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  • I know many people have a special fondness for the Alistair Sim version of Dickens' story, but for me, this 1984 version is the one to beat. My wife and I own a copy of this film on VHS, and we watch it together every Christmas Eve. I often remark that we could watch it on Halloween too, because it's a very creepy ghost story.

    Scott--typecast as Scrooge--is shudderingly mean and nasty, making his transformation all the more miraculous and moving. I think it's up there with his performance in Patton. The spirits are all effective, each one creepier than the last. Watching the dark, floating, skeletal form of the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come sends shivers down my spine every year. And what a supporting cast! David Warner, in particular, is in top form as Bob Cratchit, as is Susannah York as his wife.

    I seem to recall that this version sticks closer to the original story than most others--but I may be mistaken, as it's been several years since I read it. Regardless, this is a terrific Christmas classic.
  • So this made for TV film scores only a 7.6 on this site? Bah! Humbug! Without question this 1984 version of Dickens' classic tale is the best ever made. And yes, the Hound has seen the 1951 version which was also good, but not good enough. The lack of color is perhaps the biggest shortcoming of that version, although the acting was wonderful.

    George C. Scott is simply incredible as Ebenezer Scrooge. We all know the story of this stingy businessman who is haunted by the ghost of his dead partner, then by three other spirits later on that evening. Scott is properly gruff as Scrooge. Too gruff in fact for some critics who claim he is unable to project the new-found glee that he awakens to on Christmas morning after the spirits teach him a valuable lesson. But hey, this is George C. Scott. He's never going to go dancing down the street in a fit of joy. He has too much dignity, and his Scrooge projects his emotion in a realistic manner.

    The supporting performances are uniformly excellent, as are the costumes, music, and scenery. 19th Century London comes to life in Clive Donner's visionary style. The film even borders on frightening in several scenes involving the spirits. The important tale of morality shines through in every frame, though.

    You won't often find this version aired on television anymore, and that is a disappointment. The 1984 version of A Christmas Carol should be a required part of every household's celebration of the holiday. When the decorations come out of the basement, this film should find its way into the DVD player at least once during the season.

    10 of 10 stars.

    The Hound.
  • This 1984 version of the Dickens' classic `A Christmas Carol,' directed by Clive Donner, stars George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. By this time around, the challenge for the filmmaker was to take such familiar material and make it seem fresh and new again; and, happily to say, with this film Donner not only met the challenge but surpassed any expectations anyone might have had for it. He tells the story with precision and an eye to detail, and extracts performances from his actors that are nothing less than superlative, especially Scott. One could argue that the definitive portrayal of Scrooge-- one of the best known characters in literary fiction, ever-- was created by Alastair Sim in the 1951 film; but I think with his performance here, Scott has now achieved that distinction. There is such a purity and honesty in his Scrooge that it becomes difficult to even consider anyone else in the role once you've seen Scott do it; simply put, he IS Scrooge. And what a tribute it is to such a gifted actor; to be able to take such a well known figure and make it so uniquely his own is quite miraculous. It is truly a joy to see an actor ply his trade so well, to be able to make a character so real, from every word he utters down to the finest expression of his face, and to make it all ring so true. It's a study in perfection.

    The other members of the cast are splendid as well, but then again they have to be in order to maintain the integrity of Scott's performance; and they do. Frank Finlay is the Ghost of Jacob Marley; a notable turn, though not as memorable, perhaps, as the one by Alec Guinness (as Marley) in the film, `Scrooge.' Angela Pleasence is a welcome visage as the Spirit of Christmas Past; Edward Woodward, grand and boisterous, and altogether convincing as the Spirit of Christmas Present; and Michael Carter, grim and menacing as the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come.

    David Warner hits just the right mark with his Bob Cratchit, bringing a sincerity to the role that measures up well to the standard of quality set by Scott's Scrooge, and Susannah York fares just as well as Mrs. Cratchit. The real gem to be found here, though, is the performance of young Anthony Walters as Tiny Tim; it's heartfelt without ever becoming maudlin, and simply one of the best interpretations-- and the most real-- ever presented on film.

