Monday, December 5, 2016

Scrooge (1970)

Grumpy old man, ghosts, Christmas spirit … and now featuring SONGS!

Ah, A Christmas Carol, we meet again. Let’s see how you stack up, shall we? Most of what I love of the Dickens story is here, but not without issues. I don’t mind additions to the original story so long as the intent is kept. The obvious example here are the songs, which, even though they didn’t charm me,  I give them a pass. The acting is good for the most part and it’s an accurate retelling. The tone, however, seemed inconsistent. Sometimes serious, sometimes goofy.

In Stave IV Scrooge doesn’t just fall on his grave, but travels to a hell resembling a bad Star Trek TOS set. Silliness ensues. Also, not a fan of Alec Guinness’ (Jacob Marley) performance. Trying to be ethereal and mysterious by moving in a stylized slow motion manner, he looked like he was cruising the strip in the Castro. Hate to say that about an actor I really respect. Forgive me Obi Wan.

Not a lot interesting to say about the film either. Scrooge’s Albert Finney was twelve years younger than the man playing his little sister's son. They called Belle ‘Isabel’ (which beats the hell out of Alice!) and made her the daughter of Old Fezziwig Himself. Alec Guinness’ musical number was cut. Should have cut a couple more.

Attractive sets, the acting good for the most part, and the musical numbers were ok, if you are into that sort of thing. The tonal inconsistency and tedious length keep Scrooge from excelling. And it needed some tightening. Fifteen minutes shorter … AMRU 3.

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