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3.5 out of 5 stars
A Christmas Carol: The Musical [DVD]
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2010
Let me start by saying that I have seen numerous adaptations of "A Christmas Carol", and I have read the book, so I know the story inside out. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst adaptation I have ever seen. I love musicals, but I could not get through this. I absolutely agree with all the other reviewers about the acting and the songs - both are terrible.

Even though it costs £2.99 (+ p&p), it is just not worth it, so take my advice and go for one of the better versions, such as "The Muppet Christmas Carol", "Scrooge (Albert Finney version)", "A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version)" or "A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)" (I have not seen the Alistair Sim version, but I plan on watching it this Christmas).

EDIT: OK, I watched the Alastair Sim version last night, and it was brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Having already made one decent enough version of Dickens' perennial tale with Patrick Stewart, kings of the mini-series Hallmark took a second bite of the Christmas pudding with 2004's A Christmas Carol - The Musical, though it's the audience that's left with indigestion. It's not the first version to take liberties with the plot, this time replacing Scrooge's unhappy childhood with Dickens' own, but Lynn Ahrens' script is as messy as her lyrics and Alan Menken's music isn't always good enough to compensate for their banality (it's certainly not another Beauty and the Beast or Little Mermaid despite his involvement). But far more than turning the Ghost of Christmas Past into a scantily-clad Jane Krakowski pole-dancing around Scrooge's four-poster bed as part of a `reimagining' of the three spirits, the thing that really hobbles it is the colossal miscasting of the lead, with Kelsey Grammer's atrociously amateurish display of staggeringly bad overacting bidding fair to be the worst screen Ebenezer Scrooge ever, leaving the film with a huge hole in its heart. Arthur Allan Seidelman's uncertain direction and the poor editing of the already slightly under-rehearsed choreography do it few favors either, though somehow the power of the story does win through and some moments - generally the ones where Grammer is kept firmly on the sidelines out of harm's way - manage to work regardless. But you're still better off sticking to the Albert Finney musical version.

The only extra is a trailer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2010
Although this film was well made, it was a bit like an opera in that there was very little in the way of the spoken word and lots, and lots, and lots of singing. I like musicals, but I like a balance between the music and verbal interaction between characters. Certainly not my favourite 'A Christmas Carol' film.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2006
This has got to be one of the worst films that I have ever seen. I am not even sure that I can bear to watch Kelsey Grammer in Frasier any more and that is one of my all time favourites. This is really Hollywood at its schmutziest, sugary worst. Think Oliver crossed with the Waltons but with even worse acting and music. The same phoney Cockney accents, a London so spruce and perfect that even today Londoner's wouldn't recognise it, let alone an inhabitant from the 19th Century East End. Dickens must be spinning in his grave!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2006
Please,please avoid this!
This is one of the worst films ever.

The Acting (without exception) is terrible.
The songs (without exception) are utter drivel:- the most tuneless crap I have ever heard. The normally fine Alan Menken to blame here. (Edit 14/11/11; I have been a Menken fan since 'Little Shop of Horrors 1986, but his work here is lacklustre at best!)

One of the main problems with the music & songs, is that it borders on being an opera. With almost every line of dialouge sung. Now for a well written opera, fine. But here the style is extremely tedious, especially with no memorable tunes, or songs.

The production has had no thought at all, Victorian London was never this clean & they didn't light the street lights during the day. (like they do here), Everything too, is bathed in glorious sunshine. No fog, no atmosphere of any kind! Truly awful.

If you do watch this, you too may laugh at Jane Krakowski (Ally McBeal) Ghost of Christmas paaaast(dodgy accent alert!) pole dance for scrooge. (I'm not kidding!) She is very attractive, but utterly, utterly wrong here!

Kelsey Gramar is terribe as Scrooge too!
He overacts like his life depends on it, with a squint, a limp and an accent that is far worse than Dick Van Dyke's in Mary Poppins.
With absolutely NO redeeming qualities, not one, over any other version; I cannot suggest strongly enough, you give this a miss!

Which all go to make up a GOD-AWFUL film.

If it's a musical Christmas you want, then look no further than the 1970 SCROOGE (1 Oscar, 6 nominations) Need I say more?

If you read (& believe) the 5 star reviews, then watch this....Well; You were warned!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2006
This version is pretty good if you love musicals, if not don't bother, although Kelsey Grammer plays a reasonable good part, the story relies to much on the music and not enough on the story. If you want a real good Scrooge, them go for Alastair Sim, The definative and the best Scrooge by a good mile, but saying this, if you want a more up to date version of the Christmas Carol, George C Scott and Patrick Stewart also make a convincing Scrooge.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2006
I've seen many movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol & this is by far the worst I have seen. I would have given it 0 Stars but thats not available.
1st off, I'm not a fan of Kelsey Grammer but this review is not biased against him at all as I love movies based on the festive season of Xmas, but I've never seen someone overact a role as badly as this ever! His hobbling walk, bent over back, squinted eyes were all over exagerrated to the point where about a 3rd of the way through I thought that because Kelsey was a comedy actor that this was perhaps a spoof!!.
Believe me by the end I wasnt laughing I can tell you!.
You can tell this a Hollywood adaptation as all the actors were lavishley dressed, Old London Town looked clean, rich & prosperous (inc Bob Cratchets house!), the ghost of Xmas past was scantily clad, & did I see Mr Bumble appear from Oliver Twist?
Finally Kelsey's make up seems to be non existent. Scrooge was a worn out man in his 50's/60's & did NOT have an orange Hollywood tan!
If you want to watch a typical Hollywood version & waste your time & money then go ahead. If you want to feel that Xmas glow inside of you then I suggest the following versions: "A Christmas Carol"(George C Scott), (Patrick Stewart), "Scrooge" (Alistair Sim), ((Albert Finney), "A Muppets Christmas Carol" (Michael Caine, Muppets etc).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2009
As others have already stated - terrible. Kelsey Grammer starts off completely hunched over, walking with legs so far apart it's not natural and has extremely squinting eyes (very odd) but of course being 'nice and giving' heals all ailments, so by the end his eyes are huge and he's upright, dancing and carrying tiny tim around on his shoulders. Everything is clean and the streets, houses etc all huge - the cratchets have double beds for the children! (by the way, if you are going to watch this, look out for knitted character with Tiny Tim, finding that was the highlight of the film for us).
The film has no mood or atmosphere; Scrooge goes home from work while the streetlights are being lit - in bright sunlight(!) so must have fininshed work early afternoon (dont think sunlight got through to 'old London town' at all back then, especially not in the evening when he should've gone home). Oh, and that pole dance on Scrooge's bed by the 'ghost of christmas past' - what's that about! She's not wearing much and seems to be coming on to lucky old Ebenezer every time she looks at him. When the ghost of christmas present says 'this boy is ignorance' with a close-up of a cross-eyed boy, we found it hilarious not moving, and the ghost of christmas yet to be is a woman dressed all in white, smiling and expressing herself in mime and dance!
The British accents as you would expect are poor, performances are over the top but most of all has the most awful songs that last far too long and I LOVE musicals and operas and I love Kelsey Grammer, but this is sooooo bad. I've seen pretty much every version of A Christmas Carol as it's my favourite story ever, but this is the worst - only watched this one to the end because of a bet! Cant even say watch it for a laugh as you WILL turn it off. Please get a proper version with Alistair Simm if you can or Patrick Stewart, or for a musical version go for Michael Caine with the Muppets (which is brilliant by the way) or Albert Finnay; even Bill Murray in Scrooged captures the essence of Scrooge. All these versions finish perfectly - not as this one does making scrooge go from a bitter miser to an egotistical maniac singing 'if we save a few, let it all have to do with me'! Don't know what others were watching who gave this praise - do yourself a favour and AVOID.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2004
This film is a must to watch, i remember seeing it at about 13 and falling in love with the concept of the film. Now at 25 i managed to track down a copy and found nothing had changed. Yes the acting isnt fantastic, but the scenery and the love story is very engaging
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2006
My Christmas wouldn't be complete without watching "A Christmas Carol" but this adaptation is one of the worst I have seen. I'm very fond of Kelsey Grammer but his acting here is just so hammed up and wooden and the rest of the cast are no better. Jason Alexander seemed totally miscast and the children were wooden and disappointing without exception. The whole thing looks like an amateur dramatics production filmed on flimsy sets at your local theatre - and everywhere seems to be within two steps of where the characters are as if the whole thing was filmed on a tiny set. Some of the songs weren't bad but overall I just didn't think it worked as a musical (only the Muppets could pull that off). There was also just too much singing (perhaps an unfair criticism of a musical..) but some of the songs seemed pointless and unremarkable. There was nothing that appealed to me about this production, none of the characters were sympathetic and I just thought it had no heart. I was completely unmoved by it.
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