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Renown Pictures version review
on 2 November 2014
I would like to stress that this is not a review of the film overall; it's a classic and my favourite version of the story. What I'm reviewing is specifically the Renown Pictures version of the film, which is a travesty and would be overpriced in a Poundland bin. The case is poor quality and the insert looks like it was run off on a bad home printer, but I could forgive that. What makes me angry is the state of the film and what you actually get.
Thanks to Amazon's annoying habit of lumping reviews for a dozen different versions of a product together and attaching them to every version of the product, I was under the impression that this had the original monochrome film and the colourised version. Not so: all this contains is the colourised version, and absolutely nothing else. There has been added to the film a bland, uninformative and unnecessary introduction by Patrick MacNee, which looks like it was pirated on home video from an American tv broadcast. There is also a really intrusive logo for some sound company (who I would have thought would be better keeping quiet about their involvement in this travesty). The colourisation hasn't been done badly, just not especially well; in one scene Scrooge, who has been dark haired throughout, suddenly appears to have dyed his hair gingery-blond.
The picture quality, despite this being allegedly 'digitally restored and remastered' is very poor. There are frequent blemishes and even skips where the film is damaged. The only digital work done on this that I could see was the colour, which I could live without. The sound quality is equally bad, with a lot of hiss and fuzziness. At some points dialogue is barely comprehensible because of poor sound reproduction. I can honestly say I felt totally ripped off after paying some thirteen pounds for this shambles. I have remastered films from the 30s that have been rendered crystal clear in sound and picture, so it can be done - it's just that Renown Pictures haven't bothered to do anything at all with this. If you love Sim's version of Scrooge, don't buy this edition.