December 7, 2014
Movie Night: Scrooge (1970)
Review #673: Scrooge.
Albert Finney (Ebenezer Scrooge), Alec Guinness (Marley's ghost), Edith Evans (Ghost of Christmas Past), Kenneth More (Ghost of Christmas Present), David Collings (Bob Cratchit), Michael Medwin (Fred), Paddy Stone (Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come), Frances Cuka (Mrs. Cratchit), Richard Beaumont (Tiny Tim), Laurence Naismith (Fezziwig), and Mary Peach (Fred's wife) Directed by Ronald Neame.
Ouch, it's been a week since the last review. Sorry for the delay, but hey, December's a tough month. I celebrated my birthday on the 1st, then promptly was sick for the next three or so days. Colds are very annoying to deal with, but now I'm better and ready to get back into the circuit...with another film called Scrooge. If you're wondering how it's any different from the other films, this time we're dealing with a musical version of the tale (I guess at this point anything can be turned into a musical, even hockey.), with one small change from the novel. But hey, how's the movie? It's alright, I suppose. For a Christmas film, it's fine as it does have a good deal of spirit (Heck, it even has Santa-I mean Father Christmas in it. I'm just surprised that the store happened to be selling it in Scrooge's size rather then the fact that they were open on Christmas), and you do get the sense of warmth and fun. Albert Finney is the biggest highlight, especially given that he portrays Scrooge so effectively you barely notice him under all that makeup, which helps when focusing on how he ranges Scrooge's emotions, such as the flashback sequence, where you see his grief and his regret in the past; I especially like seeing the present Scrooge berating the younger one for his actions, which makes Scrooge out to be more than a miser. The songs and how they are sung, are debatable though. Sometimes they're good (Thank You Very Much is nice, I admit), but other songs aren't as good (Father Christmas isn't a bad song, it just feels long). The ghosts are fun to watch (Ghost of Christmas Present sounds more like a feasting buddy, but he at least gets the point across, so there), and Guinness does a fine job as Marley. The one scene in the movie that veers from the tale is at the end, when Scrooge sees his future in death...and in chains. Yep, Scrooge sees more than just his grave, he also sees his chain. It's an unnecessary scene; Having Scrooge only see his grave without anyone being sad for his death and having them cheer in the streets in more haunting than a sequence in "fire land", with rats. But ultimately the movie is fine, and it manages to have enough quirks to be a good telling of the tale.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.