SCROOGE: OR MARLEY’S GHOST (1901)
Article 2828 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-3-2009
Posting Date: 5-11-2009
Directed by Walter R. Booth
Scrooge is visited by Marley’s Ghost, who tries to change his feelings about Christmas.
Supposedly this early version of the perennial Christmas classic lasted about eleven minutes, which makes it an epic for its day. Only about five minutes still exist in my copy; it cuts off abruptly during the scenes of the Christmas yet to come. Of course, it cuts corners; Marley’s ghost does all of the work, sparing us the need to handle the three other spirits who pop up. On its own terms, it doesn’t make much sense, but I’m pretty sure the makers were counting on the viewer being already familiar with the story. As expected, this bare bones treatment can do little more than hit story highlights, though it does show how movies were starting to get a little more ambitious at the time.