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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Four Ways to Enjoy A Christmas Carol
Gene Shalit said, "There have been at least eight movie versions [of A Christmas Carol] . . . but the single enduring version is the 1951 film starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge . . . an incomparable Christmas present." If this is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol, you should definitely buy this collector's edition.

If you haven't seen this...
Published on Sept. 27 2007 by Donald Mitchell

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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do "NOT" Buy This Version...!!!
Granted, the sharpness of the picture is better then the VCI version, but there are persistent, light white scratches, that appear horizontally across the middle of the screen for great amounts of time, usually right across someone's face, that are so annoyingly distracting that watching this version is not much fun (it's kind of almost as bad as watching a cheap DVD that...
Published on Dec 26 2005 by stryper


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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do "NOT" Buy This Version...!!!, Dec 26 2005
By 
stryper "stryper" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Granted, the sharpness of the picture is better then the VCI version, but there are persistent, light white scratches, that appear horizontally across the middle of the screen for great amounts of time, usually right across someone's face, that are so annoyingly distracting that watching this version is not much fun (it's kind of almost as bad as watching a cheap DVD that has a line going vertically, through the it for a nice chunk of time).
I checked out two different copies of this DVD and tried them on two different DVD players, to make sure that the scratches had nothing to do with my equipment.
The VCI version is the one to get, as though the picture may be a tad softer, there are no annoying scratches on the print (and until I actually did a side by side comparison of the two, I didn't even notice the VCI version being at all, soft)
Also, the booklet that comes with this new version has nothing of any importance, what so ever, where as the liner notes on the VCI DVD are way more informative.
The only thing that this version does have over the VCI version is the inclusion of an unremastered trailer (which isn't really all that great, as trailers go, anyway).
Hope this helps :)
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HOPE FOR A BETTER RELEASE, Dec 27 2005
I own various dvds of this DEFINITIVE production, naturally i was so excited to see a restored version of this movie. However, this EMERALD EDITION dvd is a HUGE dissapointment. The booklet claims the dvd was created from 7 different prints. That would explain why specks come and go, lines (film scrapes) appear for some scenes, sound changes through out (hissing comes and goes), and worst, imo, the tint changes when Marleys ghost enters the room (turns slightly greenish) All of this is very annoying. Keep your VCI version for now, and hope for a proper restoration by someone like CRITERION.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this DVD!, Jan. 24 2006
By 
F. Bruni (North York, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A Christmas Carol: Emerald Edition is a very disappointing release. A restoration should be pristine or as close to it as possible. This release is not even as good as previous releases. A waste of time and money.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Emerald Edition suffers same malady as the DVD edition., Dec 10 2009
This review is from: A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] (DVD)
I was sent this version, the Emerald Edition, of the Blu-ray releases by error. Amazon has refunded my money and boy am I glad. This version is exactly the same as the DVD version of the Emerald edition, scratchy in some scenes, blurry in others, green tint, and hissing and popping sound. It would be one thing if they took an entire scene from ONE bit of stock footage, but when the hissing comes and goes during a scene (like in the scene where Scrooge and Marley meet for the first time) and the picture changes, it's just not enjoyable. It might be forgivable and that's a very slim "might", if it only occurred during scene changes, but it doesn't and the Emerald edition is very annoying to watch. I was more than sorry when I bought the DVD and when Amazon sent me this version of the Blu-ray by mistake I was very disappointed. I popped it in my blu-ray player because the version I bought was supposed to be subtitled and when I discovered this one wasn't that is when I realized there must have been an error in shipping. If you want to purchase this movie in blu-ray I urge you to purchase the other blu-ray version they have listed. I finally got that one which is the one I had originally ordered and it is outstanding! I would rate the other version A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] well more than five stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Four Ways to Enjoy A Christmas Carol, Sept. 27 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Gene Shalit said, "There have been at least eight movie versions [of A Christmas Carol] . . . but the single enduring version is the 1951 film starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge . . . an incomparable Christmas present." If this is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol, you should definitely buy this collector's edition.

