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128 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite adaptation of my favorite Christmas tale
Christmas just isn't Christmas unless you watch at least one version of A Christmas Carol, and this is by far my favorite. George C. Scott gives one of the greatest performances I have ever seen an actor give; he truly becomes Ebenezer Scrooge to the fullest degree possible. Scott can say more with just the slightest hint of a facial movement than many actors can say...
Published on 11 Dec. 2002 by Daniel Jolley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What the Dickens!
I showed this rather old film to a class studying the text for GCSE as I thought it would be a change from a cartoonish version. Anything to amuse and help them get to grips with it...This film being older than the students, now seems rather clunky and wooden in places but it serves a purpose.
However most of them don't have much idea of what it was like in...
Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by sherbert


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128 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite adaptation of my favorite Christmas tale, 11 Dec. 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Christmas just isn't Christmas unless you watch at least one version of A Christmas Carol, and this is by far my favorite. George C. Scott gives one of the greatest performances I have ever seen an actor give; he truly becomes Ebenezer Scrooge to the fullest degree possible. Scott can say more with just the slightest hint of a facial movement than many actors can say during the course of an entire movie. All of the performers here are excellent, bringing to life adored characters such as Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge's nephew Fred. All four spirits are remarkable, none more so than Scrooge's old partner Jacob Marley; having Marley's jaw drop after untying the burial cloth holding his mouth closed is an important aspect of the story and certainly does make an impression on the viewer. This is just one example of the moviemakers' faithfulness to Charles Dickens' original story; another would be the inclusion of the two miserable children, Ignorance and Want, beneath the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present.
This timeless tale works extremely well on its own, but the unsurpassed acting skills of Scott make it almost more than real. The change wrought in him during the course of the night, as he changes from a man of crass materialism and unkindness to a repentant soul pleading for a chance to change his ways, is powerfully presented and really touches the viewer emotionally. The simple happiness revealed in the lives of Bob Cratchit and others are as heart-warming as the forgotten mistakes and pains of a younger Scrooge are agonizing. If there is any heart out there that is not touched by the goodness and courage of Tiny Tim, I don't even want to know about it. No matter how many times you watch this movie, it proves itself capable of bringing a tear to your eye, a lump in your throat, and ultimately the very spirit of true holiday cheer and Christian charity that Dickens intended it to convey.
I cannot say I have seen every adaptation of A Christmas Carol, but I really cannot believe any other version could exceed the quality and emotional impact of this one. No matter how many times I read the story or watch the movie, it remains a source of eternal joy to me. This is more than a movie for me; it is an important and necessary part of each and every Christmas holiday season.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Scott - the most believable onscreen Scrooge of them all, 24 Dec. 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] [1984] (Blu-ray)
"These are garments, Mr. Cratchit. Garments were invented by the human race as a protection against the cold. Once purchased, they may be used indefinitely for the purpose for which they are intended. Coal burns. Coal is momentary and coal is costly. There will be no more coal burned in this office today, is that quite clear, Mr. Cratchit?"

Common wisdom has it that Alastair Sim is the greatest screen Scrooge, yet much as I hove Sim's work it's hard to shake the feeling that those who say it have never seen the 1984 television version of A Christmas Carol that garnered George C. Scott a particularly well-earned Emmy nomination (he didn't win, but since he wouldn't have turned up anyway that's probably no great surprise). Scott is absolutely remarkable in the role, actually making what is too often a stereotyped and blustering role into a truly credible human being. It's not just the best Scrooge, it's also Scott's best performance, at once both intelligently thought out and played with real emotion.

Scott certainly wasn't adverse to the taste of scenery in his louder performances, but he resists the temptation to ham it up with a surprisingly sensitively underplayed performance that doesn't go for the usual notes to play but finds his own much more convincing ones in the part. He's a monetarist who genuinely enjoys making money and just as genuinely can't understand the mindset that despises both poverty and the acquisition of wealth: it's a concept that's simply beyond him. He's not a joke or a parody but a damaged and misguided man who has to be guided back to the company of his fellow man, and you actually care about him enough to root for him to do so along the way.

