Scrooge (1970) Poster

(1970)

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10/10
A wonderful memorable adaptation - highly recommended!
johnhuxter23 December 2004
Christmas films, like Christmas songs, are a hugely personal choice, and depend so much on childhood experience. But this is one film which does not lose it's charm, no matter how often I see it. The songs, sets and costumes are fantastic, the acting is inspired, and the musical scenes are beautifully choreographed. In fact, there is no other Christmas film, which has contributed so many songs to my Christmas repertoire! The fact that this version is an English production also helps considerably in the credibility department - the accents are authentic.

Aside from the scene in "hell", this film is admirably true to the spirit and content of Dicken's text, with some inevitable cuts which frankly, I didn't miss. More importantly, I have seen no other version which manages to combine the miserable qualities of Scrooge with the touches of wit and humour which Dickens so skillfully wrote with. Other versions of the film so often succeed at being dour, while failing to capture the joyous aspects of the story, and the humour Scrooge himself sometimes provides. Happily, this version Succeeds at both.

The 1951 version of the film, with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, is often touted as being the best. This may be where my age betrays me, but when I saw it recently, it left me feeling rather flat. Sim did a good job of appearing afraid of the ghosts, but where was his bitterness, skepticism and sarcastic wit? By contrast, Albert Finney's portrayal is a joy to watch - you cannot help but both love and hate the miserable old creature, which makes his transformation at the end all the more joyous.

Highlights...

The clever use of songs like "Father Christmas" and "Thank You Very Much" to convey very different sentiments at the end of the film than they do when first introduced in eaarlier scenes - marvelous!

Albert Finney, as the hilariously miserable Scrooge, singing "I hate People"

Alec Guinness as a truly original ghost of Jacob Marley - fantastic!

Kenneth More's Ghost of Christmas Present - what presence, what a costume!

Laurence Naismith as the exuberant Fezziwig - exactly as he should be, and a good dancer too!

Edith Evans (Elderly Ghost of Christmas Past), in response to Scrooge's "You don't look like a ghost", primly replying "Thank You!".

Mrs. Cratchhit's scream of shock when she realises who is delivering the enormous turkey to her door! I could watch it a hundred times!

...and too many others to mention. This movie was released on DVD this year - by all means see it!
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10/10
Greatest Christmas Movie Ever
smit81522 November 2003
I disagree with all of the critics. I always felt that this was the best Christmas movie ever made. Albert Finney is an incredible actor and he brings the character of Scrooge to life more than any other actor has. I personally never liked the Alistir Sims portrayal. Like some of the other comments, my family has a yearly tradition of saving this Christmas movie for the last one of the season to really get us in the Christmas spirit.
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10/10
A christmas classic, and one of Finney's finest hours...
alfieelkins6 November 2003
This film is an underrated classic family musical. In the spirit and tradition of Oliver! and My Fair Lady, with an energetic memorable score and an eclectic cast all on top form. Sir Alec Guinness, Dame Edith Evans and the wonderful Kenneth Moore support magnificently. Moore in one of the last roles before his untimely death, clearly enjoying hamming it up as the ghost of Christmas present carrying the miserable scrooge along for the ride of his life whilst singing `I like life!' is a joy to see.

But Finney's performance is the standout. At a time when he was making films like Charlie Bubbles and Gumshoe, and with a reputation of being one of Britain's foremost angry young men this role was as unexpected as it was wonderful.

As a side note I was lucky enough to be able to see Anthony Newley as the miser in Bricusse's early nineties theatrical revival, and although good was no where near as cutting or humorous as Finney.

A must see at Christmas time, you too will be singing `I like life' and `thank you very much' for days afterwards!
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9/10
Delightful Version Of A Familiar Tale
jhclues16 December 2000
In this delightful musical adaptation of The Charles Dickens' classic, Albert Finney is cast as Ebenezer in `Scrooge,' directed by Ronald Neame, who successfully manages to put a fresh face on the familiar tale. Original music and songs (by Leslie Bricusse), from the jaunty to the poignant, add to this uplifting and appealing version, skillfully crafted and delivered by Neame, and beautifully acted by one and all. At 7:00 on Christmas Eve, Scrooge finally tears himself away from his counting house and makes his way home, commenting along the way (in song) that `I Hate People,' only to be greeted at his front door by the apparition of his late partner, Jacob Marley (Alec Guinness). And of course for Scrooge, it's only the beginning of a night that will change his life forever. First, the visit from Marley's ghost, followed, in succession, by the spirits of Christmas Past (Edith Evans), Christmas Present (Kenneth Moore) and Christmas Yet To Come (Paddy Stone). Though not, perhaps, the definitive portrayal of Scrooge, Finney is outstanding and does lend some distinction to the character of the curmudgeonly miser, from the stoop-shouldered walk he affects to his twisted mouth. But, more importantly, he gets beyond the mere physical aspects to capture the personality and singular perspectives of the man as well, and in doing so makes his Scrooge unique; no small accomplishment considering how many times on stage and screen this character has been done, and by how many different actors. Also turning in notable performances are Edith Evans, who makes her spirit of the past warm and accessibly intimate, and Kenneth Moore, whose spirit of the present is as big and engaging as the life he represents. But the real highlight of the film is the portrayal of Marley's ghost by Alec Guinness. What a magnificent actor, and what a magnificent performance! When Marley first enters Scrooge's room he fairly glides, disjointedly across the room, encumbered by the chains he forged in life and which he now must carry around for eternity. There is a fluid rhythm to his every movement, to every step he takes, that lends a sense of the ethereal to him, without-- it must be noted-- the help of any special effects whatsoever. With nuance and precision, with care given to every minute detail, Guinness truly makes him an otherworldly presence. There has never before been, nor will there ever be in the future, an interpretation of Marley any better than this. It IS the definitive portrayal, and a tribute to talents and abilities of one of the great actors of all time.

In addition to the music and songs, there are a couple of scenes that consign this presentation of `A Christmas Carol' the stamp of uniqueness. The first involves the visit from Marley's ghost, wherein Scrooge is taken in flight by Marley, and once aloft they encounter lost souls and phantoms, doomed to wander aimlessly for all eternity. The second is courtesy of the Ghost of the Future, who gives Scrooge a glimpse of the nether world, where he is greeted by Marley, who shows him to the `office' he will occupy for eternity, as well as the massive chain Scrooge has forged for himself during his lifetime. The supporting cast includes Anton Rodgers (Tom Jenkins), who delivers one of the most memorable songs, `Thank you very much;' Mary Peach (Fred's wife), Kay Walsh (Mrs. Fezziwig), Laurence Naismith (Mr. Fezziwig), David Collings (Bob Cratchit), Frances Cuka (Mrs. Cratchit), Richard Beaumont (Tiny Tim) and Suzanne Neve (Isabel). Heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining, `Scrooge' is a welcome addition to the annual holiday festivities. It's always fun to see a new spin on a familiar story, especially when it's as well crafted as this; moreover, this one will leave you whistling a tune and humming for the rest of the day, maybe even for the rest of the year. And that's a deal that's just too hard to pass up. I rate this one 9/10.
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10/10
Unbeatable!
josey41220 December 2004
I have just read a negative comment about this movie. I believe it's the first I've ever encountered. Yes, I was a bit scared when I was young, but I had reassuring parents and saw that in the end, it was upbeat and fun.

One favorite part is while Bob Crachit and his kids are getting last minute things for Christmas Eve (During Christmas Children), there is such an obvious display of the differences between the rich and the poorer classes. The rich pick up their things and he, a poorer man, picks up what he can with his 15 schillings - yet stays upbeat, thankful and loving. It's really a beautiful scene.

I love to watch this movie at any time of the year. Albert Finney really nails this character. It's hard to believe that he was only 34 when he made this film. My kids (4 and 7) could not believe that was really him in the Christmas Past scenes.

The rest of the cast indeed are incredible. Bob Crachit was outstanding and so tender and the ghost of Christmas Present was so fun.

I attempted to watch the latest musical version with Kelsey Grammar, I really tried. It was a painful 15 minutes. You just can't create another musical version of this story that tops this one!
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My personal favorite version of Dicken's classic tale.
katselby8825 December 2003
In response to the other comment posted, I can agree. This version is not suitable for ALL ages. Parents should be advised to monitor their small children and perhaps omit the more dramatic scenes involving the Ghost of Christmas Future. When I share this movie with little friends under 12, I take care to either distract them from those sections, or omit them, thanks to the power of the fast-forward button. (But really, today's kids 8-9 and up see way more violent & scary stuff these days!)

However, having said that, I own a copy and have watched it faithfully every Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for nigh onto 20 years. It renews my spirit and reminds me of my responsibilities as a human being.

At the tender age of 12, my Dad took me to see "Scrooge" in the theater when it was released for Christmas. At only 12 years of age, the scenes of the Ghost of Christmas Future were quite vivid.

However, the movie made such an impression on me that it influenced my entire Life philosophy. "Mankind is our business" says Dickens through the Ghost of Christmas Present. This joyful movie filled with wonderful songs that bring me the Christmas Spirit every year. It also imparts the value of staying connected to matters of the spirit and heart, and illustrates the difficulties that arise when ones focus becomes only the material or the monetary. That is a valuable lesson to us all, not just at Christmas, but the whole year through.

I recommend this movie to everyone. Personally, I find it much more engaging and inspiring, not to mention, colorful, than any other version. The performances of all the actors are very entertaining. If you're the sentimental type, keep a hankie close by when Tiny Tim sings for his family at Christmas. What an angel!

Just my 2 cents worth!
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10/10
A Dickens of a Good Time
BaronBl00d27 December 2004
There have been so many versions of this literary masterpiece filmed that it is high praise indeed from me when I say this is easily my favourite version and one of the best. Albert Finney gives a tour-de-force performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge. He is barely middle-age when making the film yet gives one of the best cranky, curmudgeonly old man performances seen in film. Finney gives such life to lines that have become tainted by overuse over the years. All the performers do excellent jobs with some old English stalwarts lending a hand. Dame Edith Evans plays one of the most charming and pithy Ghosts of Christmas Pasts I have seen. Kenneth More, an under-appreciated actor, adds so much life as the Ghost of Christmas Present. And let's not forget Alec Guinness as the Ghost of Jacob Marley. In some moments he is a clown and others a very scary spirit. The scene where Scrooge sees his fate as being a co-worker of Marley's in Hell is one of the most innovative plot additions I have seen to this classic, timeless tale. Guinness hams it up; watch how he walks with those chains all over him. The actors playing Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Nephew Fred, Mr. Fezziwig, and so on are all very believable and give genuine performances. I love the music. I know some people are not musical people, but each song is catchy and some like "I Hate People," "I Like Life," "December the 25th," and the best "Thank You Very Much" will possibly remain in your head days after having seen the film. Because of its status as a tale of redemption and forgiveness and the possibility each of us have in changing our lives, A Christmas Carol(Scrooge) gets little recognition for being one of the greatest ghost stories ever written. I cannot say enough good about this film. What more can you ask for than good, solid acting, mellifluous tunes, authentic Victorian settings, and one heck of a good ghost story with a moral that each of us can relate to. If you don't like musicals, you will be put off by people combusting into song. As for me, Scrooge is the one version that my family and I make a point of seeing every holiday season. It just isn't Christmas here without it!
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10/10
The classic Christmas film
Athene193 December 1998
Scrooge is one of those films where you can sit down and let it wash all over you. Finney is the perfect Scrooge: despicable, mean, sarcastic and a lot better than others who have portrayed the miserly character. Scrooge's love and loss of Isabelle is touching as is Tiny Tim's song about his dream of Christmas. The depth of feeling, character and love combines into this absolutely wonderful musical which, while showing the horrific differences between the two classes of society, shows how they can be combined with a little Christmas cheer. By the end of the film, you might just find that there is a little more to Christmas than you thought. I dare you to watch it and sing along to all those catchy numbers!
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10/10
Best "Christmas Carol" version. Period.
dlmcbrid28 December 2004
I watched this movie again this year. It has become a tradition in our household as one the family activities of the Christmas season. When it came out of DVD last year, I was thrilled to see it widescreen since I had never seen it in the theaters.

I see so many of the "professional" reviews pan this movie. My advice is to ignore them. Why do we listen to people who wouldn't know how to choreograph the most basic dance scene or perform the visually flawless flying wire shots. I appreciate the movie more and more each time I see it. The skill of the filmmaker is evident. I am very curious about the original 2.5 hour version talked about in several of these posts. I would like to know if this really exist. However, I might be disappointed since I have grown to love this film in this version.
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10/10
Scrooge, the Musical
shulma200222 December 2004
I enjoyed the film and the songs. I especially liked " Thank You Very Much" and "Happiness", written by Leslie Bricusse. The critics panned the film but I enjoyed it and thought it was different to see a musical version of "A Christmas Carol". Unfortunately, I don't have cable TV so I can't see it anymore on TV. I saw it back in 1970 at the Radio City Music Hall plus I got a live Christmas show,too. It cost about $2.50 then! I thought Albert Finney was very good as Mr. Scrooge. Alec Guiness dis a strange performance of Marley's Ghost. The sets showing Victorian London looked very authentic. I wish they would make musicals like this rather than these silly teenage comedies.
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8/10
Worth Seeing
Christmas-Reviewer28 September 2017
BEWARE OF FALSE REVIEWS & REVIEWERS. SOME REVIEWERS HAVE ONLY ONE REVIEW TO THEIR NAME. NOW WHEN ITS A POSITIVE REVIEW THAT TELLS ME THEY WERE INVOLVED WITH THE MOVIE. IF ITS A NEGATIVE REVIEW THEN THEY MIGHT HAVE A GRUDGE AGAINST THE FILM . NOW I HAVE REVIEWED OVER 300 HOLIDAY FILMS & SPECIALS. I HAVE NO AGENDA

In this Charles Dickens classic filled with pathos, hope and redemption, a cold old miser named Scrooge (Albert Finney) is forced by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future to take a good, long look at his life. What will he become after he faces what hurts most and why does he despise everything that makes people happy? Sir Alec Guinness plays Marley; Robert Neame directs this acclaimed 1972 musical.

This film however seems to run at a brisk pace. The short coming in the film (Too many songs) are made up for by the cast. Albert Finney is always enjoyable.

The 1st Class Production also co-stars Alec Guinness. Directed by Ronald Neame who would later direct "The Poseidon Adventure".

This film is one versions of "A Christmas Carol".
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10/10
A Seasonal Treasure!.
phillindholm9 November 2011
''Scrooge'' a lavish musical version of Charles Dickens ''A Christmas Carol'' is also one of the best yuletide films ever made. The story, which recounts the strange and wonderful events which cause a miserable miser to reform, lends itself beautifully to a musical format. Though this was not the first ''Carol'' to be set to music, it is easily the best. The acting, by a seasoned British cast, is wonderful.Albert Finney does not ''act'' the part of Ebenezer Scrooge, he IS Scrooge. Ably supported by Dame Edith Evans, Alec Guinnes and Kenneth More, he brings both humanity and pathos to his portrayal. The songs, by Leslie Bricusse (''Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'') are both haunting and moving, and, when the occasion calls for it, upbeat and jolly as well. The production itself, well directed by Ronald Neame (''Great Expectations'') is handsomely filmed and suitable for all ages. Among the supporting cast, both Laurence Naismith and Kay Walsh (also in Neame's classic ''Oliver Twist') stand out as Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwigg. Making a very auspicious film debut is Suzanne Neve, who makes a lovely Isabel, Scrooge's lost love. The orchestrations present the score to great advantage, and the excellent widescreen photography brings a fairy tale London to life. There are other fine adaptations out there, most notably ''Magoo's Christmas Carol'' (with it's terrific score), and Alastair Sim's ''Scrooge'', a somewhat darker version, but this one can stand with the best of them. Incidentally,the film was a box office failure back when it premiered in 1970, (though it broke records at the Radio City Music Hall) but subsequent television airings have alerted audiences to it's many virtues-and made it a Classic for all time.
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10/10
The Best Version of this Story
vox-sane20 December 1999
Perhaps one becomes a Scrooge about "A Christmas Carol", a good story that's been done to death. I saw this movie when it first came out (I was nine) and remembered enjoying it but the only thing I remembered was some people dancing on a coffin. This is still the best version of that scene. The writing of the scene is excellent -- in a few words but good images. I have no nostalgia about having seen something as a child. In this version the acting is uniformly good, by some of Britain's finest actors (Finney, Guinness, More, Evans, Collings, and especially the small part with Anton Rogers). The movie's design is beautiful and stylistic, comparable to "Oliver". The songs aren't as good as "Oliver"'s, but they carry the plot, making scenes that are sometimes interminable in other versions brisk. Is it Dickens? Who cares? Too many films of Dickens ignore the author's bouyancy and humour, and this film's a lot of fun, it's scarey at times (for younger folks -- though by today's standards the ghost bits are crude). Anyone who's weary of the myriad redundant versions of this exhausted story and think anyone who suggests the idea of a movie or tv character visited by three ghosts at Christmastime should be boiled in their own pudding, this is the version that will keep you from saying "Bah, Humbug" to the umpteenth version of this otherwise grating story. You may once again believe in "A Christmas Carol".
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10/10
The only interpretation that moves me to tears.
philr-handley12 June 2004
Albert Finny is superb in the lead role but is supported by an extremely good cast. I don't generally like musicals of any sort but this is so good that I don't think of it as a musical except for the final number of "thank you very much"... The three Ghosts are fabulous, and I'm sure that if Dickens had the cast and technology available in the nineteenth century he would have considered this as the true interpretation of his story. Just the right amount of sentimental schmaltz with sufficient technology to tell the story and not over-egg the pudding which some of the later renditions tended to do. I just wish I could get a video or DVD of this; it would make my Christmas complete.
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9/10
A wonderfully festive film for all ages with charm, wit and a serious seasonal message
cmealor9 December 2005
As an English teacher who has taught Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol for many, many years, this is truly one of the most inspirational versions of the story I have come across. It has kept children (and adults!) of all ages and all abilities captivated for hours! It follows the traditional Dickens story (with the exception of an additional scene set in hell) to perfection and depicts the change in Scrooge's character from the mean, miserly, solitary, almost pitiful man, to the reborn, repentant and quite hilariously newly improved Scrooge superbly, and it shows with great conviction the hardships and suffering of the London working class of the era.

You really do feel for all the characters you meet, from the very important Bob Cratchit, right through to the much lesser Tom Jenkins, the hot soup seller on the market stall, who later sings the irritatingly catchy song "Thank You Very Much." They all come alive and they all have their own spotlight.

The songs are very catchy yet not overwhelming, as some musicals can be. Albert Finnney is simply sublime in all Scrooge's songs... from the very wicked "I Hate People" to the "Happiness Is Whatever You Want It To Be" (when he touchingly loses the love of his life, Isobelle) right through to "I Like Life" in his final scenes as the jumpy, energetic, magnificently comical new persona.

Alec Guiness is fantastic as the deceased Jacob Marley and the scene flying through the sky meeting the other 'phantoms from hell' is quite something!! All in all, it is a captivating film that on a rewatchability factor (now I made that up!) falls entirely off the scale.
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7/10
Time Is Too Short and Suddenly You Are not There Anymore
claudio_carvalho31 March 2010
In 1860, the stingy and cranky Ebenezer Scrooge (Albert Finney) that hates Christmas; loathes people and defends the decrease of the surplus of poor population runs his bank exploiting his employee Bob Cratchit (David Collings) and clients, giving a bitter treatment to his own nephew and acquaintances. However, in the Christmas Eve, he is visited by the doomed ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley that tells him that three spirits would visit him that night. The first one, the spirit of past Christmas, recalls his miserable youth when he lost his only love due to his greed; the spirit of the present Christmas shows him the poor situation of Bob's family and how joyful life may be; and the spirit of future Christmas shows his fate. Scrooge finds that life is good and time is too short and suddenly you are not there anymore, changing his behavior toward Christmas, Bob, his nephew and people in general.

This musical adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens to the screen is one of those optimistic films that follows the style of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life". The redemption of the mean Ebenezer Scrooge in a Christmas Eve is one of the most known worldwide novels and in this version, Albert Finney one of his finest performances surprisingly not nominated to the Oscar. In Brazil, this enjoyable family entertainment was released on DVD by Paramount Distributor. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Adorável Avarento" ("Adorable Stingy")
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10/10
A Reformation With Music
theowinthrop21 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Again like the 1938 version with Reginald Owen, I like this version of "A Christmas Carol", but I still prefer the two with Alistair Sim and with George C. Scott. This one is first rate as an entertainment, and it is nice to see not only Albert Finney but Alec Guiness and Edith Evans in a film based on Dickens* They are not the only familiar faces here. Kenneth More is the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Roy Kinnear is one of the two luckless charity collectors who stumble by ill-chance into Scrooge & Marley's at the start of the film. Even Gordon Jackson has a small part (not as good as his role in "The Great Escape" or "Upstairs Downstairs" though).

(*Guiness, of course, had been Herbert Pocket in the 1946 "Great Expectations", and "Fagin" in the 1947 "Oliver Twist", and would be in a two part television film/miniseries based on "Little Dorrit" in the 1980s. Evans appeared as "Aunt Betsy Trotwood" in "David Copperfield" about the same time she was in this film.)