If you haven't seen this version, let me characterize it for you. The film story closely follows the Dickens original with its emphasis on how Ebenezer Scrooge went from being a caring person who wanted to do good for others to someone who only cared about money, until four spirits (his dead partner, Jacob Marley; Christmas past; Christmas current; and Christmas future) visit him and scare Scrooge into reforming which he does on Christmas day. The acting is often overdone, featuring overreactions of the sort that were popular in vaudeville and silent pictures. Many of the actors seem miscast because they are quite plump and prosperous looking, even though they are supposed to be quite poor (this is especially true of Mervyn Johns who plays bob Cratchit, Scrooge's browbeaten, underpaid clerk.). Naturally spirits require special effects and those are pretty primitive due to the year of the film.

So why do people like it? For me, the acting by Alastair Sim as old Scrooge, Patrick MacNee as young Jacob Marley, and Glyn Dearman as Tiny Tim were not only first-rate, they moved me in many ways. Dickens's concept for the story is also pure genius. There is also some wonderful signing of Christmas carols to get you in the mood. It was nice to see such a good performance . . . especially if I didn't look too closely at the actors who didn't please me.

As I watched the original version, I found myself thinking about the choices made by the producer, director, and scriptwriters for about the first 20 minutes. But midway through the appearance of Jacob Marley in Scrooge's house, I found myself forgetting that I was watching a movie and just enjoyed the story from there.

The experience reminded me of watching old black-and-white films on the tiny screen of the Brattle Theater near Harvard Square. It was a good feeling.

Next, I looked at the expanded black-and-white version that includes the ability to fill a wide screen. This looked better, but I didn't like it as well. It didn't take me back into the world of how movies were made in 1951 as successfully.

Finally, I watched the colorized version . . . and hated it as I do almost all colorized black-and-white movies. But what can you do? Some people only want to watch color movies.

After that, I watched the 1935 version of the movie and found the quality to be so poor that it annoyed me. I gave up after about 15 minutes, thinking that I'll pick up there some other time. The 1935 version has several good qualities: the casting seems generally better, the contrasts between rich and poor are better developed, the sense of being in Dickens' London is stronger.

Watching the 1935 version made me quite appreciative of the good work done by VCI Entertainment. The images are clear, the lighting is consistent, the sound is understandable, and you don't feel like you are watching celluloid that's about to break.

For those who love all the details, you'll enjoy the various special features which include:

Before and after restoration comparison
Photo and press book gallery
Cast bios
Original trailers
Commentaries by Marcus Hearn and George Cole about "Spirit of Christmas Past," Alastair Sim, and George Minter (executive producer)

Toss away your "Bah, humbugs" and get in the Christmas Spirit!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Christmas Carol (Scrooge 1951) ... Alastair Sim ... VCI Home Video (2007)", Aug. 26 2007
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
VCI Entertainment present "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" (aka: Scrooge) (Released: 28 November 1951 & 86 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- VCI has provided what is undoubtedly the best presentation of this adaptation to enjoy years to come --- one reason this version is so successful, as it doesn't stray too far from the original text --- Thankfully they have included the black and white version as well as the colorized version --- Patrick Macnee who has a brief role is on hand to introduce the film with a wonderful Holiday opening --- Sim is so brilliant as he essays Scrooge's slow conversion as the three ghosts past, present and future, take him on a tour of himself and his ultimate destiny should no change occur --- His deeply expressive face speaks volumes when confronted with the tragedies of his own life and that of Bob Cratchitt --- The icing on the cake is Scrooge's jubilation when he realizes he has a second chance at life --- the elation is palpable, brilliantly comedic and truly poignant all at the same time --- one can't help but feel happy at the sight of this man who realizes he has wasted his life and is ready to make amends --- it is without a doubt the late Alastair Sim who took this role and made it his own.

Under Brian Desmond Hurst (Director), George Minter (Producer), Charles Dickens (Book Author), Noel Langley (Screenwriter), C.M. Pennington-Richards (Cinematographer), Richard Addinsell (Composer (Music Score), Clive Donner (Editor), Ralph W. Brinton (Art Director), Eric Carter (Makeup) - - - - - - the story line and plot, On Christmas Eve in 1840's England, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns him to change his ways or be doomed to eternal damnation --- The ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future to show him the error of Scrooge's ways and show the people who are able to keep Christmas in their hearts 365 days a year --- Brian Desmond Hurst directs a fine cast, headed by the incomparable Alastair Sim (a man who can play both malevolent and humorous) as the about-to-be-redeemed Ebenezer Scrooge. Sim's reactions are priceless and he settles down well in the role --- Sim's performance transcends all description of greatness --- Hurst's direction evokes the ideal emotions at all the right moments --- The rest of the cast remain faithful to the Dickens' characterizations --- It is a version which has holly, plum pudding and carol singers written all over it --- One of the major contributing aspects to the impact of the film is the memorable score by Richard Addinsell, conjuring up (and alternating between) both fear and joy, darkness and light, grief and happiness, the music stands out as the best of any film adaptation of the story --- the perfect story if you want to get your family together for a quiet evening of holiday viewing --- over a half century later, "A Christmas Carol" is still working its little magic.