    The excellent supporting cast includes Roger Rees (Fred Holywell, and also the narrator of the film), Caroline Langrishe (Janet Holywell), Lucy Gutteridge (Belle), Michael Gough (Mr. Poole) and Joanne Whalley (Fan). A flawless presentation, this version of `A Christmas Carol' sets the standard against which all others must be gauged; no matter how many versions you may have seen, watching this one is like seeing it for the first time ever. And forever after, whenever you think of Scrooge, the image your mind will conjure up will be that of George C. Scott. A thoroughly entertaining and satisfying experience, this film demands a place in the annual schedule of the holiday festivities of every home. I rate this one 10/10.
  • Far richer in texture and character than even the classics from the 30's and 50's. George C. Scott was born to be Scrooge, just as he was born to be Patton. Mr. Scott will be known as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. The character of Scrooge as played by Mr. Scott seemed to jump off the screen. Scott as Scrooge brought an richer, more robust, yet a more deeply moving Scrooge to the screen than any of his predecessors in the role of the meanest man in 18th century London. Mr. Scott seemed to bring Scrooge to a more personal, understandable yet highly conflicted level; his role was acted with the great authority Scott always bring to the screen: yet his usual bellicose voice would sometimes be brought to a whisper, almost as a soliloquy, as he would berate the Christmas holiday in one breath, yet reveal his own human frailty in his next line. He could portray the sour and crusty Scrooge, and a misunderstood, sympathetic Scrooge all in the same scene.

    Truly a remarkable performance by a giant of his generation.
  • JRMcNelis15 December 2004
    This is simply one of the finest renditions of Dicken's classic tale. The script very accurately follows the story originally penned by Dickens, and captures a perfect balance between a film atmosphere and a play atmosphere. Viewers fond of either format will find enough of the story rooted in their presentation style of choice.

    George C. Scott brings a delightfully realistic approach to the character of Scrooge, and is very convincing in the character development instigated by the visits of the ghosts. I found that he was able to win me over to the point where I sympathized with the old miser, something rarely done in other versions. The superb job done by the supporting actors add greatly to this production, which is simply the most enjoyable of all the Christmas Carol versions I have seen.
  • and possibly closest to the Dickens story line. Although I find the young Ebenezer hard to watch (who's idea was that period hair, surely they could have done better than that!), Scott does an incredible job as Scrooge. His delivery of some of the lines from Dickens finally brought it to life for me. Edward Woodward is everything we expect and more of the Ghost of Christmas present. I find G.C. Scott's Scrooge much more of a believable miser than the more current version done by Patrick Stewart. The scene Christmas Morning when Scrooge realizes he hasn't 'missed it', is enough to convince one that Scott knows how to act versus overact. He's phenomenal here. Nearly the entire cast is incredible. The Tiny Tim in this version of The Christmas Carol is a little tough to look at, almost too sweet. Still the music and the scenery make this a must watch every holiday. Enjoy!
  • "Telefilms" tend to fall under the pitfalls of a low budget and a hasty shooting schedule, which is why this film always tends to buck the trend.

    George C. Scott embodies Ebenezer Scrooge perfectly, fully encompassing all of his cold tendencies, and still makes him a simpathetic character. The production value for this film was exceptional, never relying on boffo special effects or soundstage set-ups, yet relying on the depth and clarity of on-site shooting and strong backdrops. A movie that certainly stands alone.
  • You could stage a version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with sock puppets and I'll probably watch it. Ever since I was a child, this has been one of my favorite stories. Maybe it's the idea that there is good in everyone, and that therefore no one is beyond redemption, that appeals to me, but for whatever reason I never miss an opportunity to watch one of the many screen adaptations of this timeless classic when they're on TV as they inevitably are this time of year.

    What makes this version really stand out is the somber gravitas that the cast bring to their respective roles. Lines we've heard dozens of times in the past take on a whole new intensity, and each character becomes more real and believable in the hands of this wonderful ensemble.

    George C. Scott was nominated for an Emmy in 1985 for this role. It is to his everlasting credit that rather than sleepwalking through this oft-portrayed role of Scrooge, he instead gave it a fresh interpretation that was, in my opinion, one of his finest performances ever. He wisely did not attempt a British accent, instead delivering his lines in that famous gravelly voice. His Scrooge is not merely a cranky old man (as he is so often portrayed), but a man who harbors a profound anger against the world. As he is visited in turn by each of the Three Spirits, we understand how this anger took root, grew, and ultimately strangled his soul. As he is forced to review his life, we see him alternately softening, and then relapsing again into unrepentant obstinacy. And in the great dramatic scene when he, kneeling and weeping at his own grave, begs for mercy as he attempts to convince the third spirit of his repentance and desire to alter his life, we see a man who has been utterly broken and brought to his knees literally and figuratively. Scott has made Scrooge utterly believable and painfully human.

