Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scrooge in 10 Minutes

Last year I bought the old 1951 version of A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim on DVD because I like to watch that movie around that holidays. Specifically I like to watch it on Christmas Eve. It's sort of my version of It's a Wonderful Life. (Mostly because when It's a Wonderful Life slipped back out of the public domain our local PBS station started showing A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve instead.)

Anyway, the DVD came with a lot of extras including the entire 1935 version entitles Scrooge with Seymour Hicks in the lead role. I watched it the other day. It's only a little over an hour long, and it shows. They have to cut a lot of corners (including giving Scrooge the line "God bless us everyone" instead of Tiny Tim) which leaves the film lacking in some of the heart of later adaptations.

Still, it's notable for the performance of Seymour Hicks. He plays the most unkempt Scrooge I've ever seen, which was very interesting. I also enjoyed seeing how they handled the special effects in a time before they could do much with special effects. Their solution for Jacob Marley is clever.

When I hoped onto YouTube to look for a clip to embed I found that the entire movie is up there because it is in the public domain. I won't embed that one here, but if you want to watch all of it you have countless options.

If you don't want to invest an hour into it, there's this handy condensed version that gives you the meat of the movie in just 10 minutes:

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.