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].Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›