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An American Christmas Carol
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A new version of the all-time family favorite starring Henry Winkler. It is Christmas Eve 1933, and the townspeople of Concord, New Hampshire, are trying to hold onto their Christmas spirit in the face of the Great Depression. But old Mr. Benedict Slade is ruining what Christmas hope the town has left by mercilessly repossessing their prized goods. Alone in his apartment, Slade is visited by three ghosts--Christmas Past, Present and Future--who take him on a fantastic journey through time that will show him the tragic consequences of his actions if he doesn't mend his ways forever! Adapted from Charles Dickens' classic story "A Christmas Carol."
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Top Customer Reviews
It stars Henry Winkler as the American-version 'scrooge' named Benedict Slade and the setting has been updated a bit to depression-era 1930's New England but this version most-certainly retains deep emotional-resonance and authentically communicates the heartfelt message that has made Dickens' story an essential-part of Christmas tradition!
The most surprising aspect of this presentation is probably Henry Winkler's superb performance = beginning the tale as the older-version 'Benedict Slade' whose entire Life has focused on always extracting the maximum profit/material-gain from any business-venture. Slade expresses pride that he has never allowed those mushy-minded & 'wimpy' human impulses of compassion, empathy, sentimentality to ever get in the way of his realizing an inordinate profit-margin! And has been content spending most of his waking-hours 'repossessing' items & goods that had previously been sold and financed (by Slade's holding-company) to townspeople who either could not afford those items in the first-place, or can no longer pay for them due to the economic hard-times brought on by the 1930's depression.
Henry Winkler's portrayal of Benedict Slade might not be an exact replica of Ebenezer Scrooge but it is certainly close-enough to the true 'spirit' of Dickens' Christmas tale. As in the original, those prescient ghosts of Christmas past, present and future take Winkler-Slade on a Life-altering ride thru time & space that indelibly changes his outlook-perspective on the truly-important (non-material) aspects of 'a Life Well Lived' (and well-remembered by those who happened to be genuinely touched-impacted by said 'Life')
Winkler's changing physical appearance from the hardened miserly old-man we see at the beginning of this story, back thru time to the younger more enthusiastic version, who at a much earlier time even seemed to know the meaning of the word 'love' = is all quite authentic. When Winkler first appeared on screen at the outset, I thought the performance/appearance seemed a bit comical-overdone - but the surprising aspect is that 'Benedict-Slade' within about the first 10-minutes (and onward) becomes a 'real' fleshed-out character and the viewer does ultimately become fully 'invested' in his story of eventual genuine longing for potential-redemption
As surprisingly good/ well-done as this 1979 television version is (directed by Eric Till, screenplay by Jerome Coopersmith) I would still say my absolute favorite version has to be the 1951 British one with Alastair Sim which most perfectly captures the impending sense of dread, doom and ultimate 'redemption' imbued by the Charles Dickens' Classic ==>but next to that inimitable-quintessential version, I think "An American Christmas Carol" holds its own and provides the added interest & perspective of making this an equally relevant 'American' tale!
note: right-now, as of 12/20 "An American Christmas Carol" is streaming free on AMAZON Prime!
If you are fan of a Christmas Carol and have seen many of the cinematic variations and made for TV, this is one you really have to see.
The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future are represented by some of the clients. But, anyone familiar with "The Christmas Carol", will have no trouble recognizing the storyline.
Feel good, holiday favorite.
The new DVD has an on-screen introduction by Henry "The Fonz" Winkler. The makeup, plot, acting and directing were