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An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie was not what I expected, however, it's worth a look (if it's free on Prime). It just wasn't for me man.Published 28 days ago by Mark Ellington
There's only one version of A Christmas Carol that I don't like and I won't mention it here. As someone who collects movies of A Christmas Carol, and reads the book almost every... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
I saw this movie decades ago and tracked it down because it tells the entire story of Ebeneezer Scrooge. Felt sorry for him throughout and celebrated hi salvation at the end.Published 2 months ago by G. Warnock
I watched this on Amazon Prime and immediately bought a copy for my library. A great modern retelling of Dicken's classic, with Winkler as the lead character--WELL acted. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Crys, the Cat Fancier
A great take on Dickens's classic with a twentieth century twist. It shows the range of Henry Winkler's acting ability.Published 2 months ago by cheryl parsons