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Scrooge (1970) - Will we ever see a special edition?


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#1 of 46 OFFLINE   ChrisCook

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Posted December 24 2007 - 10:31 AM

Watched The Bourne Ultimatum for the first time on DVD a few days ago, and I was surprised to see Albert Finney which got me to think. I don't currently own the 2003 release of "Scrooge" from CBS/Paramount, but it seems this sells a lot every year since its debut on DVD. And since it never gets aired on television anymore (along with the made-for-TV adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow starring Jeff Goldblum, still absent from DVD), they should include in a re-release the televised end credits and all of the commercial break bumpers, along with the original theatrical trailer, audio commentary with Mr. Finney, writer Leslie Bricusse, and director Ronald Neame, and port over the original theatrical transfer plus 5.1 mix and the option of viewing the overture and exit music.

I still have the television version on tape, though seriously worn, but I would love if CBS/Paramount actually gave this film the special edition treatment.

#2 of 46 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 24 2007 - 09:06 PM

Chris,

Thank you very much! Scrooge has always been one of
my favorite film musicals.

This is a tough one.

We fought very hard to get Scrooge released a few years
ago. Its release was based on the efforts of HTF members who
hounded the studio to put this on DVD.

I think it's going to be an uphill climb to convince them to put
out a Special Edition, though the one thing in our favor is that
the studios are double and triple dipping title releases these days.

Ronald J Epstein
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#3 of 46 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 25 2007 - 01:08 AM

Let me join in the celebration of this marvelous musical version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I think Bricusse's score is the best thing he ever wrote for the screen (yes, I'm including WILLY WONKA). "Happiness" is one of the most poignant ballads I've ever heard, and apart from "See the Phantoms," I think every song is a winner.

And Albert Finney truly deserved the Golden Globe he won for his performance. Astonishing that he wasn't Oscar-nominated for this as well.

#4 of 46 OFFLINE   Bob Graham

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Posted December 25 2007 - 01:53 AM

I remember the way we pestered Paramount about releasing that title. That was under a different management.

I'd love to see a special edition, but I'd be happy if Columbia would just release the soundtrack on CD. The only version of the score available now is a stage version with Anthony Newley (which I've never heard, I'm holding out for the real thing).

One other thing that could be put on the special edition is the performance of "Thank You Very Much" from the Oscars. TYVM was nominated for best song and the production number featured a number of stars singing full verses in different languages: Petula Clark sang a verse in French, Burt Lancaster in Italian (I swear I'm not making this up!) and so on (I forgot who sang it in English).

#5 of 46 OFFLINE   Eric Vedowski

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Posted December 25 2007 - 05:52 AM

Sally Kellerman sang it in English and Ricardo Montalban sang a verse in Spanish.

#6 of 46 OFFLINE   Jimin70mm

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Posted December 25 2007 - 02:14 PM

I would give anything to have a special edition dvd of "Scrooge!" I saw the movie in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, at the Cooper Theatre chain's round Indian Hills Theatre, projected on a 105 foot wide screen...and I still have my origianl souvinier program...I was 10yo and felt like I was at a Broadway show come to life. I've always wondered if there were any deleted scenes and/or songs that could've been included. Interviews with key members, especially Bricusse would be especially interesting, along with a featurette on the beautiful production design. I also agree that the soundtrack needs to be released on cd as well. But alas, Paramount, although they seem to be trying to remaster some of their better titles, is still on my list of "axis of evil" studios in regards to how they handle their dvd divisions (MGM and Columbia are the other two, if anyone's interested). What would it take to make this special edition happen?

#7 of 46 OFFLINE   Greg_M

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Posted December 25 2007 - 04:55 PM

Paramount only has the rights to release the film on DVD through CBS, that contract may be ending - Dvd's Unlimited is listing "Scrooge" on their out of print list - so maybe the days of Scrooge on DVD are numbered, next release will proabably be a high Def type of Disc

#8 of 46 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted December 26 2007 - 05:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH.
And Albert Finney truly deserved the Golden Globe he won for his performance. Astonishing that he wasn't Oscar-nominated for this as well.
There were critics who branded his performance as "hammy." That could have something to do with it
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCook
...they should include in a re-release the televised end credits and all of the commercial break bumpers...
What are the televised end credits? Extra credits that weren't on the theatrical film, or just the same end credits revamped for TV? I don't know why anybody would want this stuff, but some people want every scrap of film asscociated with a movie to be included in a special edition.

