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A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (1951)

Alastair Sim , Jack Warner  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,127 customer reviews)


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Multi-Format 2-Disc Version $14.12  
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DVD 1-Disc Version $9.96  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Digital Sound, Subtitled, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SR0DDE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,888 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Marcus Hearn and George Cole
  • "Spirit of Christmas Past"--George Cole remembers Alistair Sim
  • "Richard Gordon Remembers George Minter & Renown Pictures"
  • "Charles Dickens--His Life and Times"
  • Bonus: Colorized Version
  • Before & After Restoration Comparison
  • Optional Narrative for the Blind
  • Photo & Press Book Gallery
  • Cast Bios
  • Original American and British Theatrical Trailers
  • "Scrooge" (1935 Seymour Hicks Version)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

Alastair Sim's tour-de-force performance as the ultimate miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, has almost single-handedly made this beloved version of Charles Dickens' story into one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Some of Britain's best filmmakers united behind Sim, who was joined by a delightful cast of accomplished and acclaimed English actors; creating what many today believe to be the best and most faithful production of Dickens' immortal tale. Cranky and curmudgeonly Scrooge learns the error of his unkind ways and is taught the true meaning of the holidays when he is visited by the ghost of his late business partner and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future. Bonus Features: Audio Commentary by Marcus Hearn & George Cole, "Spirit of Christmas Past" - George Cole remembers Alastair Sim, "Richard Gordon Remembers George Minter & Renown Pictures", "Charles Dickens - His Life & Times", Bonus Colorized Version, Original American Theatrical Trailer, Original British Theatrical Trailer, Before & After Restoration Comparison, Optional English & Spanish Subtitles, Optional Narrative for the Blind, Photo & Press Book Gallery, Cast Bios, "Scrooge" (1935 Seymour Hicks Version) Specs: 2-DVD9s; Dolby Digital 5.1; 86 minutes; B&W / Color; Aspect Ratio: B&W Restored Version - 1.33:1; Optional 16x9 Enhanced for Widescreen Monitors; Colorized Version - 1.33:1; MPAA - NR; Year - 1951; SRP - $19.99.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
405 of 415 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Collector's Edition indeed! October 1, 2007
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I only discovered this movie about four years ago but have watched it every Christmas since. To me it's the best version of the Christmas Carol ever made, and now it gets the best treatment you could have ever hoped for. This two disc collector's edition contains two different versions of this movie. First is the colorized version, but then the second is the real treat. They went back to the original prints of this and worked from there. After carefully removing the skips, scratches, and jerky frames, they digitally restored the movie to a version that looks as if it were made yesterday! The sound has been changed to 5.1 digital surround, and there's even a widescreen version for 16:9 televisions.

The special features include an earlier version of Christmas Carol (not as good as this one), as well as several featurettes on the movie, interviews with the stars, a feature on Alistair Sim, and others.

You can tell the distributor put a lot of effort into this restoration and it shows. I wish they'd do the same for other great films like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Bishop's Wife".

