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BarbaraN
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Movies

I am going to be watching the George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart and Alistair Sims movies. I started the Scott one last night and Scott gives a very interesting interpretation to the part of Scrooge. A bit more different that I imagined it would be but quite fascinating with some added meaning to the character and story. I will review it in more detail after I have seen the whole thing.

Has anyone seen the musical version called "Scrooge" with Albert Finney? I was thinking of adding that to my list of movie Christmas Carols. There seems to be all sorts of versions and adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" and I probably haven't discovered them all yet. Anyone have a definitive list of those still available on DVD? Sometimes, like "Scrooge" they are under alternate titles.

What would you rank as your favorite movie versions and why?
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Rachael_Grimes
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Re: Movies

[ Edited ]
My ultimate version will always be Disney's Version Mickey's Christmas Carol. It was one of the few times that my family and I when I was littler (seeing as I'm only 4 foot 10 inches to begin with). In any case, it was one of the few times my parents and I would gather around the TV and "all" watch the show together. Not to mention I am a kid at heart, thought some say it has something to do with my height =0), I just love Disney and the old fashioned (I can't believe I just used those words)... lol In any case, what I'm trying to say the love and detail that went in each frame, meaning the drawings to mean displayed so much more feeling and expression, unlike the computer enhanced anomated computer graphics that movie makeers use to day...... and while at the time the limited "special affects" those who created this movie ended up delivering to its audience something with more sustenance. The movie displays a child like innocence to it, while delivering a powerful message to all.

Message Edited by Rachael_Grimes on 11-26-2007 04:46 PM
Rachael
-that saddest words in tong and pen are to wonder what could have been. Lucy M. Montgomery
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Gypsy
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Re: Movies

Has anyone seen the musical version called Scrooge; with Albert Finney? I was thinking of adding that to my list of movie Christmas Carols. There seems to be all sorts of versions and adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" and I probably haven't discovered them all yet. Anyone have a definitive list of those still available on DVD? Sometimes, like "Scrooge" they are under alternate titles.

What would you rank as your favorite movie versions and why?




I've seen the Albert Finney film and wasn't terribly impressed. The music and dancing is good and Finney is a hoot as Scrooge. Still, I never felt the writers and producers truly understood what Dickens was trying to say.

That said, I feel the TNT production with Patrick Stewart is my favorite. And I confess I love some of the variations I've seen, especially Scrooged with Bill Murray and the Muppet's Christmas Carol. I also love the Disney version. Scrooge McDuck is perfect in the lead role!
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dulcinea3
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Re: Movies

I don't think I've seen any of them in a while, but I just adore Alastair Sim in anything, and I have often heard his movie described as the definitive version. I can picture him now, after the transformation, laughing! I was just reviewing the various versions, and I always forget about the earlier one with Reginald Owen.

Looks like a nice Collector's Edition of the Sim version has just been released. I see that Patrick Macnee (Steed from The Avengers) played young Marley in a flashback - I'll have to watch out for him next time I see it!
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: Patrick Stewart

I liked the Patrick Steward version but it probably will not end up as my favorite. Patrick Steward was good and I liked the way they worked in some for the narrative like Marley's funeral at the beginning which allowed them to cover the opening dialog of the book. This version seemed to stick pretty close to the book format and dialog. I also liked the supporting cast very much, probably the best I have seen so far. I especially like the fact that Tiny Tim was simply an ordinary boy and not the little saint he seems to come across as in some versions. Tiny Tim is not one of my favorite characters, I think because he is literally "one" dimensional, though fortunately he has very little to say. His part was pretty low-keyed in the version which is fine with me. So, so far, I would vote this as my favorite Tiny Tim, I liked the supporting cast very much, Patrick Steward was a very good Scrooge but not my favorite. The major drawback to me for this version was The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come--glowing eyes! Pretty corny.

I have the Muppet version on the agenda for tonight, and the Sim's version is winging its way from Netflix along with Scrooge.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: Muppets

[ Edited ]
I really warmed up to this once it got underway. It was a bit of a switch after watching the more "serious" ones. It pulled out selected scenes rather than try to do the whole story, which was best. It also treated everything with humor and song. Interestingly enough, much of the humor came straight from the book. Scrooge was really a very funny fellow with an off-hand sense of humor. I will have to pull out some quotes and post them in the other sections.

