Article #1404 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-17-2005
Posting Date: 2-16-2005
Directed by Henry Edwards
Featuring Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, Robert Cochrane
Scrooge is visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve who teach him the true meaning of Christmas.
In some ways, I can’t really fault this adaptation of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. It has a good deal of atmosphere, and with one exception (Mary Glynne overacts a bit in her scene with Scrooge), the acting is fine. However, on the whole, this adaptation leaves me unsatisfied. For me, the problem is with the middle section of the story involving the ghosts. With the exception of the Ghost of Christmas Present, I find the ghosts to be extremely disappointing; the Ghost of Christmas Future is a shadow on the wall, and the Ghost of Christmas Past is blurry figure of light. It also doesn’t help that the section involving the Ghost of Christmas Past only touches upon one single event in Scrooge’s past life, which seems a lot stingier than is necessary. For me, though, the worst problem is the portrayal of Marley; after a nice buildup to his appearance, I was deeply disappointed that instead of the lockbox-laden figure of the story, we get nothing more than a disembodied voice. In fact, whoever plays Marley isn’t even given a credit. This may not matter to some people, but for me, the visual presence of Marley is very important to the story, and this movie leaves me feeling cheated. The movie isn’t a disaster, but this is a long ways from the best version of the story out there.