Title: Question About "A Christmas Carol"
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richiedoo
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(Date Posted:06/20/2008 18:14)

One thing I used to wonder about was the difference between the movie versions and the book for "A Christmas Carol" (Scrooge). In the movie version from 1938 with Reginald Gardener and Gene Lockhart, Scrooge visits Bob Cratchet's house on X-mas morning. In the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, Scrooge visits his nephew's house on X-mas day. Undeniably, the latter version has been the best version of all...although some say that the version starring George C. Scott was a decent runner-up. Does anyone know how the ORIGINAL story from the original pressing of the book went? Who's house did Scrooge visit in the original story line?
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RE:Question About
(Date Posted:06/21/2008 00:10)


All movie versions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" are adaptations of the book, which was a short story and had a very basic plotline as compared to the more elaborate movie screenplays. There are also some very distinct differences between the book and these theatrical film adaptations. For example, in the book, Scrooge's beloved sister, Fan, was a younger sister -- not older, as she was portrayed in feature-length film screenplays.

Now, to specifically answer your question about who's house Scrooge went to visit on Christmas Day at the end of the story: in the book, Scrooge visits his nephew's house; he does not go to Bob Cratchit's house as portrayed in the 1938 MGM film that starred Reginald Owen (not Reginald Gardiner as you stated in your post). Hugo Butler, who wrote the screenplay for this 1938 adaptation, added that twist on the story himself. Another major deviation from the book in this 1938 screenplay (which parenthetically, I found to be palpably weak) was the firing of Bob Cratchit on Christmas Eve. This was also the brainchild of Hugo Butler's artistic license.

While all movie screenplay adaptations are based loosely on the Dickens short story, the absolute best by far was the screenplay written by the great Noel Langley for the 1951 film "Scrooge." This classic and legendary film is the definitive and quintessential version of "A Christmas Carol." It was brilliantly acted, directed and photographed and is universally accepted as being the greatest screen version of this timeless literary classic. Alastair Sim gave the ultimate performance of his life, and the paradigmatic performance of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. And it is this performance and this movie by which all others are judged.

It is a debatable point as to which movie could be considered the second greatest version of the story; but what is not debatable is that whatever film that would end up being, it would unequivocally be a far, distant runner-up.

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richiedoo
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RE:Question About
(Date Posted:06/22/2008 17:38)

Chip, thanks for the clarification on Scrooge. I could not agree more on your definition of the 1951 version of Scrooge as being the best of the best. It's also interesting to know that Mr. Sim re-prised his role as Scrooge by providing a voice only part in an animated version of A Christmas Carol from 1971. Whoever did the animation job for that cartoon made Mr. Sim look like the real McCoy(er..Sim). Available for a short time on VHS which I have. I'm not sure if it ever was re-released on DVD though. Sometimes I feel that this version was a bit unfairly overlooked since local NY cable stations seem to omit this special from their regualr holiday programming. It's sad to know that while the majority of many of the holiday movies and programs have been released on home video, the expanded cable channels that seem to have room to show just about anything and everything especially holiday specails seem to find it neccesary to present all the common shows and carelessly omit the remaining left-overs such as the above in addition to "J.T." and "The House Without A Christmas Tree"
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RE:Question About
(Date Posted:06/22/2008 20:29)

 

The 1971 animated version of "A Christmas Carol" is one of my favorite animated Christmas specials of all-time. I waited many years for it to finally be released on video. And in 1998 when it finally was, I bought a copy for everyone in my family. Sadly, it is now out of print and goes for big bucks when you are lucky enough to find it. If anybody is interested, there is currently a used copy on Amazon selling for $198.77. Take a look:


http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Carol-Animated-Version/dp/6305107645/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=video&qid=1214183618&sr=1-1

*(Please note: the release year for this animated special was 1971, not 1972 as Amazon incorrectly shows it to be)


Unfortunately, it has never been released on DVD. By the way, not only did Alastair Sim reprise his role as Ebenezer Scrooge for this animated special, but Michael Hordern reprised his role as Jacob Marley as well. In addition, Michael Redgrave narrated it, and it was executive produced by legendary animator Chuck Jones, who also produced and directed the classic "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." For anybody who doesn't already have this animated classic in their collection, I would strongly recommend it.



Also, just to clarify, for all those who might not be aware, the American release of the 1951 U.K. film, "Scrooge," was re-titled "A Christmas Carol," after the name of the Dickens book. However, to this day, in the U.K., the movie is still sold under its original Renown Pictures release name, "Scrooge." Here are a couple of links to Amazon U.K. where you can view how the movie is being marketed in its home country of England. *Warning: If you are interested in purchasing one of these DVD's, please be aware that they are encrypted in region code 2 format, which means they will not play in most DVD players in the United States and Canada (DVD's in North America are encrypted in region code 1 format).


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scrooge-Christmas-Special-Release-Discs/dp/B000BBG93U/ref=pd_sbs_d_h_?ie=UTF8&qid=1214180705&sr=1-1


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scrooge-Alastair-Sim/dp/B00004D0CE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1214180705&sr=1-1
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richiedoo
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RE:Question About
(Date Posted:06/23/2008 04:13)

I actually remember buying the video in the early 1990's at a local drug store. The video jacket that I have differs from the one that is being marketed on Amazon which leads me to believe that the video had been re-issued possibly a few times over prior to becoming out of print. I think the seller on Amazon is completely out of his mind asking for such a ridiculous price. I like to think that sooner or later this will eventually resurface on DVD
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RE:Question About
(Date Posted:06/23/2008 14:02)


Wow, I never knew it was in print before the release that was issued in 1998! I could have been enjoying it that much sooner if I had known. I would love to see what the original artwork looked like when it was originally reissued. I'll have to peruse the eBay listings to see if there are any original releases posted. Thanks for the heads-up.

As for the price the private seller on Amazon is asking, I agree, it is a bit exorbitant; but notwithstanding, I know equally as well, that if I didn't already have this video in my collection, I myself would be more than willing to pay it. When it comes to this stuff, money is no object to me. Thankfully, when I bought it 10 years ago, I bought a copy for everyone in my family. As for it being released on DVD someday, I must confess that I am quite skeptical, but let's keep our fingers crossed.

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