A Christmas Carol
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Christmas elicits nothing more than "Bah, humbug!" from Ebenezer Scrooge (Scott), a miser whose sole pursuit of financial success has left him a bitter and lonely old man. But a Christmas Eve visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future ultimately teaches him to open his heart to the spirit of Christmas and to the joys of friends and family.
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I wanted to get the film on DVD; but unfortunately, all the Fox DVD versions that I've come across over the last 15 years have cropped the film to a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio -- by cropping off the top and bottom of the film to fit a widescreen TV. The film was originally released in full screen 1.33:1 (because it was shot for TV); to make matters worse, the cropping is fairly sloppy -- a lot of head-tops go missing.
Thus, I was very delighted to read that the Blu Ray release of the film would be be in the full-screen 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Upon reviewing the Blu Ray, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it's a very good video transfer -- much better than I would expect for a relatively obscure film.
The picture, for the most part, shows very little grain (though some of that may be lost in the foggy/hazy shots of urban London that make up a lot of the film.) Also, the colors are the best I've seen in a video transfer of this film: lacking the greenish tinge of the old laserdisc copy, and saturated to just about the right degree (unlike the DVD transfer, which tends to make everyone look a bit tanned -- not a good look for these characters. :-) )
So if you've been waiting to buy a copy of this film on disc, I doubt you'll find anything better than this for some time. Very satisfactory!
It's hard to argue with the performances of two top flight actors, and both George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart are experts at their craft. (Sadly "were" in the case of George C. Scott).
For me, Scott's performance has a bit of an edge. From the moment he approaches his front door and it's unearthly knocker to his order of the goose, I'm lost in his cold and terrifying world. His transformation is visceral, challenging, and uplifting. Having such fine supporting actors as David Warner in the role of Bob Cratchit and Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present doesn't hurt. ;-)
As I type this, this Blu ray is being offered for a no-brainer price (under ten dollars). If you haven't seen it and enjoy this tale, you won't be disappointed.
I love it so much. Please watch it.