Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Scott Carol

1984 brought a new version of A Christmas Carol, this time featuring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. It premiered on television on December 17 and is now considered one of the best adaptations of Dickens' story. It even rivals the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, and coincidentally, the film editor of that version directed this new one.

The story sticks to Dickens' story quite well. Early in the film, Scrooge suggests that if Bob is cold, he could wear a few more layers of clothing. Scrooge is also shown visiting the stock exchange building where he sells some corn he has at an expensive rate. The two men collecting for charity appear here instead of at Scrooge's office.

The Ghost of Christmas Past (definitely female here) at first shows Scrooge's past reflected in her snuffer before they are transported there and says she shines the Light of Truth. This is the earliest live action adaptation (the Williams/Jones animated version did it as well) where Scrooge actually uses the snuffer to get rid of the Ghost. The scene where Fan arrives to pick up her brother from school is expanded upon with Scrooge's father appearing, telling Scrooge that he'll only be home for a few days before beginning work with Fezziwig.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is quite a versatile actor here, though I feel his acting might be a little hammy, particularly with dialogue invented for this adaptation. He'll go from gentle-toned to being stern with Scrooge, talking between clenched teeth to get his point across.

A scene with the Ghost of Christmas Present gets the point across brilliantly by showing a homeless family who decide not to go to a workhouse so they won't be split up.

While the story adaptation is great, the production is extraordinary, for some reason, yours truly just can't really like this one. George C. Scott's a great Scrooge, though.

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