    Impressive as Scott's performance is, the ensemble of supporting actors contributes significantly the this version's dark beauty. Fred Holywell, Scrooge's nephew, is an excellent example of this. Often portrayed as an affable buffoon, here he is played by Roger Rees with an emotional intensity missing from earlier portrayals. When he implores Scrooge, "I ask nothing of you. I want nothing from you. Why can't we be friends?", we see in his face not only his frustration, but his pain at Scrooge's self-imposed separation from his only living relative. It is a moving performance, and one of the movie's most dramatic scenes.

    Even more magnificent is the performance given by the wonderful English actor Frank Finlay as Scrooge's late partner, Jacob Marley. In most versions of this tale, the scene with Marley tends to be a bit of a low point in the film, simply because it's difficult to portray a dead man convincingly, and the results are usually just plain silly (ooooh, look, it's a scary ghost.......not!) In this version, it is perhaps the most riveting scene in the whole movie. Marley's entrance, as the locks on Scrooge's door fly open of their own accord and the sound of chains rattling echo throughout the house, is wonderfully creepy. But Finlay's Marley is no ethereal spirit. He is a tortured soul, inspiring both horror and pity. Marley may be a ghost, but his rage and regret over a life wasted on the pursuit of wealth, and his despair at his realization that his sins are now beyond redress, are still very human. As portrayed by Finlay, we have no problem believing that even the flinty Scrooge would be shaken by this nightmarish apparition. Finlay really steals the scene here, something not easy to do when you're opposite George C. Scott.

    And it just goes on and on, one remarkable performance after another, making it seem like you're experiencing this story for the first time. Edward Woodward (remember him from the Equalizer?) is by turns both jovial and menacing as the Ghost of Christmas Present. When he delivers the famous line, "it may well be that in the sight of Heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than MILLIONS like this poor man's child" he is no longer a jolly Santa Claus surrogate, but an avenging angel who gives Scrooge a much needed verbal spanking.

    Susannah York is a wonderfully tart tongued Mrs. Cratchit, and David Warner brings marvelous depth to the long suffering Bob Cratchit, a man who goes through life bearing the triple crosses of poverty, a sick child, and an insufferable boss. His face alternately shows his cheerful courage, and also, at times, his weariness, in the face of intolerable circumstances. Later, in the scene in which Scrooge is shown by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come the Cratchit family after the death of Tiny Tim, Warner's performance, while hardly uttering a word, will move you to tears.
  • The setting and actors make this television movie for me the best rendition of Dickens' classic tale. George C. Scott is very believable as is the rest of the cast. His Scrooge oozes with nastiness until the very end of the movie. Then his character changes to one who is truly repentant. The 19th Century English town chosen for the setting creates an ambiance that is fitting to Dickens and adds to the plausibility of this film. It is a movie I watch every Christmas along with the real Grinch and It's A Wonderful Life.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This story is told and retold and continues to be retold in every possibly way imagine. The immortal Charles Dicken's story has been recreated in every possible way imagine. I admit I have not seen the classic Alistair Sim version and I'm sure someday I will but I would be blown away if it touched even close to this amazing eighties version. I believe that if Dickens himself had created his story for film this would be it.

    The story is well known, I won't go into much detail because everyone has seen it in one form or another. A rich, stingy, mean, old man is visited by the Ghost of his former partner and warned about his mean ways. In order to straighten him out he is visited by three spirits, each which show him a different perspective of his life and the people he is involved with, past, present and future. Finally in seeing all this before him he realizes the error of his ways in a big way and attempts retribution for all the wrong he has done.

    George C. Scott is absolutely, undeniably perfect for this role. He takes hold of the Ebeneezer Scrooge role and makes it his own and creates an incredible character. He is not just a mean old man, but someone who has been effected by certain situations in his life that has made him bitter and angry at the world. There is compassion within him but he holds it below everything else and is very self involved. Scott delivers the role of perfection when it comes to Scrooge.

    Not only does the leading role make this film but everything else fits into place. This is a grand epic of Victorian England, Dickens England is recreated before our very eyes, the sights and the sounds and you can almost feel the breeze in your face and the smells of the market. Director Clive Donner brilliantly recreates this scene and leaves nothing to the imagination. I could watch this film on mute and be dazzled by the scenery. It's not spectacular scenery per se but it's real. The film takes us from the high class traders market to the very dismal pits of poverty and everything in between.

