Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Batears52, Dec 13, 2005.
Gotta give the nod to George C. Scott. Makes me cry every time.
This thread should have been a poll, with all the versions available on DVD being listed.
Go ahead and make one.
It doesn't matter what gets the most votes though, I still know that George C. Scott is the far superior version ever made.
I can't argue with that. I've always been a devout fan of the Alastair Sim version, ever seeking out the finest print on home video, but I still remember that night in 1984 when CBS premiered the George C. Scott version, I sat there, stunned, as the evening unfolded. I was watching on a crude CRT TV in a location with a bad cable, but none of it mattered. The brilliance of that version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL shone through the muck.
I remember the whole movie was sponsored by IBM with their little 90 second to 2 minute commercials, and I still can recall the spot in the movie where the first commercial break falls - as Scrooge is walking to his house and sees the hearse pass by and disappear into the fog - that's where they cut for that first break.
What I can't recall was whether those IBM commercials were the ones featuring the M*A*S*H series actors, or if this preceded that series.
The music in particular captivated me. It seemed both new and important, yet it also felt instantly comfortable. I've mentioned above that Nick Bicât's score is available directly from his own webpage.
I remember taping the movie as it played that first time it aired, and I also recall that the following year, CBS rebroadcast it, again with a full IBM sponsorship. It appeared to me at that time that it might become a yearly tradition, one that would be most welcomed in my house, but it wasn't to be. After those two airings, the movie largely disappeared for quite awhile. I would play it myself from my VHS cassette every year, treasuring the fact that I'd captured it for my own posterity, in any case.
I think it finally appeared as a LaserDisc in the 90s, and I relished the chance to hear the score and the soundtrack now in full stereo. Then the years and technology brought both a DVD and a later Blu-ray.
The DVD was an interesting item in that it contained the standard 4:3 image, yet every time I played it on my widescreen TV, some internal flag kicked the TV into the zoom mode that put the image in a 1.78:1 ratio, as if it were supposed to be that way. I know that the movie was released theatrically in Europe, and always wondered if that happened on purpose, because one thing for sure, the movie "looked" OK at that zoomed ratio, and played more like a theatrical feature.
This week, I caught a cable channel airing it, also framed at 1.78:1.
I'd be curious to see this, and would be willing to make a poll. Before I do, tell me if I am missing anything that should be on it:
1935 w/Seymour Hicks
1938 w/Reginald Owen
1951 w/Alastair Sim
1970 w/Albert Finney
1984 w/George C Scott
1992 w/Michael Caine (Muppets)
1999 w/Patrick Stewart
2004 w/Kelsey Grammer
2009 w/Jim Carrey
I'm leaving off any purely animated versions (even though I really like Mr Magoo's), but leaving on the Muppet version because Caine plays Scrooge straight & deserves to be in the running. I also put on Jim Carrey's (which I haven't actually seen) since it is a cross between live action & animation a I understand it.
I know it's not 'traditional' in its cinematic execution, but I adore the Albert Finney musical version, Thank You Very Much!
1949 Vincent Price (TV special on DVD)
1954 Frederic March, Basil Rathbone (TV special on DVD)
These are two that I have and watch. Due to the original airing on TV, the story is truncated.
For a more complete list that will boggle your mind, check this site out: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls050850349/
I assume you are purposely leaving off all of the amazing radio versions. I can think of three I would add, the Lionel Barrymore version for sure in that from 1939 to 1949 at least America enjoyed this version performed live every year. The 1938 version with a 23 year old Orson Welles in the lead is a revelation, and lastly the western version with the characters Eben and Jake replacing Ebineezer and Jacob narrated by Jimmy Stewart is a sublime oddity.
Yes, I left those off. I listen to the Lionel Barrymore one every year (oh how I wish he did the movie as planned), and I have the NPR one with Jonathan Winters to listen to tonight actually. And will listen to the Orson Welles one posted earlier. Never heard of the Jimmy Stewart one - that would be cool. Just not sure how to compare them to films.
Poll created: POLL: Favorite Scrooge / adaptation of A Christmas Carol
Six Shooter 1953-12-20 (Ep 14) Britt Ponset's Christmas Carol with Jimmy Stewart. Howard McNear and Dick Beals plus Gunsmoke Podcast 1952-12-20 (035) Christmas Story
Orson Welles Podcast 1938-12-23 Campbell Playhouse - Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
The rare version with Orson Welles as Scrooge, the part usually played in radio by Lionel Barrymore!
How good does your copy of Lionel Barrymore's version sound, I just found an absolutely excellent copy if anyone wants me to post it.
I got it at a dollar store years ago. Budget CD release, but sounds OK to me. Would be curious to hear the one you're referring to though.
A Christmas Carol 1939-12-24 Lionel Barrymore and host Orson Welles
Dropbox - A Christmas Carol 1939-12-24 Lionel Barrymore and host Orson Welles (256).mp3
I wouldn't be so hasty in not including animated versions - the Richard Williams Academy Award winning version from 1971 has Alastair Sim reprising his role as Scrooge and Michael Hordern as Marley's Ghost from the 1951 film. It's really well-done:
I know what you mean, but I thought it was sort of comparing apples to oranges. Maybe another poll for the animated versions next...
Then don't forget this one, it is actually quite good, with Fred as E-bone-ezer and Barney as Cragit, the "clark."
Yes, between the Flintstones, Mickey, Mr Magoo and the one with Alistair Sims, this could be an interesting poll. There's also the one with Nicholas Cage as Marley, and the one with Tim Curry as Scrooge. Any others?
This one, with a very scary Jacob Marley:
That one is definitely my favorite animated Marley. The Richard Williams one is better in everything but Marley.
So no one looked at my playlist I posted # 330, where I have listed all these and more, including the three Bransby Lewis "Awakening of Scrooge" audio versions, the two different versions [east and west coast?] of the 1939 broadcasts with Lionel Barrymore on The Campbell Playhouse (“Orson Welles, producer”) in various edit lengths, with and without intros, as well as the 1938 with Orson Welles subbing when Barrymore was paid not to play the part he was known for [Barrymore had agreed not to compete with MGM’s Scrooge by playing the role for Campbell’s], and the subsequent three abridged versions from MGM in 1947 and the "Mayor Of The Town" in '44 and '49?
Poe Forevermore Tales of Mystery & Imagination
Not to mention Ronald Coleman full and edited Decca versions, Basil Rathbone Columbia version as well as his later musical version (with and without John Carradine narration), Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Lord Buckley with the hipster twist on the tale, Kenny Everett, Black Adder, and even Kathleen Turner as a female Scrooge?
Theres also Rich Little's playing all the parts, and a great 'mashup' in 11 parts of all the visual versions while telling the story that's very well done! Not to mention a 3 hour narration of the book by Jim Dale which is excellent! Over 100 versions...
Thanks for the reminder. I missed this the first time you posted. That's a great playlist & I'll be checking out as much as I can over the next week
Slight correction... 3 versions from Bransby Williams of "Awakening of Scrooge" audio, from ca. 1905-1912.
Bransby Williams: the Lionel Barrymore of his day!
edit: I watched the 'Mashup' last night and realized it endeavored to include most every available instance that was true to the original text (except for Scrooged clips, of course). Very enjoyable!
Pick an old favorite, discover a new favorite, any Carol will do!
Well, to be honest, that wasn't really a post. It was a link. I often don't look at links unless someone actually has some actual words to go along with what the link is and what it contains.
Scroogefest tomorrow! we watch them all every year!
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