I now have a Tiny Tim I like better--little Kermit. Again this succeeds because they didn't lay on the pity too much and made him more just one of the "kids."

I thought Michael Cane's Scrooge was well played too. The didn't forfeit his transformation in this version, that was meant to be light. In fact he starts out meaner. He takes joy in the Christmas season because people spend more money, can't make their mortgage payments and, consequently, Srooge has lots of foreclosures to process with his staff of "slave" clerks. I did like the fact that they emphasized that below that mean and miserly exterior there was a lonely and rejected Scrooge who was trying to protect himself from pain by closing out the world. I think this is important if Scrooge is not to become just a stereotype miser.

The rest of the cast was great too. And I especially liked the sensitive touch of having one of the charity collectors being one of the first to show sensitivity to Scrooge by offering him his scarf as Scrooge's first heart-felt Christmas present. They dropped Fan and mention of Scrooge's rejecting father. This situation was replaced by a more conventional story-line of Scrooge's headmaster setting him on the path of commerce and usury.

Nice light movie with a message that is not too disturbing.

Message Edited by BarbaraN on 11-30-2007 09:44 AM
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Books_Cats
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Re: Movies

The 1951 Alistair Sim "Scrooge" is my favorite movie version. For me the black & white adds to the darker, ghostlier parts of the film, and makes scenes like the one at Joe's, the rag and bone man, all the more seedier. This production seems to have that Victoria feel that I associate with Dickens. I like to imagine that's what parts of London in the mid 1800's was like. I have heard that Dickens family put their stamp of approval on this version when it was made as being the most faithful to the story although I'm sure they would have approved of more recent versions as well. I, like Denise, love Alistair Sim. His facial expressions spoke his lines for him. He was a brilliant actor, probably underrated. The 1938 Reginald Owen version doesn't hold the same magic for me.

Has anyone ever noticed near the end of the '51 film when Scrooge awakens Christmas morning and looks in the mirror, the crew member's reflection in the background that's caught in mirror as well? Has anyone noticed any other abnormalities or mistakes in the film?
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: Alister Sim

[ Edited ]
Alister Sim Movie

I somehow expected this to be very close to the book but it is, so far, the least. It was originally called "Scrooge" and that is who it is about. Gone is the emphasis to the plight of the poor (except in passing). Many new scenes have been added, many from the book deleted, some characters that were only minor become major figures and some are eliminated. Scrooge is not just recluse miser, he is a ruthless business man and he includes everyone--the poor, the less well off, associates, other businessmen, his younger love interest, and even his partner Marley when he refuses to go to his deathbed because he would have to close the office early. In the book (and other movies) I actually feel sorry for Scrooge in Stave 2 as a lonely and rejected boy who builds a protective wall around himself. This Scrooge has no redeeming qualities until his change in the final Stave.

Essentially they have shortened Stave 3,4, and 5 and greatly expanded Stave 2 as back matter on the story of Scrooge. Marley is a major character as they build their financial empire together. Fezziwig is also a major character who would not give up his fair play principles for profit and is eventually destroyed by Scrooge and Marley as they absorb his business into their empire.

I liked this version very much. It is, in many ways, a better story since it focuses on the central character of Scrooge and doesn't try to add too many more issues. However, anyone who sees this movie and hasn't read the book, does not know the book. The movie uses the basic format of the book and follows the Staves, and uses dialog from the book (but not always in the same places), but it is a different story in the details.

I don't think movies have to (or should) slavishly follow the books they are based on. They are a totally different thing. I think this movie does a good job of going with one aspects of the story and filling it out to be a more complete story. Well done as well and well worth watching.

-------------------------------
Book-Cats wrote:
Has anyone ever noticed near the end of the '51 film when Scrooge awakens Christmas morning and looks in the mirror, the crew member's reflection in the background that's caught in mirror as well? Has anyone noticed any other abnormalities or mistakes in the film?
--------------------------------

I forgot to look! Well, it was my first time through and I will be watching it again.


