Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Scrooge (1951)

Grumpy old man ... ghosts ... Let's get on with it, shall we?

This version, wildly considered one of the best, is the most complete I have seen, as well as the most augmented. But more important that that is it's the best acted. Let's cover the augmentation, shall we?

Must we see Scrooge and Marley meet for the first time? See them ruthlessly run Old Fezziwig out of business? Witness the death of Marley? And of Fanny? These scenes, done well as they were, did not distract from the story. However, I don't see what they added. In the end I found them easy to ignore. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but better than what could have been.

Despite the additional material, this was the most faithful and best made adaption. More of the original dialog, more of the intent of the narrative, and the performances paid proper respect. Alastair Sim was both imposing as angry Scrooge and believable as the repentant version. I could quibble with the pointless changes from the source material (why is Belle called Alice?) but if artfully done, it simply doesn't matter. The MGM version was clunky at times, particularly during the added details, and I fault it for that. Here, all right notes were struck on this Christmas classic. AMRU 4.
"There's more gravy than grave about you."

No comments:

Post a Comment