Customer Review

116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting ghost story, December 6, 2001
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This review is from: A Christmas Carol (Colorized + Black & White Edition) (DVD)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2008 10:18:49 AM PST
G. Tetz says:
Somehow, after 50+ years of watching these characters come to life in all their sadness and joy, despair and hope, I missed that important detail - the source of Scrooge's resentment toward Fred - that adds another poignant layer to this beautiful, colorful black and white tapestry. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2008 10:45:23 AM PST
That detail was only added for this movie, and doesn't appear in the original story. It does add some depth, but isn't exactly "authentic". In the book, Scrooge resents Fred mainly because he reminds him of his beloved sister, but it doesn't say that she died giving him birth.

Some liberties were taken with this adaptation, but I think they make for a great film.
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Zack Davisson
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA

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