HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Christmas Carol, A You're A Mean One, Mister Scrooge
Year: 1971
Director: Richard Williams
Stars: Alastair Sim, Michael Redgrave, Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, Joan Sims, Paul Whitsun-Jones, David Tate, Felix Felton, Annie West, Melvyn Hayes, Mary Ellen Ray
Genre: Animated, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the mid-eighteen hundreds, and Christmas time has come around to Victorian London once again, with a chill in the air and snow on the ground, but even these icy conditions are no match for the frozen heart of Ebenezer Scrooge (voiced by Alastair Sim). He is a miser who makes his money off the poorer folk, and no one is poorer than his sole employee Bob Cratchit (Melvyn Hayes) who meekly requests a holiday on Christmas Day. Scrooge is deeply unimpressed and with extreme reluctance and no shortage of admonishment agrees, and when his nephew (David Tate) arrives to wish him the compliments of the season, the old man is having none of it, turning down his invitation to spend a festive dinner with him in order to get back to his office for more work; charity raisers are similarly dispatched. Will nothing melt Scrooge's heart?

Charles Dickens' story A Christmas Carol is the most adapted, and parodied, of all time when it comes to screens big and small, so you would wonder what even in 1971 a further version would have added. What many a variation did not have was the animator Richard Williams on directing duties, and he was already one of the most respected in his field which made it only fitting that he should be awarded an Oscar for his troubles, though this short premiered on television, which was where it earned its greatest exposure after being repeated for decades as a staple of the festive schedules. He went back to the original illustrations from Dickens' book for inspiration, and the results were something genuinely spooky, even in those scenes that were supposed to be heartwarming and cheering.

Williams and his producer Chuck Jones brought back Sim from the most celebrated live action incarnation of Scrooge to voice the character, and to support him a selection of theatrical thesps such as Michael Redgrave (who narrated) and Michael Hordern (who voiced Marley, Scrooge's deceased business partner). The director was not above going for scares, as many of his drawings were of a macabre nature as befitting the text, with the ghost of Marley's jaw memorably hanging like a gallows or the twin children of Want and Ignorance clinging like spectres to the coat hem of the Spirit of Christmas Present (Felix Felton). Christmas Past was a wavering, indistinct girl (Diana Quick) showing Scrooge where he went wrong, and Christmas Yet to Come was a hooded figure, utterly silent but reminiscent of many a phantom seen by the unwary in the middle of the night.

Obviously with just around half an hour to fill, Williams was not going to be able to include every detail, and there was a sense he was rushing through the classic tale, simply offering the edited highlights rather than anything that explored the themes to any great degree. But those eerie visuals assisted in presenting enough of the meaning of the piece to be judged a success, as the essential endorsement of charity from those who can afford it to those who cannot was preserved as Scrooge's apparitions bring him around to the notion that by helping his fellow man - and woman, and child - it will not only improve their lot in life but his as well. This was better than some vague teaching about being nice to people for one day of the year, and circumvented the grumps who wondered aloud why we were not nice to everyone every other day as well, therefore believed cynicism was a better use of your emotions at that point. Again, this was a little skimpy, but Williams' roving point of view and haunting imagery made up for it, though for the full effect Sim's unbeatable reading of the character in 1951 was the one to plump for. Music by Tristram Cary.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1446 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: