Black Adder's Christmas Carol [Import]
The Victorian generation of Blackadders has produced a surprisingly genial chap, until a dream reveals the true path to success.
Among the many films and TV shows that add a new twist to Charles Dickens's classic tale, Blackadder's Christmas Carol is the most ingenious. It was made between Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989), and its inspired concept is to recast the self-serving Edmund Blackadder (Rowen Atkinson) not as Dickens's misanthropic miser but as the most kindhearted man in England. Tony Robinson's Baldrick is as moronic as ever, while Robbie Coltrane plays the Spirit of Christmas like a forerunner to his Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, showing Edmund visions of past and future to not quite the desired effect. Hugh Laurie returns as the Prince Regent from Blackadder the Third, and the entire court from Blackadder II (1986) is reassembled for japes involving a merry seasonal death warrant. Miranda Richardson is outrageously capricious as Elizabeth I, then takes the character a stage further in a decadent space-opera future that also sees Patsy (Nursie) Byrne as an android. Though not quiet as laugh-out-loud funny as the regular Blackadder series, this is an excellent Yuletide special. --Gary S. Dalkin
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Top Customer Reviews
This film version is truer to human nature then Dickens. In this one, Blackadder starts off as a decent human being and circumstances make him bad.
It is also very, very funny.
A good introduction to the whole 'Blackadder' genre.
Cross References: Monty Python, Not the Nine O'Clock News, Mr Bean
Blackadder shows. Here, "Ebenezer Blackadder" is as kind and generous
as a man can be, the opposite of every Scrooge (and other Black Adder)
we've seen. But then he gets a visit from the ghost of the Christmas
spirit, who shows him how awful and selfish his various ancestors were.
On the other hand, they don't seem to be taken advantage of quite the
way he is...
A spirited, funny, and black satire, with terrific work as usual from
the whole group; Rowan Atkinson. Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson,
Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolies and Jim
Broadbent. Quite a cast! It doesn't all work, and the very ending is a
bit predictable, but there lots of laughs and twisted humor along the
On the one hand, it's devilishly clever. Writer Ben Elton has taken the standard CHRISTMAS CAROL holiday episode, turned it inside out, and flipped it back on itself again. In the process, though, he's done the same to the Black Adder character, and careful observers of that series may not like what he's done.
This hour-long episode is a very hip thing to watch during the holidays, especially with friends you suspect can handle something different. Often hilarious, BLACK ADDER'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL will certainly amuse people who embrace their inner "Bah! Humbug". It's definitely worth buying.
But I'm not sure it's much of a Christmas present for those of us who already know and like the series. The thing about Blackadder, as a character, is that he's not unpleasant just to be so. He's one of those guys stuck in the middle of life, who is better than his current position, but unable to find a way to the top. Surrounded by people less capable than himself, but cowardly, his only recourse is his wit. And so everyone suffers his tongue. The series, as a whole, derives its humor from the fact that Edmund Blackadder (or, if you will, The Black Adder) is an Everyman who has existed In every generation, and can comment wryly about them all.
Ebenezer Blackadder, by contrast, is shackled to the simplicity of Ebenezer Scrooge. As a character, there's nothing to Scrooge, really. He's mean, he sees ghosts, and then suddenly he's nice. By extension, Ebenezer Blackadder is similarly thin. He starts out a philanthropist, sees ghosts, and becomes horrible. Yes, he's still trying to find a way to the top, and yes, it's still funny watching him try.Read more ›
Cinematically jerky at the end. Some funny parts but not the best Rowan Atkinson I've ever seen.
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