Monday, December 20, 2010
Movie of the Week
This jolly week,
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984)
Starring- George C. Scott, David Warner, Edward Woodward, Roger Rees
Of all the versions of A Christmas Carol, this one starring Oscar winner, George C. Scott, is the darkest and scariest. The ominous nature of this retelling of Dickens' classic works well for the most part, but there are some things that make it hard to believe that Scrooge will become a better man by the end of the movie. Scott's portrayal of Scrooge is a bit evil and he seems to enjoy being mean to Bob Cratchit and everyone else a little too much. I have always thought of Scrooge as bitter and angry, not vengeful. Having said that, there is a good deal that I enjoy in this made for T.V. movie.
The acting is of a high caliber, with strong performances from the supporting cast. David Warner as Bob Cratchit, Suzanna York as Mrs. Cratchit and Frank Finlay as Marley's Ghost stand out, as does the tiniest, most sickly and cute Tiny Tim ever. Looking at him, you think that he truly might not make it to another Christmas, which is more than can be said for the Tim's of other Christmas Carols who are far to healthy looking and not at all tiny.
Humor is at a premium in this version, but there are some funny moments peppered in between the ominous overall tone of the film. Of note are the interactions between Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present (Woodward), as well as the charming Fezziwig's pearls of wisdom for a young Scrooge. In the end, Scrooge makes the transition from miser to good man, but the way Scott plays it is more understated, making it seem like Scrooge will have a long road to redemption. Truly, this is more realistic, but it doesn't leave you with the same joyous feeling that A Christmas Carol usually elicits. Watch and enjoy this for the parts rather than the story as a whole, and also watch it for General Patton as Scrooge.
Things to watch for-
The Ghost of Christmas Past's fright wig
Ignorance and Want
Mrs. Cratchit takes Scrooge down a peg
Michael Gough- (Batman's Alfred) as a businessman
"Another sound from you... and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation."