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Movies From 100+ year old silent films to new releases here we discussed the good, the bad and the ugly of Christmas at the movies.


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Old 03-04-2013, 10:08 AM
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Christmas Tree Christmas Film Festival: March 2013 A Christmas Carol

This month for the Christmas Film Festival we explore the many film versions of A Christmas Carol.

Which is your favorite?

Which are the worst?

Who was the best Scrooge?

There are lots to see! Click here to visit Christmas Flix.com's look at the best and worst of Dickens on film.

Last edited by Jeff Westover; 06-03-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:06 PM
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holly

Gosh, this is a tough one, Jeff.

I think all the film versions of A Christmas Carol have their attributes. For instance, I LOVED the happiness shown by Albert Finney as the reformed Scrooge when he visits the Toy Shop. Alastair Sim's Scrooge was probably the most jovial and mischievous reformed Scrooge. I think George C. Scott was so mean you could feel the coldness emanating from his voice. I love all of these and more.

My very favorite Scrooge I guess would be Mr. Sim. I think the fact that it was black and white made it FEEL more like Victorian England for some reason and I think overall for me his conversion is just so joyous. When he is on the steps with Mrs. Dilber and trying to keep her quiet and runs his fingers through his hair at her while saying he is not mad, is a real moment in the movie.

I can't really pick a bad one, they all have their moments !! xo
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:12 AM
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Oh boy, This is by far, one of thee best films to help me embellish the Christmas season. As soon as I watch it, I can feel the Christmas spirt welling up inside me, just wanting to bursting out and lead me to do something Christmassy!

I have to say, after reading the Christmas Flix.com, their list of the favorite all time A Christmas carol films, that I respectfully disagree with the order of their list. To me, I would have say that it's a tie between my favorite top two (2) films, and they are A Christmas Carol (1999) - Patrick Stewart and A Christmas Carol (1938) -Reginald Owen... I just love watching them!

Each film brings a special and yet different aspect and detail of the life and of the character of Scrooge, Mr. scrooges Nephew and most of all Bob Cratachit and his family. It is by far, a delightful story and leads a person to reflect on what is the true meaning of Christmas and also do you carry Christmas in your heart every day of the year?
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:27 AM
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My top versions are Alastair Sim (1951), (Sir) Seymour Hicks (1935), George C. Scott (1984), and "The Stingiest Man in Town" (1956). I don't have a single favorite Scrooge---I have favorite bits with each of them.

I DO have a favorite Bob Cratchit. Donald Calthrop in the 1935 British version of Scrooge---he looks, sounds, and acts the part. Magnificent!

The 1935 British version is an unsung gem and sticks very close to Dickens' pages. It might have a wider appeal if better quality videos were available. Because the film is in the public domain, poor copies abound. If you had the good fortune to see a good-quality print kept in good repair, you'd see more detail and texture. The best video version was released by Image Entertainment; the source is original 35mm materials. As an alternative, the free download on Archive.org isn't bad. Seymour Hicks had played Scrooge onstage for decades in a one-act adaptation that he also played in a silent film version. He may seem too "stagy" to today's audiences, but it's wonderful to have the chance to see one of the world's most popular Scrooges.

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say something unpopular. M-G-M spoiled their version. The studio was always so intent on doing everything glitzy and shiny that they took all the grit out of Dickens. In Dickens' story, the Cratchits can only afford a goose, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and a small plum pudding; their only glassware is a couple of tumblers and a custard cup without a handle. In M-G-M's version, they have pictures on the walls, lace curtains at their windows, a nice china cabinet in the corner, a snowy white tablecloth, and complete table settings! It feels like M-G-M was deliberately eschewing the grittier aspects of Dickens' story to make it as warm and fuzzy and comfortable as possible; in the process, the story loses some of its edge. It is the contrasts in Dickens' story that contribute to its impact. Parts of it are MEANT to sting and shock.

I've also always regretted that Lionel Barrymore didn't play Scrooge in the M-G-M version; he introduced Reginald Owen as Scrooge in the extended trailer for the film. When he says "Reginald Owen IS Scrooge, just as Dickens imagined him"---you can see what a fine actor Mr. Barrymore was. Barrymore was confined to a wheelchair not long before shooting began on the film; it's a shame that M-G-M, with all their resources, couldn't have figured out a way to allow him to play the role, which doesn't call for a lot of walking or running.

Off-topic, but---best audiobook version---Tom Baker's, which was released last year.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:40 AM
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I love Muppets Christmas Carol. Very close to the book considering its singing puppets.
Patrick Stewarts version is enjoyable, but I always compare it to his one man play which was better in my opinion.

My mother will always vote for Alistair Sim
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MerryCarey View Post
It feels like M-G-M was deliberately eschewing the grittier aspects of Dickens' story to make it as warm and fuzzy and comfortable as possible; in the process, the story loses some of its edge. It is the contrasts in Dickens' story that contribute to its impact. Parts of it are MEANT to sting and shock.
Given that the MGM version was made in the midst of the Depression, and the Hollywood dream factory was producing the means of mental escape from the troubles of the day, do you think that might have led to a softening of the Cratchits' poverty?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by redkaga View Post
Given that the MGM version was made in the midst of the Depression, and the Hollywood dream factory was producing the means of mental escape from the troubles of the day, do you think that might have led to a softening of the Cratchits' poverty?
With no facts to go on, strictly supposition---I think it's possible; on the other hand, it was M-G-M's way to do everything in the grand fashion. I can't think of a good example right now, but I've seen other M-G-M films with similar nonchalant elan. It seems like even the gutters and alleys in M-G-M movie streets are clean!

The "mental escape from the Depression" took different forms at different studios. Other studios, such as Warner Bros., didn't eschew gritty dramas during the Depression; they were a different type of catharsis for everyday troubles, as were Universal's horror films. Having said that, though, all the major studios produced musicals in the 1930s---Warners, Universal, Paramount, M-G-M, RKO---and comedy was big box-office then, too.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:30 AM
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has anybody watched An American Christmas Carol w/ Henry Winkler?
I havnt bought a copy yet
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:26 PM
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Best Scrooge (by far, in my opinion) is Alastair Sim, and I think his is the best version of the film.

I don't particularly like Michael Caine as Scrooge, but the Muppet version is a family favorite.

As for least favorites, the 2001 animated version is quite dreadful, and I agree that the MGM version lacks in any spirit.

Finally, I heartily recommend the Oscar-winning 1971 animated Richard Williams version. Sim and Michael Hordern (the 1951 version's Marley) lend their voices to their earlier roles.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:46 PM
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holly

Originally Posted by dvdelf View Post
has anybody watched An American Christmas Carol w/ Henry Winkler?
I havnt bought a copy yet


I personally loved An American Christmas Carol... I think Henry Winkler was really good.
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