Highly recommended as the best version of this classic you'll find anywhere.
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217 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Standard November 25, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There are two superb film adaptations of this Dickens classic; this one and the 1984 TV film starring George C. Scott. Both do justice to the original novella far beyond any other dramatizations. However, it is this 1951 British version that got there first and no doubt inspired the 1984 remake. Both Alastair Sim and Scott breath life into the character of Scrooge and make him a three-dimensional personality whose life and fate take on far greater meaning than they do in the hands of other actors who have taken on this role. Sim, of course, became the definitive Scrooge by first taking the character seriously and by portraying Scrooge as more than a simplistic cardboard cutout. For those of us who were raised on this version of the film, Sim will always "be" Scrooge. That does not detract from Scott's performance at all and he was quoted as saying he knew from the start that he could never hope to match Sim's effort. Nonetheless, he succeeded in carving out his own highly credible, compelling portrait of Scrooge which stands beside that of Sim's, like two magnificent paintings sharing the same wall. Both films should be enjoyed and appreciated as the fine, individual achievements that they are and both will stand as "definitive" for a very, very long time. We are the richer for having such a marvelous choice.
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102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting ghost story December 6, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Somehow, across the years, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his three ghosts has been transformed from it's spooky roots to light-hearted family fare. Scrooge is not so much evil, as grumpy. The ghost's tend to amuse rather than frighten.
This black-and-white version of "A Christmas Carol" maintains the horror roots of the story. Jacob Marley is one of the most frightening ghosts to haunt the silver screen. He grows intolerant of the idea that Scrooge is not frightened, and howls his rage and frustration. The Ghost of Christmas Past is an impersonal specter, cold and distant. Present is jolly and yet quick to anger. Future is the grim shade that he is supposed to be.
The back story of Scrooge is told in greater detail here than in any other version. He resents Fred, not because of his Christmas cheer but because his birth caused the death of Scrooge's beloved sister. He not only remembers the good times at Fezzywig's, he remembers putting Fezzywig out of business later in life. Alastair Sim brings this character to fullness more than any other actor. The Christmas morning scene is a delight, and worth the wait.
As a bonus, the Fleischer "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer" is included on this disk. This is clearly Santa Claus by the people who gave us the first animated Superman. The animation is fluid and dynamic. One of the best extras on any DVD.
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83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous restoration of a holiday classic October 7, 2007
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although this 1951 classic film takes some liberties with the Dicken's novel, it remains the film most faithful to the original story. Some of the sets and costumes were directly inspired by the memorable illustrations in the first edition of the book. Alastair Sim is very convincing as the miserly Scrooge who, after a terrifying night of ghostly visits, is transformed into a man who knows how to keep Christmas in his heart.

There have been many DVD editions of this holiday favorite in recent years, several of them from VCI Entertainment. In this package, VCI has included some things featured on previous releases (commentary, Dickens biography, etc.), but the real star of this set is the beautifully restored version of the black and white film. According to a short feature on the restoration of the film, VCI has finally been able to obtain film elements from the original master. Apparently they didn't have access to a complete master, so they used several of the best prints they could gather and digitally read them to determine which frames were the best available. The rest was cleaned up by hand. It sounds like a labor of love, and the result is visible on the screen. The restored print is available in 4x3 and 16x9 in 1:37:1 format. (According to the Amazon product description page, the aspect ratio is given as 1:87 and elsewhere as 1:33, the DVD box says 1:37.) There are a few seconds of less than pristine audio, but overall this is a gorgeous effort.

A nice touch I've never seen on a DVD before is an optional audio track for the blind, in which a narrator describes the action on the screen pausing for dialog from the actors. A wandering commentary track with Marcus Heard and George Cole (young Scrooge) is included.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A Christmas must.....:)))
Published 2 days ago by M.A. anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Allistair Sims IS Scrooge!
Published 2 days ago by Daniel Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the BEST!!!
Published 5 days ago by Carole Perales
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Scrooge is my favoite movie. This one really shows what is was like when the story was written. Very authentic.
Published 5 days ago by Judy A. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not to be missed best of all the Scrooge movies
Published 9 days ago by M J DRAWMER
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
no comment
Published 16 days ago by Teddy Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic classic
original black and white included! great holiday stuff watch it over and over every Christmas
Published 23 days ago by Margery Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody does a better Impression of Scrooge than Alastair Sim
Nobody could play Scrooge better than Alastair Sim. This is probably the best
movie ever done about Mr. Scrooge and the three ghost that visit him on
Christmas Eve. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this story with Alastair Sim being my favorite version
Love this story with Alastair Sim being my favorite version! Watch this faithfully every year, multiple times! Had to get this to replace my VHS version.
Published 28 days ago by patricia m clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless!
It doesn't get any better than this. I watch this every Christmas season and even the young ones are enthralled with it.
Published 28 days ago by Walter Sasiadek
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