Scrooge Film Review
Michael J Dolan
Ghost of Christmas past
Francis De Wolff
Ghost of Christmas present
Ghost of Christmas yet to come
About the film
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Producer: Brian Desmond Hurst
Running time: 1 hr 26 mins
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Distributed by: Renown Pictures (UK), United Artists (USA)
Scrooge is based on the classic novel, A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens. The film is set in 1843, and Ebenezer Scrooge says he has no intention of celebrating Christmas. He doesn't like Christmas very much and think it's humbug. Scrooge certainly lives up to his name. For instance, he won't be lenient on someone who owes him money. And he won't give any money to these 2 men who are collecting funds for the workhouse. Bob Cratchit is Scrooge's loyal clerk, even though he is such a mean employer. After asking Scrooge if he can have time off over Christmas to spend with his family, he begrudgingly lets him have Christmas off.
Ebenezer Scrooge is dining out on Christmas Eve. When he returns home this is when he first encounters a ghost. He gets a visit from Jacob Marley, who is his dead partner. Marley has been dead for 7 years. He forewarns Scrooge about his miserly ways and informs him that he will be visited by 3 ghosts. These ghosts are:-
- The ghost of Christmas past
- The ghost of Christmas present
- The ghost of Christmas yet to come.
Throughout the film we see how these 3 ghosts visit Scrooge in different forms, and teaches him a very hard lesson. They show him, in one way and another, how mean he has been and how it has been affecting the people around him. It isn't until he has been shown how his mean ways that he realises what he's been like and decides to take action. Each of these ghosts will show Scrooge different scenes from his life and of things going on in the lives of people he knows. Seeing all this makes Scrooge take stock and realises what he is like as a person.
Over the years, there have been many adaptations of this lovely story. Even if people have never seen a version of this film or read the book, I'm sure everyone worldwide has heard of this story. A Christmas Carol, or Scrooge as is this film named, is a classic and there's not a Christmas goes by where it's not on television somewhere around the world. Alistair Sim who plays Ebenezer Scrooge plays an excellent part as the miserly old man. The visits from the 3 ghosts I find fascinating. Considering this was made in 1951, the ghost effects come across really well on the screen. I like how well they made these men look like ghosts.
Mervyn Johns who plays Bob Cratchit plays an excellent part. You can see that both him and Alistair Sim have a good working relationship throughout this film. Shot in black and white, I think this adds to the eerie feeling Scrooge must of felt when the ghosts appear in front of him.
The story itself is beautifully told. It is interesting to see how the character of Ebenezer Scrooge changes throughout the course of the film. At the beginning we see how is this mean and grouchy old man. But by the end of the film he is a completely different man. And of course you've got the character of Tiny Tim, played by Glyn Dearman. I think he plays a really good part. I think the supporting cast in this film were excellent and the acting was 100%.
I can't say I've seen every version of Scrooge/A Christmas Carol ever made, but from the adaptations I have seen, this one is definitely on the top of the list. It is a wonderfully directed film by Brian Desmond Hurst. The whole film is just so brilliant, it's one I could watch over again. Alistair Sim proves he is an excellent actor and tells the story really well.
© 2019 Louise Powles