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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. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    It couldn't happen without Tony Bensley's immortal "For reaching it out"!
     
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  2. Clayking38

    Clayking38 Extra

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    I have the '54 version, "CBS Shower of Stars," which has music and some songs by Bernard Herrmann. It was originally broadcast in color, but a friend at CBS checked and apparently the color material doesn't survive. I loved this version as a child, and although it pales in comparison to the feature films, at under an hour it's a pleasant divertissement.
     
  3. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I'm in, and will give it my best shot! :D
     
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  4. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    Season's greetings (or close enough), fellow HTF Scrooge-ophiles! I'd like to share an annual Christmas tradition at Chez David's (it's Canadian for "David's Place") of over 30 years: the Little Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol". The Little Theatre provided a script, along with the stage, backdrops, and characters to move around, but we generally ignore it. Hang on, let me stand up on the couch:
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    Here's a typical scene. It's the famous one where Scrooge dreams that he's in his bed clothes at work being terrorized by the Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come, annoying cheerful nephew Fred, and the whole damn Cratchit family eating Christmas dinner right in Scrooge's damn office! It's Scrooge's worst Christmas dream yet, and such a breach of propriety!
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    Here's me arriving at the Little Theatre earlier. I forgot to dress in period costume, but then, I always do.
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    What a performance! Knighthoods all around!
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    Hey, Tony Bensley, some performances every single line is "For reaching it out"! With actors this talented, a lot of meaning gets wrung from those four magnificent little words!
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    Curtain call! Everyone's on stage! BRAVO! Don't throw your damn bouquets; you'll knock the whole wonderful thing over! Josh Steinberg, come to Vancouver and teach these savages some Broadway etiquette!
    IMG_5261.JPG

    If any of my friends at Home Theatre Forum want to drop by for a performance (you'll probably end up performing too), PM me and I'll happily take it down from its lamptop spot. Long live the theatah! God bless us for reaching it out, everyone!
    IMG_5267.JPG
     
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  5. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    You're a good man, David Matychuk.
     
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  6. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    For me, "Christmas Carol" only works when there are Muppets.
     
  7. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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  8. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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  9. Garysb

    Garysb Cinematographer

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    TCM is broadcasting A Christmas Carol Friday December 8th at 8 PM Eastern.Time
     
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  10. Likecats

    Likecats Agent

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    Antenna TV will also be showing the Alister Sim Scrooge 12/25/17 at 12:00am.
     
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  11. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    "REACHING OUT" To Mr. Dickens

    I've read so much in these pages about Mrs. Dilber's missing lines that I decided to finally delve into what I have on what versions. The only remaining versions of the movie that I own are the 2007 DVD with colorized and "widescreen" version, and the 2011 60th Anniversary Diamond Edition Blu-Ray/DVD. I've purged myself of the awful LaserDiscs, VHS tapes, etc, that had come before.

    As laid out a few pages ago, the missing line, "...for reaching it out...", is indeed present in the commentary track by Hearn/Cole on both of these sets, buried under the commentary, but present nonetheless.

    So I decided to check with Mr. Dickens himself. One of my childhood keepsakes is a book of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that we used in elementary school. At the conclusion of the year we were given the option of purchasing our copies for a nominal amount, and I still have it. A similar edition is pictured here:


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    On page 122 of this edition is the following exchange:

    " You don't mean to say you took 'em down, rings and all with him lying there? " said Joe,
    " Yes I do," replied the woman. " Why not? "
    " You were born to make your fortune," said Joe, " and you'll certainly do it."
    " I certainly sha'n't hold my hand, when I can get anything in it by reaching it out, for the sake of such a man as He was, I promise you, Joe," returned the woman, coolly. " Don't drop that oil upon the blankets, now."

    Just thought we should hear it from the author's mouth.
     
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  12. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    A quick heads up: TCM will air Scrooge tomorrow at 8pm EST, followed by the 1935 Seymour Hicks adaptation at 9.45pm!

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    "Reach out for THIS, Mrs. Dilber!!"
     
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  14. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I follow the Facebook page for Renown Pictures, and a Scrooge related post popped up in my feed yesterday. I noticed a comment on the post from someone asking Renown to license the 2K restoration of the film to the BFI for a Blu-ray release, to which a woman named Sarah Cronin-Stanley, who is employed by Renown, responded saying that Renown owns the film outright and doesn't need to license it. She seemed to be a bit confused, so I clarified his comment to her, saying that fans of the film would like to see Renown license the film to a label who would release the 2K restoration on Blu-ray and that many were disappointed when their announced Blu-ray of the film was abruptly cancelled two years ago. I received two responses from her saying:

    Discouraging, but I encourage anyone who happens to be on Facebook to chime in if they're so inclined to show her that there is interest in seeing the restoration on Blu-ray. Here's the link to the post: https://www.facebook.com/RenownPicturesOfficial/posts/977278619076808
     
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  15. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    It sounds like what needs to happen is that the BFI or another releasing company are the ones who need to be contacted to encourage them to reach out to Renown about licensing the film, since Renown obviously isn't going to do it on their own (and seemed confused by your request).
     
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  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    :( "Discouraging" doesn't even cover it, Andrew.

    Maybe you need to tell your new bestie, Sarah about how you know this guy in the US who is waiting not-so-patiently for yet another chance to spend his hard-earned money on another new release of the '51 A Christmas Carol. You could even point her to our old comprehensive threads on that very subject!

    2009-2011

    2004-2007

    2003

    This film is hands-down my most-purchased title ever.
     
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  17. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    Well, if five of us went on to FB, then at least she’d have to use two hands (six of us if she’s related to Count Rugen)
     
  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I suspect the problem with licensing would be if it isn't possible for Renown Pictures to license out for somebody else to release SCROOGE on Blu-ray while still retaining rights to the DVD (Which I suspect they may still want); not to mention that such a Blu-ray release by another company could seriously cut into Renown's DVD sales, as it would be from the same 2K transfer, only better!

    In terms of Renown Pictures having enough potential buyers committed to purchasing a Blu-ray, I believe there's still the problem of them not even being currently set up for Blu-ray replication to start with, so there would also be that initial outlay for a small company at a time in which physical media sales are already shrinking.

    For what it's worth, I just tried the link for Renown's Facebook page, but I was greeted with a page currently not available message, instead! :rolleyes:

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  19. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Renown's Facebook page is still active, but it appears as if they've removed the post.

    Bah humbug.
     
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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Oh. So then maybe Sarah isn't your new bestie...

    :D
     
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