the cast includes:
Alastair Sim ... Ebenezer Scrooge
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs. Dilber
Mervyn Johns ... Bob Cratchit
Hermione Baddeley ... Mrs. Cratchit
Michael Hordern ... Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost
George Cole ... Young Ebenezer Scrooge
John Charlesworth ... Peter Cratchit
Francis De Wolff ... Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)
Rona Anderson ... Alice
Carol Marsh ... Fan Scrooge
Brian Worth ... Fred
Miles Malleson ... Old Joe
Ernest Thesiger ... The Undertaker
Glyn Dearman ... Tiny Tim
Michael Dolan ... Spirit of Christmas Past
Olga Edwardes ... Fred's Wife
Roddy Hughes ... Mr. S. Fezziwig
Hattie Jacques ... Mrs. Fezziwig
Eleanor Summerfield ... Miss Flora
Louise Hampton ... Laundress
C. Konarski ... Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come
Eliot Makeham ... Mr. Snedrig
Peter Bull ... First Businessman, Narrator
Douglas Muir ... Second Businessman
Noel Howlett ... First Collector
Fred Johnson ... Second Collector
Henry Hewitt ... Mr. Rosehed
Hugh Dempster ... Mr. Groper
Maire O'Neill ... Alice's Patient
Richard Pearson ... Mr. Tupper
Patrick Macnee ... Young Jacob Marley (as Patrick MacNee)
Clifford Mollison ... Samuel Wilkins
Jack Warner ... Mr. Jorkin

BIOS
1. Alastair Sim
Date of Birth: 9 October 1900 - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Date of Death: 19 August 1976 - London, England, UK.

2. Kathleen Harrison
Date of Birth: 23 February 1892 - Blackburn, Lancashire, England, UK
Date of Death: 7 December 1995

3. Mervyn Johns
Date of Birth: 18 February 1899 - Pembroke, Wales, UK
Date of Death: 6 September 1992 - Norwood, England, UK.

4. Hermione Baddeley
Date of Birth: 13 November 1906 - Broseley, Shropshire, England, UK
Date of Death: 19 August 1986 - Los Angeles, California

5. Michael Hordern
Date of Birth: 3 October 1911 - Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Date of Death: 2 May 1995 - Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK

6. George Cole
Date of Birth
22 April 1925, Tooting, London, England, UK
Date of Death: Still Living

7. Glyn Dearman
Date of Birth: 30 December 1939
Date of Death: 30 November 1997 - London, England, UK.

8. Charles Dickens (Author)
Date of Birth: 7 February 1812 - Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, UK
Date of Death: 9 June 1870 - Gad's Hill, Rochester, Kent, England, UK.

9. Brian Desmond Hurst (Director)
Date of Birth: 12 February 1900 - Castle Reagh, Ireland
Date of Death: 26 September 1986 - London, England, UK.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
1. Audio Commentary by Marcus Hearn & George Cole
2. "Spirit of Christmas Past" - George Cole Remembers Alastair Sim
3. "Richard Gordon Remembers - George Minter & Renown Pictures"
4. "Charles Dickens - His Life and Times"
5. Bonus Colorized Version
6. Before & After Restoration Comparison
7. Opitional English & Spanish Subtitles
8. Opitional Narrative for the Blind
9. Photo & Press Book Gallery
10.Cast Bios
11.Original American & British Theatrical Trailers
12."Scrooge" (1935 Seymour Hicks Verision)

