Scrooge - A Christmas Carol
Over the last couple of hours I've been keeping a very close eye on you, Ebenezer Scrooge (Sir Seymour Hicks). And do you know what I've discovered? I've discovered that you are a very bad man! Particularly with how you've shunned an invitation to Christmas dinner from your nephew Fred (Robert Cochran), as well as how you've shabbily mistreated your employee, Bob Cratchit (Donald Calthrop).
But no more, Ebenezer! You got that? No more. For I am your old partner, Jacob Marley, and I've come back from the dead so tonight, at the stroke of , I will get you to change the error of your ways!
OK. I admit. It won't be doing this by myself. It will be three spirits, and each of them will show you a different aspect of Christmas past, present, and future. Now one of these spirits will show you how you turned your back on a loved one all those many years ago. Another will show you how the value of family means a lot more than the value of a bank note. And as for the third spirit? Ha! That one might be the death of you, my friend! A death that will hang around your neck as heavy as the burden I now carry around mine.
Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all gets rather emotional when a message of Christmas turns into a message of hope. As an old skin-flint gets a right fright - is it time now to finally see the light - be prepared for a loss of a disabled son - and at the end of the day, Merry Christmas, and God bless us, everyone.
Now before I tell you what I think about this 1935 version of 'Scrooge', please allow me to present you with a number of noted observations. Firstly, out of the four spirits you will only see one of them on screen: That one being the 'Ghost of Christmas Present' played by Oscar Asche. Secondly, a large chunk of the narrative is dedicated to setting-up the Scrooge character prior to his haunting, thus leaving the remainder of the plot a small amount of time in comparison to other versions. And thirdly, a number of characters have either been omitted or reduced to fleeting cameo appearances: Those noticeably being a few members of Scooges own family.
Yeah. It's as simple at that really. Physiology, Victorian style. No die hard special effects or gruesome scenes needed in this adventure, my friends. Because as anybody living in the real world would surely tell you, the only sure fire way of hurting someone deep inside is to show them who they really are, warts and all.
Anyway. This production doesn't need any special effects cause it's a great tale which is easy to follow, complemented by a timely tone and some stellar performances by Donald Calthrop and Sir Seymour Hicks. In Donald's case, not only does he look like Bob Cratchit from the books, but he also seems to have channeled that Victorian era vibe comprising of pathos and verisimilitude. And in the case of Seymour, My God! He is Scrooge in both appearance and attitude, despite hamming it up slightly by the end of the film.
Overall I'd say 'Scrooge' is a great Christmas movie for any of you tight-fisted pain the ass skin-flints who need to see the light. So go on. Get your cash out and grab yourself a copy. As you never know, if you don't, tonight you might get a right fright?
THE RATING: A