Scott is the main reason to see this version, but not the only one. Ably directed by Clive Donner, who edited the Alastair Sim version, Roger O. Hirson's screenplay emphasises character over special effects, which are fairly simple but for the most part effective, only running into difficulties in the more awkward to stage moments from the novel like blanking out the Ghost of Christmas Past with her funnel cap. Much of the film is staged fairly conservatively until the appearance of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, at once the most stylised section, and also the most touching, but it's a particularly handsome production that makes excellent use of its locations in Shrewsbury - a particularly appropriate location, since Dickens gave his first of many public readings of the book there. There's a fine supporting cast too - Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present, David Warner and Susannah York as the Cratchits, Frank Finlay going a bit OTT as Marley's Ghost as well as familiar faces like Joanne Whalley, Nigel Davenport, Roger Rees, Liz Smith, Derek Francis and Michael Gough in smaller roles along the way. Nick Bicat's score does overdo Mickey Mousing the drama in a couple of places, but for the most part it avoids overegging it too much. Nothing in the film quite comes close to Scott's extraordinary lead performance, but for the most part cast and crew support him admirably.

Long available on a budget DVD release, although there's some detail lost in the darker shadows of the offices of Scrooge and Marley, Fox's Bluray is a big improvement on their previous DVD release, with a lot more detail in the faces that carry much of the film. Although this was released as a feature film internationally, the extras-free disc preserves the original 1.33:1 fullframe ratio. Highly recommended.
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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An little known christmas gem, 15 Nov. 2001
By 
T. Roberson - See all my reviews
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For anyone, like me, sick to death of the various americanised remakes - from the muppets to scrooged - this one will come as a breath of fresh air.
A genuinely moving retelling of the original story which also manages to remain thoroughly festive from start to finish.
The magic of this film owes much to the superb performances of not only George C Scott in the lead role, but also that of the excellent supporting British cast (Incidentally, George manages an admirable job of shaking his American accent).
This remains my all time favourite version of this classic christmas tale. If you only ever own one version of A Christmas Carol, make it this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE DEFINITIVE CHRISTMAS CAROL., 26 Nov. 2014
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This production, a TV event in its day, is of the highest quality and could easily be mistaken as a theatrical film to those who didn't know better. Aside from Scott's award worthy performance the supporting cast is peppered with marvelous work. David Warner is a terrific Bob Cratchit, timid and kindly but strong with Susannah York as nice counterpoint as a scrappy Mrs. Cratchit. At first Anthony Walters is a disconcerting Tiny Tim with his breathy, somewhat dreamy take on the character until you take into account that Tim is ill and would be fey.

Angela Pleasance is a delightful and somewhat punk, with her ultra white hair, Ghost of Christmas Past. Unbowed by the blustery Scrooge and especially notable is Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present. He's full of brio and swagger with booming voice and resplendent in his velvet robes. That's one thing that makes this production stand out from others, often the spirits are just guides for Scrooge and recede into the woodwork once he begins his journey with them. Here they add an extra layer of enjoyment onto the tale.

Equally fine is Roger Rees as Scrooge's nephew Fred, keeping his jaunty humor and outlook even when confronted with his uncle's bitter and miserly ways. Lucy Gutteridge also makes a lovely and gentle Belle, Scrooge's lost love. In fact every role no matter how incidental is played expertly and contributes a piece of texture to the film.

As marvelous as the other players and the costume and set design are, and they are truly wonderful, Christmas Carol rises or falls on its Scrooge. That's where this production truly excels. There have been many fine actors who have essayed the role but once seeing George C. in the part it's hard to imagine a better interpretation. Playing off his natural crusty disposition and ability to fly into volcanic outburst at a moment's notice the Scrooge of the early going is a thoroughly hard and distasteful man but thanks to the actor's inherent warmth when he does an about face at the film's conclusion it is once again completely believable.

A holiday treasure not to be missed!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best - If Not THE Best!, 20 Nov. 2009
By 
This is a superb adaptation. It is 'A Christmas Carol' as it should be - not some modernized version. The fine cast perform admirably - especially the leading man. When I discovered that George C Scott was an American, I was amazed! In this film, his English accent is perfect, and he is arguably one of the finest Scrooges ever depicted on screen.

