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Christmas Carol, A - Colour
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VCI Entertainment present "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" (aka: Scrooge) ~ (96 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) - The definitive version - In Glorious Black and White --- Starring: Alastair Sim, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Michael Hordern, George Cole, Rona Anderson, John Charlesworth, Glyn Dearman, Clifford Mollison, Patrick Macnee, Jack Warner

Produced & Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst

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.

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.

This Blu-ray edition has been digitally restored from a new 1080p, 24fps high definition transfer master produced from the 35mm negative and fine grain.

Looks great on a Big Screen Television/Monitor -- just like being in a movie theater.

Very reasonable and a good value for the price --- For product description and editorial review check this out on the Amazon site above my review.

BIOS
1. 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.

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

3. 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. Richard Addinsell (Music Score Composer)
Date of Birth: 13 January 1904 - London, England, UK
Date of Death: 15 November 1977 - Chelsea, London, England, UK

ALL NEW SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES:
1.) - Commentary Tracks By Marcus Hearn and George Cole
2.) - INTRODUCTION BY LEONARD MALTIN
Many, Many more in this one of a kind collection.

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 2 DVD Set ~ VCI Home Video. ~ (November 1, 2011)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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
on October 31, 2003
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 31, 2006
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
=====>
Many people know this story written in 1843 by Charles Dickens (1812-1870). Old Ebenezer Scrooge, the meanest miser in London, overworks and underpays his clerk, Bob Cratchit, whose small son, Tiny Tim, is crippled and may soon die. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge has a vivid nightmare. He is visited by three ghosts who change his life forever.
This 1951 movie (originally filmed in black and white) that's about 88 minutes long is entitled (as the movie's opening credits indicate and despite what the DVD package states) "Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol."
Of all similar movies made, this one stays closest to Dickens' original story. You can see this right at the beginning of the movie where we are shown a cover page from a manuscript that's written in Old English font. On this page it says: "Stave I: Marley's Ghost." Dickens divided his "Carol" into musical staves rather than chapters. Then the narrator utters one of the most famous sentences in English literature: "Old Marley was as dead as a doornail." The story then unfolds from this point on.
What really makes this story come alive (and makes the movie a classic) is Alastair Sim's performance as Scrooge (not to mention the fine supporting performances). It seems that Sim's Scrooge is not so much haunted by actual ghosts as tormented by inner demons; the ghosts are "analysts" who force him to confront his traumatic self. Once this confrontation is complete, we see Scrooge's monumental transformation into joy. (It's this transformation that Sim the actor does so well.) The emotional impact of his delirium of joy is actually cathartic for the movie viewer as well, filling the viewer with good feelings.
It should be mentioned that it's important to view this movie in black and white because this seems to aid the powerful emotional impact of Scrooge's (as played by Sim) transformation into joy. For some reason, this impact is lost when the movie is in color.
The strong background music for this movie seems to add to each scene. As well, the sets are visually stunning. They spread before us a vivid picture of nineteenth century London.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie occurs after Scrooge's transformation. He visits his nephew Fred's home where a party is underway. This scene also has great emotional impact on the movie viewer. We also get to see Scrooge's (as well as Sim's) polka dancing talent.
In conclusion, be sure to see this magical movie. By doing so, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet To Come will cast their powerful spell on you also!!
<=====>
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2004
Viewing this particular version is a tradition in our family--my earliest memories include watching this at my grandparents' home in the 'big city' (they had a tv--we lived on a farm & had no tv). One of the interesting things is that my grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants who did indeed prosper in Canada, but never forgot their humble beginnings. Their home was always filled with scents of good food, laughter, song, and lively conversation. Christmas was a very important time for family & friends, and they did indeed 'keep Christmas well', one of the lessons I have since learned. This film has not lost its relevance in this 21st century world. While the special effects in the 1951 version may seem very simple to many, relative to the period, the film was well-done. "God bless us, everyone".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2006
Scrooge is mean and has no compassion and Alastair Sim does a remarkable job portraying those qualities. In my opinion (and I'm an avid Christmas Carol fan...movies and book editions) he is the best Ebeneezer. This movie has become a yearly Christmas tradition for my family and will be for many years to come. Whether it's in black and white or colourized, it's equally captivating.
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