A Christmas Carol (1938)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Family, Fantasy


A Christmas Carol (1938) Poster

An elderly miser learns the error of his ways on Christmas Eve.


7.5/10
6,466


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  • A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • D'Arcy Corrigan and Reginald Owen in A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • D'Arcy Corrigan and Reginald Owen in A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Leo G. Carroll and Reginald Owen in A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Reginald Owen in A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Lionel Braham and Reginald Owen in A Christmas Carol (1938)

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14 December 2003 | gkeith_1
Reginald Owen is the star.....
How refreshing to see Reginald Owen as star of a movie. So what if he was the last minute replacement for Lionel Barrymore. I have read earlier comments for this movie, and I will give you my take.

I first saw Reginald Owen in "Mary Poppins", playing Admiral Boom, a character whom I thought was insanely crazy. I realized, many years later, that Owen was a very intelligent actor who had carried many a movie, mostly in character settings. Indeed, in "Poppins", Owen played along with all the craziness in the story.

In "A Christmas Carol", Owen plays Ebenezer Scrooge, essaying the lead part well. How refreshing, indeed. As an acting student, I noticed how Scrooge's forehead "old-age makeup" resembled that of what I was taught last summer in a theatre stage makeup class at The Ohio State University. There is that liquid latex (that has dried, of course) with just enough wrinkle to make his face give the hint of elderliness, whereas in real life Owen was only 51 years old.

As for Lionel Barrymore, I glean from my studies of the Barrymores that if they had made enough money on the stage they would never have "gone Hollywood", like they did. I think they had long ago sold out to the moneyed establishment. Definitely a lucky break for Reginald Owen, who for most of his career played the-glue character parts or second leads. Admiral Boom is certainly "an aside" in Mary Poppins.

In "A Christmas Carol", I noticed that "Tiny Tim" was played by the boy who played "Colley" in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips". So what if the actor was too old. He conveyed the spirit of the story. He was a good actor.

The Lockharts were great, especially Gene as Bob Cratchit. Lockhart also played the double roles of The Starkeeper and The Graduation Speaker in "Carousel", as an older man, and certainly always a rotund one. Indeed, it was other actors supporting Reginald Owen this time, not the other way 'round.

The Ghost of Christmas Present was well made up and costumed. I liked his hair and beautiful robes -- the robes reminded me of the fur-trimmed outfits of modern Santa Clauses. He did a good job showing Ebenezer Scrooge the error of his ways.

All, it was a heartwarming story about how a wretchedly selfish individual gets shown the error of his ways, and is given a chance to right his self-centered existence. A charming holiday season movie to watch.

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