    The rest of the cast fits into their roles and brings their literary counterparts to life. Bob Cratchitt, played by David Warner and his entire family including and especially the young Tiny Tim played by Anthony Walters were wonderful. The Ghosts each had their own distinct personality and added to the dark mood of this story. A Christmas Carol is not a light story. Dickens wrote this story for a dark period in England's life and it's one of the few Christmas tales that is really dark, almost scary, and it has to be scary in order to scare a man who has been a miser for so many years into turning around. The dark feel to the story is captured in this film and is downright frightening and yet the end lifts your spirits and captures Christmas miracles. The score to this film is also something to be mentioned as it is epic and grand and beautiful to listen to whether it's the actual score or the Christmas music, everything fits together. Apparently Christmas movies are my favorite because I insist everyone see this Christmas Carol above all others. 10/10
  • jjnxn-116 October 2014
    Flawless adaptation of the Dickens classic with George C. Scott ideally cast as Ebenezer Scrooge.

    The production, a TV event in its day, is of the highest quality and could easily be mistaken as a theatrical film to those who didn't know better. Aside from Scott's award worthy performance the supporting cast is peppered with marvelous work. David Warner is a terrific Bob Cratchit, timid and kindly but strong with Susannah York as nice counterpoint as a scrappy Mrs. Cratchit. At first Anthony Walters is a disconcerting Tiny Tim with his breathy, somewhat dreamy take on the character until you take into account that Tim is ill and would be fey.

    Angela Pleasance is a delightful and somewhat punk, with her ultra white hair, Ghost of Christmas Past. Unbowed by the blustery Scrooge and especially notable is Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present. He's full of brio and swagger with booming voice and resplendent in his velvet robes. That's one thing that makes this production stand out from others, often the spirits are just guides for Scrooge and recede into the woodwork once he begins his journey with them. Here they add an extra layer of enjoyment onto the tale.

    Equally fine is Roger Rees as Scrooge's nephew Fred, keeping his jaunty humor and outlook even when confronted with his uncle's bitter and miserly ways. Lucy Gutteridge also makes a lovely and gentle Belle, Scrooge's lost love. In fact every role no matter how incidental is played expertly and contributes a piece of texture to the film.

    As marvelous as the other players and the costume and set design are, and they are truly wonderful, Christmas Carol rises or falls on its Scrooge. That's where this production truly excels. There have been many fine actors who have essayed the role but once seeing George C. in the part it's hard to imagine a better interpretation. Playing off his natural crusty disposition and ability to fly into volcanic outburst at a moment's notice the Scrooge of the early going is a thoroughly hard and distasteful man but thanks to the actor's inherent warmth when he does an about face at the film's conclusion it is once again completely believable.

    A holiday treasure not to be missed!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wanted to give an (itemized) analysis of why I love this version of A Christmas Carol, so here goes:

    POTENTIAL CONS: Scrooge is played by an American actor instead of British, with George C. Scott quite stocky as opposed to more traditional thin version of Scrooge.

    Ghost of Christmas Past has peculiar 80's hair-style...not a big deal, but strange.

    Simplified special effects.

    PROS: Scott creates utterly realistic, capitalistic Ebenezer Scrooge. Not one-dimensionally hateful early on...not completely filled with joy at the end. Between the nastiness and cheer, Scott displays proper amount of sadness, regret and humor. In fact, Scott may be the funniest pre-reformation Scrooge of all interpretations. English accent is fine, voice is ideally harsh and gravelly (note the way he call out to "Mr Craaatcheett!!!"). Scott's wonderfully expressive face is added bonus.

    Brilliant supporting cast, separates itself from all other versions of A Christmas Carol. Probably the most compelling Jacob Marley, most colorful Ghost of Christmas Present, creepiest Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, warmest Bob Cratchet and most pitiful Tiny Tim (in a good way)! And the rest of the cast is uniformly excellent.

    The lush production is atmospheric with authentic locales (courtesy of Shrewsbury, England), sets and costumes, accompanied by first-rate cinematography and musical score. Filmed by director Clive Donner almost like a cinematic feature with no visible evidence of commercial interludes.

    Makes brilliant use of limited special effects, such as the use of shadows and silhouettes to enhance the chilling presentation of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

    THE LITTLE THINGS: These are subtleties that separate this version from the rest.

    The chime from Scrooge's watch is a variation of the film's music theme and becomes part of the story.

    Almost seamless transitions...remarkable considering this is a made-for-TV movie.

    Includes a scene not in other versions, in which Scrooge bears witness to a homeless family. This scene reminds Scrooge about the plight of others.

    Scrooge is allowed a moment of reflection before appearance of Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Another scene includes time for Scrooge to nap before Christmas morning, allowing him to rest after his long night and awaken a new man. Most versions of the story have Scrooge return from his Christmas yet to come already mid-morning Christmas Day, joyous and reformed without much of a break in between.

    Recurring mention of Fred's resemblance to his mother Fan (Scrooge's sister). Fan appears for only a small period of time, but the film makes clear Scrooge's love for her.

    These little things are not typically essential in telling the story of A Christmas Carol, indeed were probably not from Dickens' novel. They do, however, add wonderful layers and subtext, creating a deeper, richer adaptation than most interpretations of this classic Christmas tale!
  • rondine1 December 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    Okay, there are a ton of reviews here, what can I possibly add?

    I will try anyway.

    The reason this is my favorite Scrooge is because of EVERYthing. The sets, outdoor locations, costumes are so beautiful and authentic. The music is sweet. The supporting cast is very well done. One of my favorites is the narrator & nephew, played by Roger Rees. His understated sincerity is touching and his voice is the sound of Christmas to me. David Warner is also a totally believable Bob Cratchit. His is a difficult life, but he remains positive and dignified.

    The best part of course- is George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. Some have said his portrayal too gruff. I couldn't disagree more. His exchanges at the beginning while cold or harsh, weren't out of character. He is a terribly disillusioned man who's heart has been hardened by the vicissitudes of life and his own lust for wealth.

    During the flashbacks, it's obvious that he isn't all gruff. This is where we see that there is hope for him. If he was totally gone, his partner Marley would never have come for his sake in the first place. And after all, we are none of us past hoping. I think that is a HUGE part of what Dickens was trying to say. When Scrooge looks in on his dance at his employer's with Belle, you see him smile regretfully as he tells Belle in the flashback that he will go through life "with a grin on my face." Clive Donner was smart enough as the director to allow these moments on film. Sometimes they get left on the editing room floor.

    And finally, his conversion is so absolutely full of joy that it makes me cry tears of joy EVERY time I see it. His apology to his nephew Fred, so sincere, so moving, it is the spirit not only of Christmas, but of humanity itself. The joy he brings to Fred, to his wife are so apparent. And the line that gets me every time, "God forgive me for the time I've wasted."

