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A Christmas Phenomenon,
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (DVD)
The most remarkable thing about "A Christmas Carol" is the way the intrisic morality of the story keeps it evergreen.
The film versions seems to refect the values of their time: the 1935 version on the double DVD seems somewhat stale reminder of the remote British Empire, while the 1951 Alastair Sim interpretation has much of the uplifiting cheer of the many English comedies in austere post-war Britain.
The evergreen aspects of the film are also found from the 1978 Rich Little send-up of the famous and infamous of his day and the Christmas Eve 2010 "Dr. Who" version with Dr. Who playing the spirit of Christmas Past may become a cult film.
Time will tell which Christmas Carol is the most enduring. The Alastair Sim offering, apart from the family feel good aire, has a touch of "Wall Street" about it as an 18th. century Gordon Gekko greed-is-good charater drives Scrooge's business partners to the wall. Scrooge and Marley coldly demand 51% of the firm to save it from bankrupcy.
Sim is well able to use those trademark doe eyes to show an inner cruelty and meanace in a Scrooge on the verge of his lifetime downward spiral into bitter cynicism...an alienation from humanity sealed by the loss of his beloved sister; dying in childbirth as his own mother died giving her birth.
Yet this is a story of redemption and Scrooge finds a grace denied Marley. Sim's portrayal of Scrooge makes believable that even the deadest heart may be brought to life.
The restored version is well served by low-key black and white, but I didn't go much for the colorized version...the color seemed, to me, to destroy this very mood and a be a pointless gimmick to show how clever the computer technicians were. The main value the included 1935 version was to show the viality of the Sim film.
A good DVD to collect.