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For me, the single greatest movie ever made!,
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol (Original B&W Version) (DVD)
I won't mince words here. This version of "A Christmas Carol" is the one with which I was brought up, having seen in on TV in 1952 on "Million Dollar Movie", WOR, Channel 9 (NYC). I can appreciate other versions, such as the George C. Scott, Reginald Owen, and Seymour Hicks ( a very bleak version, almost on the level of this one), but Alistar Sim's version is the only movie that makes me cry, shiver, and finally laugh for joy. Critics rightly point out Sim's performance, the most masterly piece of characterization I have ever seen in any role, and the liberties taken by the screenplay simply illuminate rather than detract from the impact of the drama; we shown the psychological roots of Scrooge's asocial, paranoid, obessional style of living, and how his defenses are broken down by the visitation of the three Spirits (perhaps his observing ego?) and after his total collapse, his reconstruction. There is nothing really fairytale-like about this version. Everything is treated in deadly earnest (after all, he does say to the boy buying the turkey, "I'm in earnest)and the movie ends with the greatest catharsis imaginable. But wonder of wonders, the whole cast is on Sim's level. One important character in the story of Scrooge's character deformation is the crooked and covetous Mr. Jawking, masterly interpreted by Jack Warner; he apppears on the scene just as Scrooge has his greatest loss, the death of his sister, and certainly influences Scrooge to decathect humans and invest emotionally as well as financially in business and money. The death of Tiny Tim is the most poignant and heartwrenching scene of any movie that I know. And the great comic catharsis at the end, well, Sim outdoes himself here. This make him my favorite actor BY FAR. I think you will agree when you purchase this movie; this is one movie of which you will never tire of seeing.