    Bravi tutti!
  • james-berry-4329 December 2013
    To any Americans out there I have to say George C Scott elevated this film to on a par with the classic Alastair Sim 50's version. Quite simply put it was great, his presence like any other film he is in adds personality, honesty & integrity to the part. I think it is obvious I am a great admirer of George C Scott but his performance in this film cant be understated Add a decent who's who of British actors, I particularly liked Edward Woodward's interpretation, typically bombastic & a reflection of his stage background but perfect for the part.Usually remakes of classics are doomed to failure,in particular Hollywood remakes but this is not one of them. I love the original but on any given day could enjoy this version just as much. 10 out of 10 in my book
  • I agree that versions of a Christmas Carol are a dime a dozen, but this one is the most beautiful to look at. You really get the feel of Victorian England in Dickens time. They really went out of their way to make it as lovely as possible. George C. Scott makes a fine Scrooge. Many people think Alastair Sim's version was the best, but Scott is good as well. The only thing I disagree with was the fact that Scrooge didn't react the way he should when the Ghost of Christmas Past was showing him how his fiance left him because of his stinginess and had a fine family with a good man. Scrooge should have been overcome with grief and remorse (he usually is in all the other versions). Scott's Scrooge just says "Spare me your pity!". He really doesn't show any remorse until the very end. The rest of the cast does an excellent job. I usually hate children, but I thought the lad who played Tiny Tim was especially cute. Roger Rees is wonderful as Scrooge's cheery nephew. Hes such a nice fellow you really feel angry at Scrooge for chasing him out of the office. What I like is the fact he makes an eloquent apology. I said I hated Christmas and that is a humbug Fred. Edward Woodward is wonderfully cheerful as Christmas Present. I like the way he gets in Scrooge's face at one point and tells him in the eyes of heaven Tiny TIm's life might be worth more then his. Frank Finlay is the scariest and most tormented Marley's Ghost I have ever seen. He is so scary you almost expect to see a large brown stain appear on the back of Scrooge's nightgown!
  • I first saw this version of "A Christmas Carol" when it first appeared on television. I actually anticipated seeing the film when it was advertised and it more than lived up to my expectations. I have now purchased the DVD and plan to watch it every year. With the exception of "It's A Wonderful Life" I consider this version of "A Christmas Carol" one of the best Christmas movies ever made. George C. Scott is excellent and a superb cast led by Roger Rees surrounds him! Scott proves once again that he is one of finest actors of our time. Scott has the artistic talent and acting ability to play any role and keep the character unique to himself. How can someone be remembered as both Patton and Scrooge? Scott does so easily. The direction is marvelous with the fine sets, costumes and music that give the movie a special feeling of the time, place and era depicted. You will simply love this movie and will place it among your favorites to watch during the holiday season.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Granted there are a lot of versions of this movie. The one made in 1999 with Patrick Stewart was a good one but I have to say this on is the best for one reason, George C. Scott was the perfect Ebeneezer Scrooge. Nobody better said "bah, humbug," better than Scott's Scrooge. George C. Scott is my favorite actor, God Rest his soul, and it is a shame he is gone. The actors of Hollywood today cannot compare to George C. Scott perhaps with the exception of Ernest Borgnine, a shame we haven't had a chance to see him as Scrooge. Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present was the icing on the cake for this film. George C. Scott and his smirk and contempt for Christmas simply made this version gel. Only he could go from the miserable old miser Scrooge was to "the good of a man as the old city knew." Roger Rees as Fred, the nephew was also a nice touch and David Warner was the perfect Bob Cratchit. Listen for Scott's Scrooge to bellow this, "Mr. Cratchit!" Scott and his voice gave Ebeneezer Scrooge a voice that was unforgettable and added a great amount of depth to the character. Stewart was believable as Scrooge but Scott better fit the role. So, if you decide to watch any version of this story at Christmas the one made in 1984 is the best. The 1999 one is also good but the one with the late and great George C. Scott is the best. George C. Scott was simply the best Ebeneezer Scrooge.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The director, Clive Donner has done what other directors before and after can only dream of doing…..making a masterpiece. This classic adaptation of the classic tale, A Christmas Carol by, Charles Dickens, is just that. A classic. George C. Scott plays Ebenezer Scrooge effortlessly and does a fantastic job of doing so. Frank Finlay plays, Scrooges old friend, Jacob Marley. Once again, the acting is top-notch and eerie I might add. The acting through out the movie from, George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward, Michael Carter, David Warner, Susannah York, Anthony Walters, Roger Rees and the rest of this fantastic cast is amazing and the best acting I have ever seen in a TV movie or even a movie for that matter. This movie is atmospheric and that's down to the set designs and the music. The set designs are beautiful and nothing short of perfection and the music is hauntingly beautifully. There for I feel this is the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol to date.
  • By far the best version. None of the most recent versions or the oldest versions have been able to top it. Not the Jim Carrey version. Not the Patrick Stewart version. Not even the Alistair Sim version. George C. Scott is brilliant as the cranky uncaring Ebeneezer Scrooge. The way he yelled "Mister Cratchit!" could never be imitated enough to do it justice. Frank Finlay's performance was incredible in regards to the level of passion he put into the role and overall acting ability. He embodied the true spirit of Jacob Marley. David Warner, a very underrated actor, was outstanding as Bob Cratchit. This movie also featured one of the greatest lines ever used in A Christmas Carol. A line that I don't think was used in any other versions: "So maybe next time you'll hold your tongue. For it could be that in the eyes of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child." (Ghost Of Christmas Present to Scrooge when talking about Tiny Tim)
  • I've seen a couple of other versions, but this is by far the best. George C. Scott's performance as Scrooge is dead-on perfect. His curmudgeonly Scrooge persona is utterly convincing, and his Dickensian English rolls off his tongue like butter off a hot cross bun. Brilliant. Yes, the film is a bit corny by modern standards, but that's OK when we remember that modern standards include Miley Cyrus' tongue and Kim Kardashian's boobs, (along with her husband's inane rantings, which to me sounds more like Explosive Mental Diarrhea.) So maybe this film is a slightly corny refuge for those of us who are a little tired of having to rely on popular culture to shock our sensibilities in order to be entertained. Good. I sometimes need corny, especially at Christmas. This film is a great story of personal atonement, redemption and making one's self over for the good. What better Christmas tale is there?
  • This timeless story from the great Charles Dickens is immortalized in my memory through the outstanding acting style of George C. Scott. A Christmas Carol is a story all of us know and watch around Christmas time but this is by far my favorite adaptation of it. George C. Scott has proved time and time again that he is an amazing actor and this film furthers this idea also. I recommend it to families everywhere and for any age. I am 20 years old and this film is my favorite Christmas movie by far. People must realize that the story of Scrooge is an en-depth and tragic one. We see his tale over and over again but George C. Scott, in my opinion, has embellished the very thought of Scrooge and grips my heart with his performance in this film. I must say that I am now spoiled with this film version and though other Christmas Carols are good this is by far my favorite and shall not be surpassed for sometime i believe. Once again i recommend this film to all ages and families. I hope and pray that everyone who watches this film will feel the Christmas spirit as i feel every time i watch this film
  • In our household, we are enormous fans of A Christmas Carol and watch virtually every version each Christmas, including the old 1938 Reginald Owen and the modern 1999 Patrick Stewart. Our overall favorite is the 1951 black & white classic, because Alastair Sim IS Ebeneezer Scrooge and his conversion rings the truest. However, this 1984 rendition has its own unique merits and makes a lovely & entertaining story, quite faithful generally to Dickens' novel. (See my comments on the other film adaptations, if interested)

