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A Christmas Carol (Colorized + Black & White Edition)
Known as: Christmas Carol
Online Status: Unknown
Price at time of addition: Unknown
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Running Time: 86 minutes
Studio: Vci Video
Theater Release Date: 1951
Origional Release Date: 1951-01-01
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (Full Screen)
Language: English
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
ID: 305
ASIN: B00000F168
UPC: 089859820120
EAN: 0089859820120
Date last watch:
Date Added: 2010-09-04
Alastair Sim
Jack Warner
Kathleen Harrison
Mervyn Johns
Hermione Baddeley

Christmas / Chanukkah
Black & White
Special Edition

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This is the desert-island choice of the many versions of A Christmas Carol, with a magnificent, full-bodied portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge by Alastair Sim that leaves everyone else in the dust. Lean and direct, this film's version of the story wastes no time trying to impress viewers with the magical nature of the spirits' visitations. Director Brian Desmond Hurst keeps the focus on Scrooge's life story, beautifully simplifying and underscoring the theme of lost women with a haunting musical refrain from the folk song "Barbara Allen." Sim's commitment to the role is at times astonishing; his Scrooge's Christmas-morning ecstasy is a marvel of giddy technique. Watch for Patrick Macnee (Steed in The Avengers) as the young Jacob Marley--the actor made his screen debut in this 1951 production. --Tom Keogh

On the DVD
This ultimate collectors' edition is crammed with special features, on both discs. Film (and Charles Dickens) fans won't want to miss a single screen. The audio commentary by Marcus Hearn and George Cole adds depth and perspective to Alastair Sim's amazing performance, and the groundbreaking special effects for the time. Cole also gives a homey remembrance of working with Sim during World War II and living in the English countryside to avoid the Blitz.

One of the most compelling extras is a short bio of George Mintner, the film's executive producer who would go on to found his own successful distribution company, Renown Pictures. An unlikely film mogul, the British Mintner was shy and bookish, but managed to build a reputable mini-studio in the '50s, out of the Hollywood limelight. He produced mostly B-movies, though after A Christmas Carol (originally titled Scrooge), he produced another Dickens adaptation, The Pickwick Papers. There's a great mini-bio of Dickens, who grew up in the poverty that later fascinated him in his writings. Other extras include the colorized version (what were people thinking back in the '80s?), cast bios, original trailers, and a feature that more film companies might want to consider, an optional narration for the blind. Nothing is left out for film fans--God bless us, every one. --A.T. Hurley

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