If I like it why do I seem so down on it? Not really down, but it is because of what it comes across as. In 1968 "Oliver" swept the Academy Awards including "Best Picture". It had been a tremendously successful stage musical in London and New York. It had one of the truly flawless scores of all time: up there with "Oklahoma", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Pal Joey", "Kiss Me Kate", "My Fauir Lady", and "West Side Story". But that's just it - the score had been tested before it reached the screen. People knew the tunes quite well. "Scrooge" was written to capitalize on the success of "Oliver" (same great author, same good story, same memorable tunes).

Now Leslie Bricusse is a fine composer/song writer. But let's face it. Given all the great tunes from "Oliver" there was only one lasting song from "Scrooge" that became a standard: "Thank You Very Much!". The other tunes are serviceable, but forgettable. "Thank You Very Much!" was a show stopper (compare it's appearance and reappearance in the film with the tune that Fezziwig (Laurence Naismith) sings while dancing at his Christmas ball - that's lively too, but you don't recall it's melody very well afterward).*

(*The funny thing about "Thank You Very Much!" is that most people who hear it before they see the film don't realize the irony in the tune when first played. The Londoners who are thanking (God) for "the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me!" are happy and joyous because Scrooge has died, and their debts to him will probably be gone with him. He is, after all, a heartless usurer. It is not until he totally reforms that he leads the song as an admission of his being a changed man (and canceling all those debts, as well as sharing his wealth with many people). It similar to a song that has never been quite as popular but is the sole number from the musical "Zorba" that had any popularity at all: "Happy Birthday". "My mother said that little girls were made of sugar...Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday", goes the first line, but the song is not sung by a young girl or woman, but by a woman who is dying and in delirium (she is thinking of herself as a young girl).)

That aside, the film was again entertaining. It does restore part of the descent of Scrooge to his selfishness: the collapse of his romance with Isabelle Fezziwig (due to his increase pursuit of wealth). This aspect of him is also touched on in the Sim and Scott versions, but not in the Owen version. Even Mr. McGoo's version touched on it. It also offers the first chance for Finney (as the present day Scrooge) to split with his earlier younger version.

The film follows all the other main points, except that we finally see the third ghost's face (a death mask) and Scrooge is thrown down into a fiery pit. He is met again by Marley (Guiness) in a second scene that was not in the story. It actually is funny in a macabre way, as Scrooge finds what is in store for him in hell. Although Guiness did not like the film (it actually physically injured him badly) he seems to enjoy this scene.

It's again a worthy film to view, as is Owens', but try to catch the versions with Sim and with Scott.
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10/10
The Best Christmas Movie Ever
myspecialparadise7 April 2014
I fell in love with this movie back in 1970, when I saw it, numerous times, during the Christmas Holidays, at Radio City Music Hall. Truth is ... this movie was my Christmas for 1970.

Albert Finney should have received an Oscar for his performance in this wonderful movie. One thing that never ceases to amaze people is the fact that he plays the part of young Scrooge, as well as the part of old Scrooge ... the performances are so unique, and masterful, that people find it hard to believe he plays both these part ... but he does, and he does it to perfection! I know one person that literally hates musicals ... but he did like this movie! The sets are spot-on ... the costumes are extraordinarily realist for the period ... and the special effects are unbelievable when you realize that this film was made in 1970! My favorite part of the movie is when Scrooge meets the ghost of Christmas Present. The talent that went into this scene is absolute perfection ... which means that not only did this movie have perfect casting ... it had the perfect film crew as well.

The excellent casting includes Dame Edith Evans, whom plays the ghost of Christmas past like the quality actress she always has been. I think the greatest thing about this movie, and what makes it such a classic, is the choosing of just the right actors ... Shakepearian Actors! I know, hard to imagine such an actor singing and prancing around like a little kid ... but it is done in this film to, here comes that word again, perfection! Kenneth More makes the perfect ghost of Christmas present ... his acting, and costuming, were so well done that I had a hard time accepting the actor as being Kenneth More ... but, I guess, that was the whole point. By the way, don't get me wrong, Kenneth was a wonderful actor, I was just blown away that he didn't look, or act, like the Kenneth More audiences had become use to seeing.

