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A Christmas Carol

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Reginald Owen, Kathleen Lockhart, Barry Mackay, Terry Kilburn, Gene Lockhart
  • Directors: Edwin Marin
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Nov. 8 2005
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000B5XOZ2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,006 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Christmas Carol, A (1938) (DVD)


This 1938 MGM version of the Dickens classic is not the most rewarding of the various adaptations (that honor goes to Biran Desmond Hurst's 1951 film, starring Alistair Sim), but it has a strong if narrow performance by Reginald Owen as the miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Directed by Edward L. Marin, the movie is stiffer and less imaginative than it ought to be, but there are some compensations in the supporting cast, including Leo G. Carroll, and the film debut of little June Lockhart. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This 1938 MGM adaptation of Dicken's ageless classic, "A Christmas Carol," is absolutely hands down the best version out of all the other movie versions that have been attempted, but unfortunately it is the least known of all. This is a must see for those attempting to find the best Scrooge movie out there. Why it hasn't been relesed on DVD yet is a true mystery, but the VHS version is still in good enough condition for one to add to his or her collection, at least until a DVD version is finally released.
MGM's casting of Reginald Owen as the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge in their 1938 production was the best decision they ever made. He is a natural, and absolutely the most believable Scrooge I have ever witnessed. Moreover, the screenplay helps him by cohesively flowing from one scene to the next, while at the same time continuing to reveal the most depth and christmas spirit within his character, as well as within all the other supporting characters.
Compared to all the other portrayals of Scrooge out there, Reginald Owens is the only actor who gives true love and meaning to his character. This allows the viewer to actually witness Scrooge's frozen heart slowly melt away as the movie unfolds, to reveal a sincere and genuinly kind old man, who, in the end, actually wants to truly help his fellow human being.
Personally, I don't understand why the other reviewers applaud Simm's portrayal of Scrooge in a later version of this movie, as I found Simm's personality to be much too abrasive and a bit overacted [especially the scenes where he is laughing after he has supposedly found redemption].
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Format: VHS Tape
I have been waiting for some time now for the 1938 "Christmas Carol" to be released onto DVD. What I truly hope is that MGM/UA will take care (and pride) to either use the original film print or search for the best print they can find, and digitally master the DVD.
I won't care if the disc has colorized and B&W versions, but it would be a shame if a DVD gives the consumer only a colorized version. That's really why I didn't give more stars in my review here, which is about both the movie and presentation. I'm a traditionalist, and I don't believe that colorizing a movie makes it better. The 1938 "Christmas Carol" is a wonderful classic, and it has stood the test of time for that very reason.
I have seen many reviews where people compare this version to the 1951 release, "Scrooge" (starring Alastair Sim). For the people who simply enjoy movies during the holiday season, I wouldn't pick, I would suggest you choose both versions! They both are very fine movies. What people liked about "Scrooge" is that the characters produced some more spontaneously funny moments that break the otherwise dark and gloomy tone of the story (read below, if you like my rambling!).
For those of you who want the B&W version, stay away from this particular tape (MGM has a B/W VHS title). I have already written MGM/UA requesting a remastered DVD, in the meantime.
Don't hold your breath waiting for a DVD for the 1938 version. I have not seen anything about any future release dates for a DVD. I guess the VHS format will have to hold us off until then.
Okay, some rambling.... There are two characters in the "Scrooge" movie that I could have sworn mimic two other characters in a different flick. The maid, Mrs.
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Format: VHS Tape
Charles Dicken's classic Christmas story has been filmed countless times over the years since sound was introduced and this particular version was MGM's lavish 1938 contribution to the series of films on the Charles Dicken's short story. Stangely nowadays it is a largely forgotten film despite it's excellent cast and top class production values. One explanation is that there have been so many truly superb versions filmed since that if the choice of screening one at Christmas arises this version is sadly forgotten. The 1951 film with Alistair Sim and the version starring George C. Scott are certainly stunning retellings of this story but this version deserves a better press than it generally gets. Certainly MGM put all the considerable resources that it had at it's disposal into filming this story and produced a beautifully crafted movie that while it takes at times a different approach to the warmly regarded Sim version is just as enjoyable and effective in conveying Dicken's age old message.
One of this versions great strengths is the superb cast that typically MGM was expert at assembling for these blockbuster stories. Front and centre in this production is Reginald Owen in the star making role of Ebenezer Scrooge, the horrid old miser who through the course of one Christmas Eve is visited by three spirits who show him the error of his ways and his need to reform before he joins those poor souls damned to an eternity of hellfire and torment like his former coworker Jacob Marley. First choice for this role, the legendary Lionel Barrymore who played the character of Scrooge on a Christmas Radio broadcast every year was unwell when this production got underway and actually recommended Reginald Owen to the powers that be at MGM as an ideal replacement for himself.
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