    First of all, George C. Scott can certainly seem pretty crotchety and doesn't make a bad Scrooge. I adore his sideburns, his long topcoat & hat. He cuts the finest fashion figure of the lot, and quite a handsome gentleman. However, sometimes it seems Scott is enjoying his role as Scrooge just a wee bit too much and not taking it quite as seriously as he ought!

    This rendition has the best overall Christmas atmosphere, hopeful and optimistic. Somehow you know this story is going to have a happy ending. Filmed in the town of Shrewsbury, England, it just seems somehow very British. The film has a lovely musical score, with wonderful, lively caroling music throughout all the appropriate portions of the tale. Sometimes I could almost smell the chestnuts roasting and the pudding singing in the copper!

    Marley's anguished ghost (with his wonderful jaw dropping scene) and the three Spirits are all quite convincing. Christmas Past is a lovely ethereal lady, Christmas Present wonderfully giant and jovial, Christmas Yet To Come shrouded and foreboding as always. However, I found Scrooge's nephew, Fred, a wee bit quiet & grim, not nearly as jolly & hearty as he should be. I like the nephew's wife, whom they've named Janet, with her lovely, sprightly period hairstyle. Instead of blind man's bluff, they've concocted a game called Similes for the nephew's Christmas dinner party, which is a cute little touch, Scrooge getting right into the spirit of the thing.

    The Cratchits and their somewhat meagre (though much appreciated) Christmas dinner are well depicted, with Bob (David Warner) suitably sympathetic and long-suffering in his miles of scarf. Mrs. Cratchit is charmingly portrayed by Susannah York, who also starred with George C. Scott in the wonderful 1970 adaptation of Jane Eyre. Above all, this version has unquestionably the best Tiny Tim, not only an adorable & endearing little waif but sickly. With those dark circles under his eyes, the frail wee thing looks unlikely to survive the hour!

    This is a delightful & heartwarming version of the holiday classic. With its festive atmosphere, it's sure to put you in the spirit of the season.
  • As the celebration of Christmas has evolved through the years, whether one concentrates on the religious or the secular traditions, it is a time when people are supposed to behave a little better to each other. That has somehow slipped past one Ebenezer Scrooge, merchant and money lender in 19th century London.

    As his nephew points out to his uncle, he doesn't keep Christmas in any way because Scrooge feels the whole thing is humbug. The humanity in Scrooge was driven out long ago, he's a hard case, a whole lot like his 20th Century counterpart, Mr. Potter of Bedford Falls, New York.

    But as Charles Dickens told this tale, redemption is not too late for any of us and a lonely ghost and three spirits visit Scrooge and show him how.

    A Christmas Carol is such a timeless holiday classic that we sometimes forget that it is as much a social commentary of 19th century Great Britain as Oliver Twist was. The characters in this film are middle and lower class. The Cratchits are a couple of rungs above the street people in Oliver Twist, but they are having to struggle to stay up there. Still love and happiness radiate their home, no thanks to the guy Bob Cratchit works for.

    Like George Bailey who did a whole lot of good in his life and just had to be reminded how much, Ebenezer Scrooge needed a wake up call as to the potentiality he still had for doing some good in this old world.

    Patrick Stewart in his live performances and filmed play has pretty much taken over the part of Scrooge. But George C. Scott captures the old miser pretty well in this film. The meanness of him, but with a trace of sadness that makes us root for him to change. Scott joins a fine tradition of people like Reginald Owen and Alastair Sim who've both done great interpretations of Scrooge.

    Among the supporting roles I particularly enjoyed David Warner as Bob Cratchit and Edward Woodward as a hearty and stern spirit of Christmas present.

