A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1910)
Article 2691 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-1-2008
Posting Date: 12-25-2008
Directed by J. Searle Dawley, Charles Kent and Ashley Miller
Featuring Marc McDermott, Charles Ogle, William Bechtel
Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve who teach him the meaning of Christmas.
Usually I judge versions of Dickens’s classic by gauging how well they tell the story of Ebenezer’s life, for much of the real heart and soul of the story comes out here. But what if you’ve only got ten minutes to tell the story? Well, you’re going to have to settle for story highlights, but at least this version does a good job of supplying those. I quite like the way that the visits of the the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future manage to tell their respective stories without leaving Scrooge’s bedroom, thanks to some clever use of double exposure. Of course, one of the appeals of this movie to horror fans is that it contains one of the few other extant performances of Charles Ogle, who is best known for having played the Frankenstein monster in the Edison version of the story; here he plays Bob Cratchit, and you can easily recognize him, as his face is quite distinctive. Granted, this version is no substitute for a full-length version of the story, but it does its job well enough.