#9 of 46 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted December 26 2007 - 06:01 AM

It was broadcast on the HD Net on Christmas Day this year and looked and sounded great in HD.

#10 of 46 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted December 26 2007 - 06:06 AM

Chris, why do you not own the current DVD? Sure it would be great if it had some SE features, but if you like the film as much as you say, I would think you would want to own it in its OAR. It does have DD 5.1, and does include the overture. Nothing can be more "special" about a DVD release than proper presentation of the film itself, IMO.

Even if they do sell a lot of copies during the holidays, the sales are probably not to film buffs who crave special features. I expect most of the sales are to people who wish the film had been released in fullscreen.

#11 of 46 OFFLINE   ChrisCook

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Posted December 26 2007 - 06:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark-P
What are the televised end credits? Extra credits that weren't on the theatrical film, or just the same end credits revamped for TV? I don't know why anybody would want this stuff, but some people want every scrap of film asscociated with a movie to be included in a special edition.

"Scrooge" is the rare exception. The end credits and the title cards used for the commercial break bumpers were made specifically for television. They were eloquent and fitted the film perfectly. As bonus features, they would make an excellent addition to an SE. Someone will have to describe in more detail as my worned out tape is packed away and I don't have access to it at the moment thanks to a recent move.

#12 of 46 OFFLINE   ChrisCook

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Posted December 26 2007 - 06:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B_K
Chris, why do you not own the current DVD? Sure it would be great if it had some SE features, but if you like the film as much as you say, I would think you would want to own it in its OAR. It does have DD 5.1, and does include the overture. Nothing can be more "special" about a DVD release than proper presentation of the film itself, IMO.

Even if they do sell a lot of copies during the holidays, the sales are probably not to film buffs who crave special features. I expect most of the sales are to people who wish the film had been released in fullscreen.

I really felt this film deserved more than what was released in 2003, but there were a number of releases that year that took me awhile to purchase (for various reasons).

#13 of 46 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted December 26 2007 - 10:26 AM

I remember the tv bumpers...they were done in the style of the opening credits...very effective. I also wish the Overture and Exit Music weren't on a separate disc layer, but part of the film.

#14 of 46 OFFLINE   Robbie^Blackmon

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Posted December 26 2007 - 11:36 AM

I do love the Scrooge and have ever since seeing it in the theater in 1977 (on a first grade class trip, no less!) for the very first time. I've had the soundtrack for a number of years and, without fail, it gets a fair number of plays each and every Christmas!

I always hated when the networks like WOR or TBS aired this picture. They always cut out the bit with Scrooge in Hell, and clipped several other scenes, like the Thank You Very Much reprise, when breaking for ads. The only bumpers I remember were film stills with the Scrooge title superimposed over them, while a creepy sounding bell tolled twice. Were there different bumpers than that, would be my question?
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#15 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike_Richardson

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Posted December 27 2007 - 03:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_M
Paramount only has the rights to release the film on DVD through CBS, that contract may be ending

CBS and Paramount are basically the same company, so that makes no sense whatsoever.

I love SCROOGE but the complaining in this thread is baffling. The DVD presentation that's out there is terrific -- superb 16:9 transfer, excellent 5.1 soundtrack...sure I'd like a few extras like anyone but that's HARDLY any reason NOT to own this movie in its current incarnation.

#16 of 46 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 28 2007 - 12:42 AM

Mike,

I have abstained from saying exactly what you have pointed
out. I don't quite understand the need for a Special Edition of
a DVD that is already pretty much the best representation of
what can be done with this film.

