Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scrooge Visits 34th Street and Connecticut

A Christmas Carol - Scrooge

How many versions are there? A lot, and I didn't even list them all. I've listed only those worthy of inclusion, which are most of them.

Scrooge (1935) B&W - Starring Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge.
78 min.
(from Netflix) This striking adaptation of Charles Dickens's holiday classic is notable for its superb performances, a vigorous script, excellent pacing, persuasive settings, costumes that utterly capture 1843 London and impressive moving-camera photography with atmospheric lighting reminiscent of German expressionist cinema.

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol (1938) B&W - Starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge.
69 min.
Not a bad version, butnot the best.

A Christmas Carol (1951) B&W or Tinted - (Alternate title: SCROOGE) Starring Alastair Simms as Ebenezer Scrooge.
86 min.
The best version of the lot. The best acted as well, this is the movie that always gets me in the Christmas mood.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962) Color-Animated.
53 min.
(Jim Baccus) is the voice of the visually impared but lovable Mr. Magoo. This storyis treated as a stage play, complete with closing curtains between acts. The music (yes this has music) is my favorite. I don't think there is a better animated adaptation of this classic story.

Scrooge - The Musical (1970) - Color - Starring Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge.
113 min.
OK before you crawl into a ball anddie at the fact that they made this classic story into a made for TV musical….don't. It was GOOD. Albert Finney's acting probably saved thismovie, but it wasn't as annoying as you would think..."Thank You Very Much".

An American Christmas Carol (1979) Color - Starring Henry Winkler.
98 min.
(from IMDB) In Depression-era New England, a miserly businessman named Benedict Slade receives a long-overdue attitude adjustment one Christmas eve when he is visited by three ghostly figures who resemble three of the people whose possessions Slade had seized to collect on unpaid loans. Assuming the roles of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future from Charles Dickens' classic story, the three apparitions force Slade to face the consequences of his skinflint ways, and he becomes a caring, generous, amiable man.

A Christmas Carol (1984) - Color - Starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge.
100 min.
Pretty good version, much more serious than the 1951 version, darker, but well acted.

A Christmas Carol (1999) - Color - Starring Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge.
95 min.
This is my second favorite non musicalversion of the story. Patrick Stewart was a believable Scrooge although I miss the hair.

Miracle on 34th Street (1973) Color - Made for TV - Starring Jane Alexander.
100 min.
I've not seen this one, but it got a low rating on IMDB. (Hard to Find)

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Color - Starring Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins.
114 minutes (too) long.
URGH! It ain't Natalie! They changed the names of the stores. Mr. Macy and Mr. Gimble are no more.

Everyone knows Miracle on 34th Street. If you are in the United States, you will probably see it today, as they always show the 1934 version on Thanksgiving. But there are other versions. I've only seen two of them, the other two are hard to find, but it would be a treat to be able to see them one day.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - B&W or Tinted - Starring Natalie Wood.
96 min.
The original and still the best. Using all the original names of the stores (Macy's and Gimbles), fantastic acting, flawless story. A must see every year!

Miracle on 34th Street (1959) Color - Made for TV - Starring Ed Wynn.
60 min.
Never seen this one either, not very high rating on IMDB. (Hard to Find)

Christmas in Connecticut is probably one of those movies you want to watch, but never do. I suggest you do. Watch the 1945 version if you can first.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945) - B&W - Starring Barbara Stanwyck.
102 min.
(From Netflix) Elizabeth Lane, a magazine columnist who touts herself as a blissful wife, mother and expert homemaker living on an idyllic Connecticut farm. Trouble is, it's all a lie. When her pudgy publisher cooks up a scheme to boost circulation by having Elizabeth entertain a war veteran on Christmas Eve, will her charade unravel? This is a feel good movie, one that should become a Christmas staple.

Christmas in Connecticut (1992) Color - Starring Dyan Cannon, Kris Kristofferson, Tony Curtis and Richard Roundtree.
93 min.
You would think with a cast like this, it would be something special. It was just all right. See the Barbara Stanwyck version before you waste your time with this. At least you will see how it is supposed to be.


thetruebookaddict said...

A Christmas Carol is my all time favorite Christmas story! My favorites are the Alastair Sim version, the Albert Finney version and the Patrick Stewart version. My favorite Miracle on 34th is, of course, the 1934 version, but I still really like the 1994 version too. I haven't seen any of the TV versions. And, of course, I love the Barbara Stanwyck version of Christmas in Connecticut...a classic.

These are great lists Busy!

Did you sign up for my Christmas Reading Challenge? If you did, remember it starts tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day. I will be putting up another Mr. Linky for people to post their reviews. Also, I'm launching my Christmas blog...should have it up by be watching for my announcement post!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Anne said...

It's all about the George C. Scott. Although, I do appreciate the Muppet Christmas Carol, featuring Michael Caine.

thetruebookaddict said...

Hey Busy...I launched my Christmas blog yesterday. Hope you will stop by!

thetruebookaddict said...

P.S. My comments are now a pop out window so you can comment on my blogs!