A
Christmas
Carol

(1977)
starring
Michael Hordern
Review
by
William Mortensen Vaughan
As of:  6:20 p.m. E.S.T., Monday, January 21, 2019

Title:  A Christmas Carol

My Rating:  ****

Dove Foundation Rating:  [NOT RATED]

M.P.A.A. Rating:  TV-PG

Adaptation:  starring Michael Hordern as Ebenezer Scrooge

Date Released:  Saturday, December 24, 1977

Format Reviewed:  YouTube video

Is this adaptation reverent?:  Yes.

Does it include the phrase, "God bless us..."?  Yes.

What does my wife think of it?  She hasn't paid any attention to it.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  

This adaptation follows the original novel, A Christmas Carol, fairly well; it includes the scene of Belle with her husband when Marley is dying, and the scene of Caroline and her husband rejoicing that their creditor has died.

One major difference is that, instead of appearing with Old Joe, in his pawn shop, the undertaker's man and Mrs. Dilber have a conversation about Scrooge and his belongings in Scrooge's bedroom.

What dialect is used?  Old English.

When and where does this adaptation take place?  England, circa 1840.

Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel?  No.

Is this adaptation supernatural?  Yes, this adaptation is supernatural, with ghosts and time travel.

Is this adaptation "framed"?  No.

What original musical numbers and/or dance routines are included?

This film includes background music, and several brief, musical cameos, including a street urchin singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Tiny Tim singing "The First Noel," and Fred and his guests singing what is perhaps the chorus of an Irish lullaby, "Tura Lie."

How attractive is the visual art?  

Most of the set and wardrobe are acceptable. The worst part of the wardrobe is the top of the Ghost of Christmas Past's head, which is bald, even though she appears to be a young woman with long, blonde hair.

What use is made of background extras?  

Very sparse use is made, of background extras.

How creative and instense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another?  

Most of the transitions are effective, except a couple scenes of Scrooge's school, in which mere paintings of the scenes are shown, with live action footage of Old Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past "double-exposured" with them.

What nap-of-the-Earth footage, if any, is included?  None.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  

The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, that, in this adaptation, Scrooge tells his nephew that he had hopes and plans for him, which Fred dashed when he married a poor girl.

Also, the baldness of the Ghost of Christmas Present (who otherwise looks like a young, blonde woman) is shocking, and the use of still paintings of the school settings is laughably "low budget."

What extras are included on the DVD?  [Not applicable, since I viewed this on YouTube.]

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