Besides, as interesting as the original TV bumpers might be,
it's the sort of thing that narely gets put on Special Editions.
In fact, I would highly doubt that the studio would go out of
their way to treat a title like this with a Special Edition that
includes those bumpers.

The only window of opportunity may come with a future
HD release, but alas, I think we are looking at quite a few
years down the road.

I will say this....

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to meet with Paramount
in 2008 and I promise I will mention Scrooge to them
for a HD release, complete with the requested bumpers.

Ronald J Epstein
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#17 of 46 OFFLINE   SteveJKo

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Posted December 28 2007 - 01:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
...Hopefully we will have the opportunity to meet with Paramount
in 2008 and I promise I will mention Scrooge to them
for a HD release, complete with the requested bumpers.

Thanks Ron, for the effort to get SCROOGE on DVD in the first place! And thanks also for your promise to mention a HD release to the "powers that be". This film has a very special place in my heart for all kinds of reasons, and the Christmas tree never goes up without the DVD playing along. This is also the film that got me into what we would eventually call home theater. At the age of 11, it was the first film I ever saw in 70mm. Like all roadshow presentations there were no trailers, just the overture. I can still remember the stereophonic sound of bells coming from behind the red velvet curtains, then the Cinema Center Films logo came up and the curtains started to open as the film title hit that gigantic curved screen. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.
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#18 of 46 OFFLINE   ChrisCook

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Posted December 28 2007 - 02:31 AM

I just want to make something clear here. I'm not knocking the current release of Scrooge or the efforts of Ron and HTF to convince CBS/Paramount to release this in the first place. It was disappointing, and in my opinion, a missed opportunity that CBS decided not to include Albert Finney, and the writer and director in supplemental material, like an audio commentary, or to include the original theatrical trailer, two items I mentioned that were made for television (and I don't normally would make fuss about, but like I said, Scrooge is the rare exception), or any of the other bonus features some have suggested in this thread would be interesting to see. Like several have said, I also have a special place in my heart for this film. It's a childhood favorite. What amazes me is that I'm not a "musical" person. Don't really care for them, but yet there's something about this adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic.

And as far a complaining goes, you should hear me every year when they don't air this (even in its original theatrical form) or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow starring Jeff Goldblum on television (which I also have taped). These two used to be annual events the whole family can sit done and enjoy. And when even was the last time the Garfield holiday specials aired?

Ron, I also want to say that I appreciate your posts. I didn't get a chance to tell you earlier.

#19 of 46 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 28 2007 - 04:04 AM

Chris,

Thanks for the kind words.

Listen, I have the same affection as you do for Scrooge.
It stands as one of my all-time favorite musicals -- and generally
I'm not a fan of musicals in the first place.

The problem is that as much as you and I see the value of a
film like Scrooge, it was a real effort to get Paramount
to release this film on DVD.

...and really, in the scope of things, Scrooge is not a
film that stands out as being worthy of the kind of extras that
some people are hoping for. I don't think the film was a huge
box-office success nor has a huge cult following that would label
it to be a title that needs to have such an elaborate Special Edition.

I remember back in 1998 going to Fox and campaigning for this
film's release since it was initially owned and released by the
studio on laserdisc. It's fortunate that I have a special place in
my heart for this film because it will be very easy for me to
remember to talk to Paramount about it next year. Still, I sense
that they may look at me sort of funny for mentioning the need
to do such an elaborate SE of it -- especially if DVD sales of the
original release fell flat (which I have no idea if it did or not).

I promise I'll ask. Would make a great Christmas release for
HD-DVD in 2008.

Ronald J Epstein
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#20 of 46 OFFLINE   SteveJKo

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Posted December 28 2007 - 05:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
....I don't think the film was a huge
box-office success....

I've read elsewhere that SCROOGE was a major success at it's run at Radio City Music Hall, but unfortunately that's about it. Like the majority of musicals from that time period, it did lackluster business during it's initial release. It did however get re-released several years in a row until it ended up on NBC for Christmas of '74. How those re-releases did I couldn't say.
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