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Clive Donner's A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) now available
3 replies to this topic
Posted December 19 2010 - 06:15 AM
Don't let the TV origins fool you. Clive Donner's A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) is shot like a feature film on 35mm film. It is elaborately produced in fine Victorian style. It is superior filmmaking in every way, told with imagination and fidelity, boasting a literate and definitive script, atmospheric photography, attentive direction, stellar optical effects, real snow, no unnecessary distractions, and a performance by George C. Scott that is perfectly and immaculately right. This version understands that Dickens' tale is essentially a ghost story, and what a scary ghost story it is. The idea is to unnerve Ebeneezer Scrooge by peeling away scar tissue to show him emotional truths about himself. This Ebeneezer is miserly and vindictive not because he's mean, but because life has injured him. Underneath all that coldness is a world of hurt. Scott's performance is a clinic in modulation. He digs deep, plows through, and aims high. I've never seen a more fully realized and fleshed out Ebeneezer Scrooge (and I've seen all of them). Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Frank Finlay as Marley's Ghost are the definitive interpretations, scary and fun as they get under Scrooge's skin. Everybody wants to spend more $$$ on the newest star-driven, special-effects laden version, but then they stumble on this one, and they realize here is where the story gets told. There's no need to look any further. The Clive Donner version rewards repeated viewings. Yes, there are bigger, louder, noisier, flashier, cooler and newer versions, but they all need a dose of what this version has got -- namely, George C. Scott. Now available on Blu-ray: http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_d_img_a and DVD: http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_d_img_a This is the one you want. Do not hesitate. Buy It Now.
Posted December 22 2010 - 04:32 AM
I'm a big fan of the 1950s movie. I have zero interest in seeing the recent one though. This one sounds interesting at least, so I think I'll check it out since A Christmas Carol is probably my favorite Christmas story.
Posted December 22 2010 - 08:08 AM
I'm in 100% agreement with you. George C. Scott does an incredible job. This has become one of my favorites. Our family plays this movie each year while decorating our tree. A tradition I started 15 years ago at least. It's a great version.
"Never fly with chocolate!"
Posted December 22 2010 - 08:32 AM
There is too much grandstanding in the new Jim Carey version for my taste and likewise Patrick Stewart is just showing off in his vehicle. I'm fond of the 1938 version starring Reginald Own and the 1951 version starring Alistair Sim. Of the two, the Owens version adds a lot of new material to the Dickens story. I think Sims version is the masterwork. Both are classic British films. But so is the Clive Donner version a classic British film. Except for the lead actor, who is American, Donner's version is also a British production through and through and it realizes the story more fully than the earlier versions. Right now Walmart has the Warner Brothers edition of the 1938 version on sale for $5 and the VCI edition of the 1951 version on sale for $10. The VCI adds a second disc for a colorized version and supplements it with a 1935 filming of the play "Scrooge." Both are good buys. But the Donner version surpasses them even though it costs a little more.
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