from the best version of A Christmas Carol(between the Alastair Sim and George C. Scott versions) but not the worst(the 2001 animation). It is an interesting and different interpretation that that parts that do work and others that don't. What doesn't come off very well here are that some of the dialogue- not all of it, there are a fair few parts that are genuinely entertaining- is quite bad with some of the humour coming across as very awkward. To me actually though the "you're my only nephew" line was one of the better and wittier parts of the script, it was lines like "I'll send you away to a manger" that fell flat) and a lot of the actors mostly in the female bit parts and extras play their parts far too straight to the extent they come across as too low-key, and that is including the least jovial and least imposing Ghost of Christmas Present you'll find anywhere. Especially when compared to Jack Palance. This could be down to Ken Jubenvill's at times heavy-handed direction that is crying out for more wit and humour. There could have been less of Samuel Benson's subplot, some of his appearances seemed shoe-horned in and misplaced.
However, it is a good-looking adaptation with the Wild West setting well-evoked, some accurate costuming and some nice photography. The music is rousing while never over-bearing but when it needs to be toned-down it does that quite well. The story doesn't really capture the spirit of the story, more of a darker, wittier and festive feel was needed to make that work(at least to me), it's basically a story set in the Wild West with the basic elements of the Christmas Carol story. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, besides there are scenes that come over very well. One was the Christmas Future segment, where Scrooge saw what would happen to him in the future if he didn't change but in a much more expansive way than most others adaptations of Christmas Carol, it was very creatively done. And the other was when he is trying to join in the festivities playing Father Christmas via a play after his change of heart, Palance gives a telling facial expression mixed with regret and anxiety at this point and coupled with Tiny Tim standing by him and singing along with him it made for a truly poignant moment. I also liked how the adaptation didn't rush Scrooge's change of heart transformation, like when the towns-folk being uncertain as whether to accept Scrooge and whether he's changed, one potential problem with adapting A Christmas Carol is Scrooge transforming too quickly and easily and Ebeneezer manages to avoid that. Although the acting was not great in support, some performances do impress like Ricky Schroder's amusing Samuel, Amy Locane's beguiling(especially her face) Erica and Joshua Silberg's touching Tim. Best of all is Jack Palance, who does a great job as Scrooge, he does do better when Ebeneezer is a miser which he attacks with booming intensity and with a sense that he's enjoying himself but he does acquit himself beautifully at the end. To conclude, decent but could have been better than it turned out, worth watching for Palance and some good scenes but a better script, better support casting and direction would have helped things a lot. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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