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The Definitive A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951): Starring Alastair Sim

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Tony Bensley, Oct 4, 2014.

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  1. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Insofar as the 1938 Reginald Owen version, I do have the DVD, which I've viewed exactly once in the two years that I've had it. Truth be told, my main motivation for purchasing this was for the 2 minute film clip of a pre WIZARD OF OZ Judy Garland singing Silent Night, which I didn't feel bad spending $5 for! As for the newly released Blu-Ray, I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to purchase this!

    Regarding the other aforementioned versions, I've only seen the Jim Carrey version all the way through. While it is in my opinion, a very good presentation, I found that this one skipped too many key parts to be truly viable for me!

    I simply don't foresee the definitive Alastair Sim version ever being matched, much less topped EVER!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  2. Sgt Pepper

    Sgt Pepper Supporting Actor

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    On a side not Alistair Sim reprised his role as Scrooge (voiced) in the 1971 adaption of A Christmas Carol that was beautifully animated and I believe can still be had on DVD.
     
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  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, that's a matter of opinion. :)
     
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  4. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    Fifth-dimensional versions of the guys in this forum will be coming to take you through a wormhole back to your childhood so you can see the 1951 version first. That's right, we're talking Alastair Sim in "An Interstellar Christmas Carol".
     
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  5. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    There's a BBC version of the story with Michael Hordern as Scrooge. Very minimalist, creepy, and also enjoyable, but not for evergine.Re: the animated version from '71 -- it has never been issued officially on dvd. The best versions I've seen are on YouTube from a Richard Williams obsessed fan who posted a HD recording from a 16mm print.
     
  6. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    Wouldn't that make a fine Criterion Blu-Ray extra? I'm just sayin'.
     
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  7. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    It occurs to me that there is one very good reason that we fans of the 1951 version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL/SCROOGE, ought to be grateful that this wasn't made prior to the 1938 MGM version:

    When MGM bought the rights to GASLIGHT, which had previously been filmed in the UK and released in 1940, one stipulation of theirs was that every single copy of the UK version be destroyed, lest it might provide competition to their remake! Luckily, for today's viewers, this ultimately proved to be unsuccessful, and can view both the 1940 UK, and 1944 MGM versions!

    Just imagine a world in which the Alastair Sim version (Perhaps, along with all other feature length versions?) of SCROOGE no longer existed due to a successful MGM waged print destruction campaign, and we were stuck with the horrible miscasting (In my opinion!) of Reginald Owen's Ebenezer Scrooge!

    While I do respect the opinions of others, I'm not at all shy about expressing my own. The latter wasn't always the case!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  8. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Has anyone heard the audiobook of it with Tom Baker? He's great, it's well worth getting for fans of the story (and Mr. Baker & Doctor Who). I'd love to see him star in a film of it, however he's a bit too large these days to physically resemble Scrooge.
     
  9. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    I have an audio cd version with a Bernard Herman score. I only own 5 Richard Evans 1951 version 1938 version Disney Version with Micky Jim Carry version which I enjoyed in the theater but not really at home for some reason
     
  10. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Well, I finally received my replacement order today!

    Just to make it clear for those who don't have the 2012 VCI Blu-Ray/DVD Combo, here are some Screenshots that clearly show the features that should be on the Bonus DVD:

    All Three Features Are Clearly Listed On The Sole Menu Page:
    dvd_snapshot_00.07_2014.11.25_12.58.54.

    Like The Blu-Ray, The Bonus DVD Does Include The 5 Minute Leonard Maltin Introduction:
    dvd_snapshot_00.04_2014.11.25_12.59.36.


    The Bonus DVD Also Includes The UK Titled SCROOGE:
    dvd_snapshot_00.00.32_2014.11.25_13.00.32.

    The Radio Page For The Annual Hour Long Campbell's "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" Radio Presentation From 1939, Starring Lionel Barrymore:
    dvd_snapshot_00.01_2014.11.25_13.00.58.

    The 15 Minute Fred Guida Bio-Bibliography:
    dvd_snapshot_00.02_2014.11.25_13.01.25.

    Note: Unlike the Blu-Ray, the Bonus DVD does NOT include the George Cole/Marcus Hearn Commentary Track.

    Finally, These Are The Discs That Should Be Included In The Set:
    PIC_0520.JPG

    CHEERS! :)

    Tony
     
  11. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    Traditional movie Scrooges are skinny, to indicate that their stinginess extends to feeding themselves, as we see when Alastair Sim refuses a very inexpensive piece of bread in the 1951 version. I wouldn't mind seeing a fat Scrooge, though. Modern audiences see plenty of large rich people in real life, and an unrepentantly chubby Scrooge might be better movie shorthand for "I'm wealthy and I don't care about the poor" these days than a scrawny, self-denying Scrooge.
     
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  12. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    You don't DESERVE to be so happy...You just can't help it! (wipes happy tears from eyes) Old Bensley was as good as his word. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city ever knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world. And to tiny Home Theatre Forum, who lived and got well again, he became a second father. (Home Theatre Forum: "UNCLE TONY!") And it was always said that he knew how to keep the Blu-Ray+DVD combo pack of "A Christmas Carol" well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly be said of us, and all of us! And so, as Home Theatre Forum observed, "God bless VCI, everyone!"
     
  13. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    And God bless Brian Desmond Hurst (1895-1986).

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I just checked my recent purchase of the 2012 BD from Amazon and the DVD is the same as the BD. What is the contact information to get the correct DVD?
     
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  15. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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  16. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Good to hear as my copy from Amazon also is missing the radio show on the bonus DVD. So just contact them via Facebook?
     
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  17. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    The Reginald Owen version is great. It was the first noncartoon version of the story I saw and, but for the Alaster Sim version, would be my favorite. There are some really unique, terrific moments in the film: Fred and his wife in church, the boys sliding on the ice, Scrooge showing up at Cratchit's house at the end with toys and goodies. Last but not least, there is a young Ann Rutherford in a long blond wig waking Scrooge up in the middle of the night to show him his past. Yowza! For those of us who like to revisit classic "Christmas" movies every year, there is also Gene Lockhart as Cratchit. He later shows up as the judge in Miracle on 34th Street and, for those who treat it as a Christmas movie (a lot of U.S. tv stations traditionally played it around Christmas for many years), the banker in Going My Way.
     
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  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Hi Mark!

    Did you order through Import CDs or directly through Amazon? I ask this because I ordered my set via Import CDs, whom through my correspondence with Penny Brokaw at VCI, I discovered that they insisted that the Bonus DVD be replaced with the Standalone DVD that has the identical features as the Blu-Ray disc! If Amazon themselves are also now having this done for some reason, I can only imagine how many replacement requests that VCI may end up getting nailed with!

    OOH-EE, what have I started?

    CHEERS! :)

    Tony
     
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  19. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    It was Amazon directly. For $11.99. Just got it yesterday. Thanks Tony!
     
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  20. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    Tony, come with us...

    [​IMG]
     

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