Barbara

Message Edited by BarbaraN on 12-01-2007 03:07 PM
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X-RayWitch
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Re: Movies

My favorite is the Patrick Stewart TNT production, with Mr Magoo a close second.

Stewart gives Scrooge the little touch of sarcastic humor that is noticeable in the book. His bumbling singing in church on Christmas morning after his awakening is a perfect image of someone throwing themselves into a new life.

Mr Magoo was my first introduction to the story and was a holiday tradition through my youth.
There are things you do because they feel right & they make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good.-- Brian Andreas
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: George C Scott

George C Scott Movie

I think this is going to stand out as my favorite. It is close to the book with a little mixture of the Alistair Sim version. The success of this movie is in the script and in George C. Scott's wonderful performance. I think they have actually improved on the story. Many incidental scenes and sub-characters were dropped. Instead they have tried to flesh out some of the main players. They added a scene in Stave 1 where Scrooge very shrewdly manipulates the markets to increase the price of his corn and he gets other people to pay his price. This doesn't show him as particularly mean or miserly, just a bit greedy and probably enjoying the game more than anything else. Like the Sim version, the Exchange is where he encounters the charity collectors. In Stave 2 in the forgotten boy school scene, this movie brings in Scrooge's love and escape into literature, something that is usually skipped in the movies. You tell how much those stories meant to his empty life. When Fan comes to pick him up to take him home, his father comes along too, and we find out in a brief scene how rejecting and cold his father was to him. That is really an excellent added moment. I liked all the spirits except Marley who was a bit over-the-top in contrast with Scott's low keyed portrayal of Scrooge, but then all Marleys seem to over do it a bit. They expanded Tiny Tim's role which would have been good but the child actor wasn't.

No stereotype mean Scrooge here. Scott is a thoughtful Scrooge, intelligent, a wry sense of humor,and basically very human. He seems to bring about his own redemption. Which is another thing that makes this version interesting--there may never have been spirits. The way it is done, it could have been just a dream and, in his loneliness, Scrooge rethought his life and changed of his own accord. The only possible drawback of Scott's portrayal of Scrooge is that he doesn't sound very British. That may bother some people, though it didn't me.

Very interesting version.

I still have two more to watch and I will also rewatch some. I might have some mind changes after viewing all of these.
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dulcinea3
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Re: Movies

Does anyone here like A Blackadder's Christmas Carol? That was more of a Christmas special than a movie, based on Rowan Atkinson's popular Blackadder British comedy series, which followed various generations of the Blackadder character. In this one, set in Victorian times, Blackadder goes from being the nicest man in England (quite a contrast to the usual portrayal) to the meanest. There's only one Spirit, played by Robbie Coltrane, who shows Blackadder his various ancestors, which leads Blackadder to the conclusion that it's better to be evil than so good that he is taken advantage of by everyone he knows. As a result, he ends up insulting Queen Victoria (the marvelous Miriam Margolyes) and Prince Albert (Jim Broadbent), who have come to present a prize to him for being so good. It is hilarious!!!
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johns
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Re: Movies

Jim Carrey will play Scrooge and all three spirits in a version slated for 2009.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: Reginald Owen Version

This version strays the furthest from the book of the ones I've seen so far. There is, of course the basic story outline--miserly, crotchety old Scrooge, the visit by the three spirits and his redemption. But this version is really three stories with major developments of the story of the Cratchets and Scrooge's nephew Fred. I actually liked it very much because, free of the limitations of the book, it is a good film in its own right. We get to know the Cratchets a lot better, Tiny Tim has a much bigger role and I really liked this Tim. Fred is actually quite friendly with the Cratches but in this version he is only engaged. He cannot get married because he doesn't have a good enough position to afford it. In the end everyone has a big dinner at the Cratchets with Scrooge arriving with the turkey and presents and playing with the kids, and Fred (Scrooge makes him a partner so he can get married) joining them in the festivities. Throughout the "Spirit" ordeal, Scrooge is actually eager to learn and be redeemed. Fran only shows up as a little child to take him home from school. Most of the episodes have been stripped from the Spirit segments. The Spirit of Christmas Future hardly gets to show Scrooge much at all. Life really isn't that bad in this movie.

