Scrooge 1935 Cover We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. But only if you get up off of your lazy backsides, and watch the following 78 minute movie made in 1935. It was Directed by: Henry Edwards; and Starred: Sir Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, with Robert Cochran.

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 midnight, 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.

Scrooge Starring Sir Seymour Hicks
But apart from that, dear reader... Wow! What a brilliant-brilliant film. In my eyes if you don't cry at least once whilst watching it you must be one cold hearted ass-wh*le. In no uncertain terms it's a morality tale -- a very Yuletide morality tale -- about a measly old git who changes the error of his ways after he is visited by four Christmas ghosts. And, if you've never seen this flick before, let me just add that each of these ghosts changes his ways by showing him how he thinks more of money than he does of people.   

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.

Scrooge 1935 Starring Sir Seymour Hicks

Scrooge DVD Cover Starring Sir Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, with Robert Cochran
Still. That slight gripe isn't very important within the scheme of things. Yet what is important -- surprise-surprise -- is the following filmic facts'. Bah! (1) 'Julius Hagen Productions' first released this adventure in London, England, on the exact same month MGM released their classic Marx Brothers comedy, 'A Night at the Opera'. It was on the 26th of November, 1935. (2) Just in case you didn't know, this flick was loosely based on a novella written by Sir Charles Dickens called 'A Christmas Carol', and it was published by 'Chapman & Hall' on the 19th of December, 1843. (3) The majority of this movie was shot at 'Twickenham Film Studios', located within the English county of Middlesex. (4) Currently there are three versions of this film available to the public. There's the original 78 minute version, an edited-down 63-minute version, as well as a 60-minute television version. (5) That nice North Londoner who edited this movie, Ralph Kemplen, also edited another Charles Dickens adaptation made 33 years later. It was the 1968 musical, 'Oliver!', based on the popular book, 'Oliver Twist'. (6) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'What happened when Scrooge saw Marley's face on the door knocker, and the clock struck twelve!'. (7) Sir Seymour Hicks played the part of Ebenezer Scrooge twice on camera. Firstly, in the 1913 version of the film called 'Old Scrooge'. And secondly, in this, the second version. (8) From 1901 to 2010, this tale has been transcribed onto the silver screen 80 times in total. (9) After this classic stuffed a turkey, Sir Seymour Hicks starred in the comedy, 'Eliza Comes to Stay'; Donald Calthrop starred in the drama, 'Broken Blossoms'; and Robert Cochran starred in the adventure, 'The Limping Man'.

Scrooge Starring Sir Seymour Hicks and Oscar Asche

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?

Nuff said.


SCROOGE (1935) - A CHRISTMAS CAROL SCROOGE (1935) - A CHRISTMAS CAROL Reviewed by David Andrews on December 24, 2014 Rating: 5
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