This is definately one for the dvd shelf.

Best bit: Scrooge: (to Ghost Of Christmas Future) "you're devilish hard to have a conversation with!"

Priceless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What the Dickens!, 15 Feb. 2013
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I showed this rather old film to a class studying the text for GCSE as I thought it would be a change from a cartoonish version. Anything to amuse and help them get to grips with it...This film being older than the students, now seems rather clunky and wooden in places but it serves a purpose.
However most of them don't have much idea of what it was like in Victorian times - a murky past where people wore long dresses. It draws rather obviously on previous film versions but although Scrooge seems quite well acted he is not physically right for this part. It does help to convey the period and the way Scrooge slowly changes and comes around to another way of seeing things. Ponderous in places and the Cratchits should be poorer, why are film makers afraid of dirt and dust. London was filthy in Dickens' time, here it is too clean and polished. But then the story itself has a saccharine, sentimental quality with a race to the finish. How Tiny should Tiny Tim be? Scrooge is far too well built.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GEORGE G SCOTT IS SCROOGE PERSONIFIED, 4 Dec. 2013
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
George C Scott is splendid in this rendition of A Christmas Carol, with a wonderful supporting cast, consummate acting throughout, and a great music score make this (for me) the best version to date. Scott's character is all encompassing,cynical and humorous, absolutely outstanding.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas isn't Christmas without it, 4 Feb. 2009
By 
A. B. Paine "Happy man" (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Bought this because my video-tape copy just got worn out. Watch it in the week before Christmas, and if nothing else it should make you ponder on the merits of commercialism (especially at Christmas), reflect on benevolence, and get you in the Christmas spirit - if you'll pardon the pun! George C Scott is excellent, but so's most of the cast. I was initially unimpressed by some of the script - e.g. Scrooge asking the visiting ghost of Marley (like he was some expected mortal visitor) whether he can sit down, and when the ghost says he can, Scrooge, pointing to a vacant chair then says 'well do it then'!...just the kind of conversation one would have when confronted by a ghost (never mind the pointlessness of even a chain-burdened ghost sitting down!). - But then I read the book, and, with my apologies to the script-writers, found this very passage of dialogue in it! (Could this be where the expression 'what the Dickens are you talking about?' originates??!!) Notwithstanding all that, a great film and a great book. I'd also recommend the Muppets version too - Micheal Caine's Scrooge I thought was even better than GCS's albeit in a very different context.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Adaptation, 26 Nov. 2013
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By far the greatest adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," I remember watching this version at least once every December for most of my childhood. There were parts that I found a little scary, and parts that filled me with sadness. Watching this movie as an adult I still admire every aspect, and each of the emotions I used to feel come rushing back to me. It is true to the original text and it looks perfect in every way. The brilliant cast delivers each line as it ought to be, and with emotion in action, without over-acting, the finished production is nothing short of perfect.

If you want the perfect Christmas movie for all the family this year, or if you want to see classic imagery of a Victorian fairy tale, this is the only adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" you should consider.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perennial christmas favourite, 16 Feb. 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the finest productions of this Charles Dickens classic story about the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge being shown the error of his ways. He is visited first by the ghost of his old partner Jacob Marley who warns the old man that his immortal soul will wander the earth for eternity if he doesn't mend his miserly manner. He is also warned he will be visited by three ghosts, Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future who will try and help him avoid an eternity of wandering bound in chains. Initially Scrooge is sure the spectres are caused by "a piece of bad beef" but as the story progresses he is forced to face the reality of his life and to realise that he has a duty to his fellow man.
George C Scott is outstanding as the miserly, miserable Scrooge. Other well known faces appear such as Edward Woodward, Frank Finlay, Susannah York and Angela Pleasance. This is a film that warms the heart and never becomes dated. Essential viewing during the festive season.
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A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] [1984]
A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] [1984] by George C. Scott (Blu-ray - 2010)
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