Friday, December 11, 2009

Movie of the Week

This Jolly Week,


Starring- Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll

Most, including me, say that the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol is the best, but this 1938 edition is still quite good. While it is not as faithful to the original Dickens book, and has a less scary, family friendly feel to it, there is a certain charm that makes me smile when I watch it every Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge is played by veteran actor, Reginald Owen who portrays the protagonist as irritated and easily won over by the spirits sent to change him. I think this film comes from a more optimistic, hopeful viewpoint that shows good to be always superior to anger and bitterness. Some other adaptations of this story make Scrooge almost too unsympathetic, but here Owen forces you to root for Scrooge to become a happy-go-lucky guy.

The colorized version of this film is cheesy and if you can find it in black and white I encourage that. Equally cheesy, but also charming is the portrayal of the Cratchit family. Bob is clearly too well-fed to be that poor, the kids are a little too taken with the goose they have for Christmas dinner, and Tiny Tim is very healthy looking and kind of a perv. I laugh sometimes at some of the elements of this movie, but at its core is the great message of retribution and the embrace of Christmas. I hope that this movie brings you as much joy and laughter as it does to me every single Christmas season.

Things to Watch for-

Having a slide
Bob's Snowball lesson
June Lockhart (the mom from Lassie) as a Cratchit daughter
A Very Jolly Ghost of Christmas Present
Scrooge biting his coins

"I'd like to stroke it."

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