    According to IMDb this is one of 32 versions of A Christmas Carol made that they have archived and it is one of the best.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There have been oodles of adaptations of A Christmas Carol, and not just to film. Ballet, opera, a Broadway musical, even a Marcel Marceau mime version. Basically if you've hung a decoration on a a tree, chances are you know the story. And so when a film version comes out it needs to stand out from the crowd. It needs to do it *well*.

    This was a made for TV version, but doesn't suffer for that. Who ever cast the supporting actors was smart enough to realise that Scrooge needs to be surrounded by believable characters, and so we find some fantastic actors populating good old London. But as with any version of this classic story, the emphasis is on Scrooge himself. And Scotts performance drives this version.

    George C Scott presents us with a far more complex character than we often find. One of the most striking scenes for me was the interaction between Scrooge and his nephew Fred. I am used to a jovial, bubbly Fred, full of smiles and Christmas cheer, and a wizened, scowling Scrooge. But here we find Fred talking in earnest. solemn, almost sermonising about the good Christmas has done him. Scrooge meanwhile laughs. He laughs at the idea of merry Christmas, laughs at the thought of boiling those who wish others a merry Christmas and laughs at how much more clever he is than his fellows, seeing Christmas for the true humbug it is. But this laughter never reaches his eyes. It's scornful, wicked and mocking, with no joy or love at all. And as we watch it becomes clear what a clever choice this is. This self satisfied smugness places transforms Scrooge, who can be seen often as a victim even from the first act, on a much higher pedestal. He's not just shutting the world out, defending his views when he's challenged, but he openly mocks and enjoys doing so, and so as we see his world view shift it's even more satisfying, even more gratifying to us as an audience and to him as a character as well.

    I've already touched upon the supporting cast, but standing out amongst a field of giants is the always watchable David Warner as Bob Cratchet. He's warm, loving, put upon, the perfect, downtrodden everyman. As an aside, can I just say how happy I always am when Bob steps out of the office, as he does here, wearing a white 'comforter'. It's just nice when details like that are kept in.

    Now for my Christmas Carol bugbear. If you read any review of this movie by me you'll see the same thing. TINY TIM! Gah!? Why do the other Cratchet children like him? Surely when we see the future and the wee lad is dead the others are thinking 'finally, now father will love US instead'. That coupled with the fact that he's a very young child makes it amazingly hard to cast. To young and the kid can't act. To old and he's hardly going to be 'tiny'. In this version they have erred on the side of tiny, and let acting talent be damned! The issue with this is that it means lines that are frankly trite and would never really be said in the actual world sound even less believable coming from the lips of an inexperienced child actor. Don't worry Anthony Walters, you'll go onto to much better things in the fut… Oh… A quick mention should be made about The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I became rather smitten with the eerie sound made when it 'spoke'. Frankly, I loved it. Just the right level of creepy to keep the hairs on the back of my necks dancing. I vaguely remember having to drink a can of toughen up as a child during those moments, which is exactly as it should be.

    With a stand out cast, surprisingly good production values and a script that's pretty close to Dickins this is a version that's pretty close to the original, and yet is well paced enough to not bore the pants off of younger family members.
  • Having watched numerous variations of Dickens' immortal tale, I have to say that this remains the most captivating rendition I've ever seen. I know a lot of folks greatly enjoyed the more recent version with Patrick Stewart in the lead, yet I still believe that George C. Scott managed to bring a truer, more subtle, beautifully balanced portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge to the screen. I wouldn't have thought it possible with an American actor in the lead, but Scott delivers with all the power of his extraordinary talent.

    A veritable constellation of great British character actors are in his orbit on this one. The most impressive performances are Edward Woodward, both jolly and scathing as the ghost of Christmas Present; and David Warner and Susannah York, entirely convincing and deeply poignant as the put-upon Cratchits. Roger Rees plays Fred Holywell with warmth and sincerity, and the wonderful Frank Finlay portrays the ghost of Jacob Marley on a par with Michael Hordern's 1951 version.

    The set designs and filming locations in Shrewsbury add marvelous color to this movie; they beautifully set the tone of an Old English Christmas season. I agree that it is regrettable that the scenes of Scrooge witnessing the way Christmas is celebrated elsewhere in the world (aboard a ship at sea, for example) were trimmed out of the story, but I don't think in this case that it suffers that much with their loss. Taken in its sum total, my family and I continue to make the viewing of this grand spectacle an annual Christmas tradition.
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