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An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler

4.5 out of 5 stars 538 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

A New Hampshire scrooge changes his ways in this Depression-era version of the Dickens classic.

Amazon.com

Henry Winkler's performance as a miserly financier anchors this often-elegant 1979 TV-movie adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic holiday story of kindness and redemption. Buried under layers of old-age makeup (by Oscar winner Greg Cannom), Winkler manages to bring forth both the bitterness and the pain that fuel Benedict Slade, an elderly finance company president who spends a Depression-era Christmas Eve crushing the spirits of his fellow New Hampshire residents by evicting debtors from their homes or repossessing their belongings. Upon claiming and attempting to destroy a valuable edition of Dickens's Christmas Carol, Slade is visited by a trio of ghosts (David Wayne, Gerard Parkes, and Dorian Harewood) who attempt to convince him to change his ways or suffer a terrible fate. Tony Award-nominated writer Jerome Coopersmith does a fine job of adapting Dickens's story, smartly adding political and financial details germane to the period that anchor its 20th-century American setting; director Eric Till capably balances the fantasy and everyday elements, and captures the period detail and snowy locations (Ontario, Canada, stands in for New England) with an eye towards the picturesque. But the film's success rests squarely on Winkler's shoulders, and the actor provides believable performances as both the youthful and aged Slade that did much to remind viewers that he was a far more talented performer than his most popular screen character, Fonzie of Happy Days, suggested. Shout Factory's full-frame presentation of An American Christmas Carol looks good, especially in comparison to other DVD releases of TV movies from the period, and offers a new eight-minute-plus interview with Winkler, who discusses his concerns about tackling the iconic story, as well as the challenges presented by the considerable makeup design. --Paul Gaita

Product Information

Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
Item Weight 2.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 3.2 ounces
Manufacturer Alliance Entertainment
ASIN B0088AW5I4
Item model number SFY13605DVD
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 538 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #5,808 in Beauty (See Top 100 in Beauty)
#26,967 in Movies & TV > DVD
Date first available at Amazon.com June 2, 2012

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By Ken Roberts VINE VOICE on October 19, 2001
Format: DVD
Henry Winkler proves his acting ability in this American version of the Dickens classic. One will actually forget that he was 'The FONZ' and will be amazed at his transformation from nice guy to mean guy back to nice guy. The general feel of this movie, though, is grey. That's the best way to describe it. But then, it was a bleak grey time in American history, with the Great Depression and all. When Dickens originally wrote the book, it was a grey time in England's history as well, so the subdued feeling one gets while watching this 'modern' version fits in well with the spirit of the original story.
A nice twist (sorry, Oliver!) to a true classic.
By the way, for my money, the finest original version out there is the George C. Scott version followed closely by Alistair Sim.
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Format: DVD
"A Christmas Carol" may well be the most-adapted Christmas story in literature, with version ranging from whimsical to musical to deadly serious. This particular version, starring Henry Winkler as Benedict Slade (a.k.a. Scrooge) is my favorite.
The movie translates Dickens' classic story from 19th century England to Depression-era New England. The result is very effective. For me, an American born to parents who grew up in the Depression, the 20th century setting made the story feel very real. The writers and director made excellent decisions in their choice of sets. Three notable examples were the New England furniture factory as the setting for Slade's youth, the newly-conceived idea of consumer credit as the source of his subsequent wealth and avarice, and the choice of an African-American as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come ("You must be Future," Slade declares, cowering before him).
Winkler's performance is brilliant. He captures the essence of Slade perfectly, and makes the gradual transformation from miser to redeemed man seem natural and believable. The scene at the Thatcher (a.k.a. Cratchit) household at the end of the film never fails to bring tears to my eyes and those of my family. The supporting cast performs ably as well, making this a Christmas classic that one can watch every year.
"An American Christmas Carol" debuted in 1979, midway through Winkler's popular "Happy Days" television series run. After a few years of reruns, it disappeared from view until recently, when it became available on DVD and video. I heartily recommend it for your holiday DVD collection.
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Format: DVD
IT WAS 1979, CHRISTMAS JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS AWAY FLICKING THROUGH THE CHANNELS, I STOPPED ON CITY TV, CHANNEL 79, AS IT WAS KNOWN AT THAT TIME. I STARTED WATCHING THIS MOVIE CALLED AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH HENRY WINKLER, EVER SINCE THAT NIGHT IN DECEMBER 1979. I HAVE ALWAYS TAKEN TIME WATCH THIS FANTASTIC MOVIE, I BOUGHT THE VIDEO, NOW I WILL BUY IT ON DVD. I THINK ITS THE BEST VERSION OF CHARLES DICKENS CHRISTMAS CLASSIC SCROOGE....
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
"An American Christmas Carol" is a surprisingly good made-for-television version based on Charles Dickens' timelessly-relevant novella.
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.
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By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Awesome. If you like Christmas, then you'll like this movie. Just as the original by Dickens, it teaches us the true meaning of Christmas. I have been hooked since seeing this movie as a young adult and it still delivers. I enjoy the American twist on Dicken's story. You won't get a Victorian town in England, but you will get a simpler America and the American entrepreneurial spirit. Henry Winkler gives a commendable performance and the supporting cast works well. All in all, a must see for Christmas.
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