Well, I shan't bore you with praises about all the other actors ... I will just say that if you never see this film, you will have missed my favorite Christmas movie ... and that certainly would be a pity ... because this movie will put practically anyone into the spirit of creating as wonderful a Christmas as is possible to make for all they know and love ... and a few they don't know as well! By the way ... it has always bugged me that this film has never become a Holiday regular, as has Miracle On 34th Street, and Its a Wonderful Life ... because it belongs right up there with those two sinalicious classics!
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10/10
Wonderful Christmas Entertainment!
npvarley25 December 2015
Being in my 50s now, I regard this as one of the best Christmas movies. I grew up with it every year on the TV. It rivals 'Oliver' as arguably the best musical family entertainment yet made. They simply don't make movies like this anymore.

It takes the when known story of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' and adds the whole musical element. It sticks quite faithfully to the original novel, but adds a couple of twists along the way.

The acting is top-notch from the entire cast, who are a 'who's who' of the British film industry of the period. Albert Finney is brilliant in the lead role, which is quite feat considering he was only 34 when he made this movie. All the ghosts are well-portrayed, but Kenneth Moore is the standout ghost, with his larger than life Ghost of Christmas Present. Alec Guiness' Marley is a superbly acerbic vision from Hell. David Collings' Bob Cratchett is excellent and the child actors all do a good job. And Anton Rodgers deserves a special mention for singing one of my all-time favourite musical numbers, 'Thank You Very Much', which is a rollicking sing-along song.

We get this DVD out every Christmas Day, even though the kids are grown up now, and watch it again with as much pleasure as when I was a child watching it. The DVD version we have is very good audio and video quality and played through an upscaling BluRay players, the quality is superb.

If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for!
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8/10
I'm glad I had no preconceived notions about film in 1970...
AlsExGal14 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
...or else I might just have passed on something hawked as "Scrooge, the Musical!". I actually had to used my allowance to go see this with a friend (I was 12) and I actually scraped some of my money together to go see it a second time. Unlike so many experiences from childhood that seem larger than life and are disappointing as an adult, I still love this film and think it is the best of the film renditions of "A Christmas Carol".

I am putting a spoiler warning on this just in case there is somebody on earth who has never heard of the story of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". Believe me, the joy is in the experience, not knowing every little plot point.

Albert Finney was at just the right age that he could strike a handsome impressive pose as Scrooge the shy young man, yet look realistic with the right makeup (and trust me the makeup jobs here are great) as a bitter dried up old man who finds comfort in nothing, not even his money. He simply holds fast to it because he thinks everyone sane is as self involved as he is and if not, that they are fools.

Alec Guinness is terrific as Marley, Scrooge's long dead partner now in hell. He is terrifying yet he plays the part somewhat tongue in cheek almost to the point that you feel he isn't too upset that Scrooge is headed to where he is in the afterlife, he just enjoys scaring the daylights out of him.

Never being particularly religious as a child, the vision of hell conjured up when Scrooge confronts his future was very terrifying to me at the time, just the same.

And then there is the music - the songs actually work and add to the enjoyment of the film, "Thank You Very Much" being the most rousing.

