Sunday, December 13, 2015

Movie Review: Scrooge (1935)

Scrooge (1935)
Julius Hagen Productions, United Kingdom, 1935.
Scrooge (1935) title
Based on the novel "Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.

This review is based on CCV Christmas Classics (colour) version but applies also to Mill Creek's (black and white) version.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Seymour Hicks) is a notorious miser. He does not value Christmas. Nephew Fred (Robert Cochran) tries to cheer up him and invites Scrooge for Christmas party with his family. Bah, humbug! says Scrooge.
Seymour Hicks
Ebenezer Scrooge
Robert Cochran
Donald Calthrop
Bob Cratchit
On Christmas Eve ghost of Scrooge's dead business partner Jacob Marley (who is not shown but is rumoured to be Claude Rains, "The Invisible Man!"). Marley is cursed because he cared only about money and not the people. Spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future will soon visit Scrooge. 
Spirit of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche)
Spirit of Christmas Past shows him the woman he once loved Belle (Mary Glynne). Belle left him because of his cruelty, married another man and got about dozen children.
Cook making a delicious cake
Spirits of Christmas Present shows how Scrooge's poor clerk Bob Cratchit (Donald Calthrop) spends Christmas. Cratchit has crippled but optimistic son Tiny Tim (Philip Frost) who can sing beautifully. The family is happy although they are poor. Then Scrooge meets the most terrible spirit, Spirit of Christmas Future and decides to change his habits before it is too late.
Philip Frost
Tiny Tim
Spirit of Christmas Future is bleak
This is one of the many versions of Dickens' tale, also one with the Muppets ("The Muppet Christmas Carol"). One of the modern versions is "Scrooged." This is the first sound version of the story. It is not the best adaptation but has good moments. It is very simplified version and omits many characters of the original story, but has good acting and nice use of light shadows creating a creepy atmosphere. Seymour Hicks does a good job as Scrooge transforming from unpleasant person to benefactor and also the Cratchit family are good. Ghosts are not shown except the ghost of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche). 

CCV Christmas Classics Three Movies in Color box has a coloured and shortened version (57 min). I have this film also in Mill Creek Entertainment "Historic Classics 50 Movie Box" but it is also the same 60 minute version (2 minute difference because of PAL/NTSC conversion) in black & white although it is listed as the full 78 minute version. Repeat: The version in Mill Creek collections is not the full 78 min version! Mill Creek version sees to be transferred from VHS. Here's some of images from Mill Creek version.

Rating: Good 

Starring: Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, Robert Cochran, Mary Glynne, Garry Marsh, Oscar Asche, Marie Ney, C.V. France, Athene Seyler, Maurice Evans, Mary Lawson, Barbara Everest, Eve Gray, Morris Harvey, Philip Frost, D.J. Williams, Margaret Yarde, Hugh E. Wright, Charles Carson, Hubert Harben, Robert Morley, Claude Rains(?) 
Director: Henry Edwards

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