Old Scrooge (1913)

aka Scrooge
Article 3152 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-29-2010
Posting Date: 4-1-2010
Directed by Leedham Bantock
Featuring Seymour Hicks, William Lugg, Leedham Bantock
Country: UK
What it is: Could it be… another version of “A Christmas Carol?”

Scrooge is a skinflint who hates Christmas. But on Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his partner, who may make him change his ways…

I remember griping about the 1935 Seymour Hicks version of this story because it reduced Marley to a spoken voice who appears only momentarily. Maybe it was to balance out this version, where not only does Marley appear, but he takes the place of the other three spirits and does all the ghosting by himself. This one also features Seymour Hicks (who had made a career of playing Scrooge on stage), and he gives a good performance. The structure is pretty odd here; it only runs about forty minutes, and I found it odd that at the twenty minute mark, Scrooge was still hanging around the office and no ghost had appeared. As a result, the movie rushes through the visions of the past, present and future, and spends most of its time in the pre- and post-ghost sections of the story. It also features an introductory piece about Dickens, which gives a bit of a history of the story itself. I was a little confused by the date; IMDB lists 1913, and my print lists 1926, but the later date results from a re-release thirteen years after it was made.


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