There is just ONE tiny thing that occurs to me now when I watch this 44 years later that did not occur to me as a child. Would everybody have been so welcoming to a redeemed generous Scrooge the day after his epiphany if he hadn't had the money to buy things for them? Just a thought.
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9/10
One of My Favorite Versions for Children
mike481281 December 2010
Surprisingly, this now plays on Broadway as a musical during the holiday season! A far cry from its initial box-office failure, although I am told it played well at Radio City Music Hall, even in 1970. It was a major studio box office disappointment, as it was to be the next "Oliver." Filmed on the same oft-used sets in London. Some of the songs are wonderful and several are quite forgettable. Takes quite a few "liberalities" with the Dicken's story. Gone are man's "step-children" (ignorance & want). There's no scene at the commodities exchange ("I shall go if lunch is provided"). Missing also are the undertaker and maids selling Scrooge's belongings to the rag-picker. Thus producer/songwriter Leslie Bricusse substitutes songs for substance and content. However, the production numbers are quite good; even the overly-long finale. The interesting use of "color effects" as the most somber parts are almost b/w. Sir Alec Guinness "hams it up" as Marley's ghost, which, on repeated viewings, adds quite a bit of enjoyment and (some) humor to the story. Albert Finney is wonderful as Scrooge and I consider it one of his best performances. Curiously, Scrooge doesn't seem as mean or cruel as in other versions, just incredibly "parsimonious" and unhappy. My kids absolutely love this colorful musical version of "A Christmas Carol". Parts of it are quite stagey and old-fashioned as I can even see the "flying" wires if you really look for them. I didn't give it a "10" only because I dislike the scene in Hell with the fat devils winding a chain around Scrooge . I will go so far as to say that it is stupid. That scene was often cut or shortened for "time" on local stations, and I quite agree with them. It doesn't quite seem to "fit" in with the rest of the movie. I often "skip it" when I play the disc. However, the scene where grief-stricken Bob Cratchet is "talking" to poor Tiny Tim in the graveyard is appropriately almost "black and white" and fits in perfectly. My rating: PG for very-mild cuss-words in "I Hate People" and 2 slightly scary scenes ("See the Phantoms all around you" and those silly devils that look like out-of-shape pro wrestlers. My kids always liked this version along with the Muppet and Mickey treatments. That newer 2009 "Jim Carrey Scrooge" film is not for children.
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7/10
Christmas past
mole196127 November 2010
an early VHS recording of this film played a significant part in my family Christmas celebrations some twenty years ago. perhaps it is this that allows me to forgive the films overly sentimental and stagy approach to this oft told tale . some have called this "olivers " poor relation coming as it did in the wake of that unrivaled masterpiece and yes it does seem at times as if we may have heard a melody or ditty before (" consider yourself /thankyou very much- need i say more ")finney and co tread hallowed ground but do so with aplomb. kelsey grammers recent musical outing doesn't come close and the visual trickery of Disney's version makes it equal too but never better than this rendition .what mr dickens would have thought is of course quite another matter.
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9/10
Full of surprises.
Sirus_the_Virus14 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Scrooge, the musical based on Charles Dicken's classic tale, has quite a few great things in store. It's funny at times, creepy at times, weird at times, and all of those make a great movie. Scrooge isn't the best Christmas movie I have ever seen, but it is great for many reasons.

One of them includes Albert Finney playing Scrooge. We have seen Finney play many great roles. Such as his one in Erin Brockovich. But here he is fantastic as Scrooge. He is so miserable it's kind of cute. He does a fantastic job at playing an old man(cause at the time he wasn't old).

The plot is not going to or needed to be explained. There's a hundred films. Just watch one for yourself. This one is a little different than some of the others though. This one is a musical. Some of the songs are funny. Such as Thank you very much, in which the whole town is celebrating Scrooge's death.

The film does have some incredibly odd scenes though. Such as one where Scrooge is taken to hell. I thought"Hey, I don't remember that". Just like how I don't remember Seeing the classic tale as a musical. Scrooge is a different Christmas movie, thanks to Finney, and other things. It's one of the rare good ones too.
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9/10
Of All the Adaptations, This Is My Favorite
Elswet5 January 2009
I cannot say this is the closest adaptation, or even the best adaptation. What I can say is that it is by far my favorite adaptation. It is rather effective in conveying Dickens's message, more so than others, and it did strike a chord in me, which has never faded. Albert Finney was not my favorite Poirot, but he is my favorite Ebenezer Scrooge.

Although I am not fond of the vehicle of musicals, I nearly didn't notice that this even was a musical. The musical numbers are so unobtrusive as to go virtually unnoticed, yet are an integral part of the overall makeup of this work. I never really noticed where the music started and ended. The execution is so involving that it captures the imagination properly thereby assisting beautifully in achieving the perfect mindset one needs in order to genuinely celebrate the Yule season.

I love this movie. It's a must have and a must see at least three times a year.

It rates a 9.0 for fond memories and good feelings from...

the Fiend :.
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10/10
A joy to watch
patrickneame24 December 2007
Although it is occasionally a little sentimental and the poorer children look rather well fed, these are trifling criticisms of what is otherwise a joy to watch. Albert Finney's performance is superb and captures the miserliness, tragedy, redemption and wit of Scrooge to perfection. Alec Guinness captures the other worldliness of Jacob Marley with aplomb. The set is excellent while the effects stand up to modern scrutiny, the door knocker morphing into Marley's head is especially fine. Finally, if you have any doubts about Scrooge as a musical put them to one side. It really does work and Thank You Very Much is one of the great songs of musical cinema. (My wife gave it 10, I gave it 9.)
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