Some great performances as well. In addition to having my favorite Tiny Tim, Leo J Carroll is the best Marley I've seen. He plays it lower keyed and more natural.

Very light holiday entertainment and quite enjoyable. Just don't expect the book.

I have one more to go--Scrooge.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Movies: Albert Finney

I'm finally up to my sixth and final A Christmas Carol movie. This one is a musical called "Scrooge" and stars Albert Finney in the title role. There are many more but this will have to do for this year.

I'm very glad I save this one for last. It is wonderfl! It doesn't take itself too seriously but still the message and the sensitivity to Scrooge's past life and transformation are all there. It has the finest acting and characterizations of any of the movies. Alec Guinness is a brilliant Marley and by far my favorite. He really has a fresh interpretation. Dame Edith Evans is a most unexpected but still great Ghost of Christmas past, and Kenneth More fills out the talking spirits with his portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Present. Albert Finney also adds a new interpretation to Scrooge. This has got to be the meanest Scrooge on record. He spends Christmas eve going around collecting on his loans and charging usury interest rates to those who can't pay up.

The encounters with the ghost really point to "just a dream" and Scrooge's transformation is really of his own desire to rejoin the human world. They added an amusing twist to the ending of the final spirit. It didn't end with the tombstone. Scrooge falls through his grave into hell where he is met by Marley who tells him he has been made chief bookkeeper to Satan and, in tribute to his treatment of Bob Cratchet, he will serve out eternity in a refrigerated office.

All the principles are poor singers and mainly recite their songs, so in some ways it doesn't seem like a musical until the end. It works, though. The secondaries are very accomplished musical theater people and get the more rousing numbers with dance. I love the singing Bob Cratchet and the singing Tiny Tim is at the top of my list as my favorite Tiny Tim. The songs will stay with you. The movie ends with a grand musical finally with the whole city singing the praises of the generous Mr. Scrooge.

A very uplifting Scrooge that would be enjoyed by the whole family. And a perfect finally to my six versions of A Christmas Carol.
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foxycat
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Re: Movies

Scrooge becomes more human as the years progress. The 1938 and 1951 versions present him as a stereotype, although many cinema critics prefer the (Sim)1951. For me the George C. Scott and Stewart versions finally presented him as a flesh-and-blood human, a complex person. this is a result of generally more realistic moviemaking that came about in the '70's. I don't intend to ever see the musical, as it obscures Dickens' intentions.

BTW--the Stewart version was not originally made for TNT but for PBS. Many cable stations, A&E and History Channel included, save money by buying shows from PBS. Those of us without cable are the poorer for it, as we must rent them now.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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dulcinea3
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Re: Movies

I've really enjoyed reading your movie reviews, Barbara!
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johns
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Re: Movies: Albert Finney

There is a version called "An American Christmas Carol" with Henry Winkler as the Scrooge-type character.
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Movies: Albert Finney

Yes; thank you for your reviews, BarbaraN! Did you have a favorite of the batch you viewed this year, or other years (or perhaps I missed it if you mentioned it?)?

~ConnieK



BarbaraN wrote:
I'm finally up to my sixth and final A Christmas Carol movie.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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earp30wyatt
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Sims

I have seen many movie versions,and the best so far is Alistar Sims in the 1951 version.
I love it so much, I've watched it more then once each year. I ended up getting it for friends for Christmas I like it so much. Sims is perfect in the role. Quite the crab!!

See it!!!! This year they came out with a 2 disc version. Skip the colorized version. See it in b & w in all it's original glory. The shading and shadows in the b & w is so effective, and spooky. It's lost in the colorized version. I personally think it ruins it.
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kiakar
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Re: Sims



earp30wyatt wrote:
I have seen many movie versions,and the best so far is Alistar Sims in the 1951 version.
I love it so much, I've watched it more then once each year. I ended up getting it for friends for Christmas I like it so much. Sims is perfect in the role. Quite the crab!!

See it!!!! This year they came out with a 2 disc version. Skip the colorized version. See it in b & w in all it's original glory. The shading and shadows in the b & w is so effective, and spooky. It's lost in the colorized version. I personally think it ruins it.





I will definitely try that version.
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