Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sim's Carol

One of the most popular film adaptations of A Christmas Carol is from 1951, featuring Alistair Sim as Scrooge. This version was made in the UK and was released there as Scrooge, while in the United States, it was released as A Christmas Carol.

The film effectively depicted Scrooge's London in its appropriate setting, making the picture of the social statuses clear. An effective and memorable shot are ghosts like Marley reaching in vain to a freezing mother and her baby.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is depicted as an old man with long hair, and his scenes are extended by showing many of Scrooge's past Christmases. His relationship with his sister Fan is deepened when he laments no one will ever love him, and she says she will, and he tells her that she must live forever. Later, he is at her bedside when she dies while giving birth to Fred.

Earning much more screen time is the development of Scrooge's business with Marley. They go to work for a Mr. Jorkin after ending their time with Fezziwig, who turns out to be an embezzler. They help him by buying his business and making it their own. Later, Scrooge seems to care little as Marley dies, leaving him everything. In this version, Belle is renamed Alice, and later, she is seen working with the homeless.

Also given an expanded role is Ms. Dilber "the charwoman," who has worked for Scrooge and Marley in their home and is later the woman who steals some of Scrooge's belonging to sell on the black market. This version makes her intentions clear: she no longer has a job, so she resorts to theft to provide for herself. This is because Scrooge only pays enough for her to get by. After Scrooge has his experience, he raises her wages.

Overall, a delightful and provoking take on Dickens' story, though the additional scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Past might prove to be too much. They explain why Scrooge is the way he is, but it can prove tiresome. Still, it is pulled off quite well. Quite recommended.

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