Hats off to VCI Entertainment President Robert A. Blair, for this wonderful restored version of "Scrooge" --- the reason is VCI had access to the original 35mm film elements so they were able to supervise the films transfer and restoration." --- The highlight of this new DVD is the beautifully restored original black and white version --- This was accomplished by using the talent and state-of-the-art technology available at Point 360 in Burbank California --- The first step in the process was to do a complete new high definition film transfer from the multiple sources of 35mm film elements provided. Point 360 determined the best footage on a scene-by-scene basis and then assembled our video "supermaster" --- Overall dirt and film grain were removed from the picture using digital noise reduction --- Point 360 then used their own proprietary computer process to remove additional anomalies, dirt, hair and scratches from the picture on a frame-by-frame basis --- the final stage VCI's own video director made a final pass through the master to fine-tune the picture and remove additional imperfections --- perfection was the result, order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out VCI Entertainment where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.

Total Time: 86 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video. ~ (10/23/2007)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best of the best, Oct. 31 2003
By 
Daniel S. Russell "syzygy121" (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I consider myself a student of "A Christmas Carol" of sorts, having sought down and seen or heard every version I know of. This tale is the most retold, in part or in whole, of any piece of literature outside of the Bible and Shakespeare. It has appeared in at least 25 film/animated versions, has been adapted to countless TV shows, and has been referenced even more than that.
Alastair Sim's Scrooge is among the very best portrayals, and the film on the whole is the best film version I've seen. I am reviewing the other versions individually, so I won't rehash them here, but this one is the best and my favorite film version.
Give me this one along with Patrick Stewart's solo performance and I'd be a very happy camper.
I've even grown fond of the errors in the film, like the stage hand that appears in the mirror reflection on Christmas morning.
A tremendous cast and a wonderful atmospheric quality make this film so memorable and re-watchable.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colouring a Classic, Dec 31 2006
By 
Dave and Joe (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Christmas Carol, A - Colour (DVD)
We watch "A Christmas Carol" every Christmas eve. I decided to buy this version even though, for the most part, I don't like the idea of colourizing black and white films. In this case, however, the colourized version transformed the film in only positive ways. The classic black and white film is hard to see due to the age of the film and this colourized version lights up the film and I felt like I was 'seeing' the film for the first time. Good heaven's I could see the chain around the waist of Marley's ghost! I could see the patterns on the wallpaper and curtains. Sim's portrayal of Scrooge is the benchmark and it was wonderful to see that performance afresh. So, don't hesitate to try this version even if you - like me - don't usually like them fiddling with classics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent release, Dec 24 2011
By 
Norman Wolf (Regina, Saskatchewan Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Before the bluray came out, I had the 50th Anniversary "Emerald Edition" dvd with the UK version "Scrooge" as well as the US version, both restored from the best copies of the film then available, including some restored scenes that had been missing. There were only a few glitches in the movie, including a brief pause in one or two places.

The new bluray release is even better, taking advantage of the restored 35mm print, and adding subtitles (a lack in the dvd release) and a 5.1 track for those who prefer that to the original mono audio.

I didn't see any of the problems Badgley described, and I wonder what player he was using for playback. I use a Samsung bluray player that is a few years old now but doing well. The price is excellent too. I got it for 11.20 US+4.98 shipping, or 16.18 US. You can't go wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic version of a classic, March 12 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Christmas Carol, A - Colour (DVD)
Due to the circumstances and choices in the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, he has chosen money over mankind. His partner now seven years dead comes back to warn Ebenezer of his afterlife fate if he does not change his ways. To assist in this task are three spirits, Christmas past (his past), Christmas present, and Christmas of things to come. Can or will Ebenezer change his ways? Why should he?

There are many versions of this tale floating around out there including study books and animated movies. Of all these versions a few stand out. This is one of the versions that come to mind.

Made in the era of black and white, one can not help but shun any attempt to colorize it. The Alastair Sim version is a product of its day and he does a very good job of portraying Ebenezer Scrooge. He comes across as mean in his speech of "are there no work houses?" and stingy, displayed during his meal, upon hearing that more bread will cost he says, "No more bread."

On Christmas morning he goes overboard with the maniacal laughter. This is probably emphasized to show his change of heart and to allow him to scare the maid. However it does distract from the story. The story is modified a bit but unless you have been reading the book you will not notice this. To tie his childhood memories of his sister to his present day nephew, they play "Barbra Allen" in the back ground (nice touch.)

All in all this will make a nice addition to you Christmas collection.
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