Scrooge (1935)

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Scrooge (1935) Poster

Scrooge, the ultimate Victorian miser, hasn't a good word for Christmas, though his impoverished clerk Cratchit and nephew Fred are full of holiday spirit. But in the night, Scrooge is ... See full summary »

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  • Oscar Asche and Seymour Hicks in Scrooge (1935)
  • Seymour Hicks in Scrooge (1935)
  • Oscar Asche and Seymour Hicks in Scrooge (1935)
  • Scrooge (1935)
  • Seymour Hicks in Scrooge (1935)
  • Seymour Hicks in Scrooge (1935)

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Reviews & Commentary

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30 November 2009 | sddavis63
| An Interesting Early Version Of A Familiar Story
There's absolutely no way around the fact that every version of "A Chrismas Carol" that you will ever watch is going to be viewed through the lens of the 1951 Alastair Sim classic, even more than it will be looked at through the lens of the Dickens story itself. This very early version (the earliest "talkie" version as far as I can see) stands up pretty well in that respect. Seymour Hicks was a very convincing Ebenezer Scrooge with a different take on the character than Sim presented. Sim's Scrooge was - while mean and crotchety - a somewhat comic character, whereas Hicks seems to emphasize Scrooge's essential nastiness, making his ultimate transformation even more jarring in some ways. The story has all the basic elements, and so there are no real surprises in that sense, but there are some differences worth noting. Aside from the early shot of Marley's face in the door knocker, I found it interesting that Marley's ghost was invisible to the viewer (although seen apparently by Scrooge.) Marley's spirit also came across as stronger than in the '51 version, where he was a more pathetic creature, although afflicted in the same way. I also found the visits of the three Christmas spirits somewhat truncated - especially the visit of the Spirit of Christmas Past, who offered Scrooge only a couple of scenes revolving around his love Belle with no mention of Fezziwig and no mention of Fan. There was however some interesting additional material. The scene of the Lord Mayor's banquet seemed to put Scrooge's essential isolation into stronger focus. With no compassion for the poor, Scrooge is also completely alienated from the wealthy, and while the poor celebrate as best they can and the wealthy enjoy a huge banquet, Scrooge dines alone and then goes home to a lonely house. The end of the movie also puts Scrooge's transformation in a different context. Whereas the end of the '51 version emphasizes the relationship Scrooge develops with Tiny Tim, the end of this version has Scrooge joining Cratchet in church to sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. What I took from that was that in this version Scrooge's transformation was a spiritual transformation as well as a personal one. This is a very interesting version of the story. 7/10

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