Bah!
Humbug!
A
Celebration
of
Dickens'
Classic
Christmas
Tale

(1994):
Review
by
William Mortensen Vaughan
As of:  9:05 a.m. E.S.T., Monday, September 16, 2019

Bah! Humbug!
Title:  Bah! Humbug! A Celebration of Dickens' Classic Christmas Tale

IMDb Title:  Bah, Humbug!:  The Story of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'

My Rating:  *****

Dove Foundation Rating:  [NOT RATED]

M.P.A.A. Rating:  [NOT RATED]

Top Billing:  
James Earl Jones as Ebenezer Scrooge, et al
Martin Sheen as Bob Cratchit, Fred, Jacob Marley, et al
Robert MacNeil as the Host

Date and Place of First Release:  Saturday, December 24, 1994; U.S.A.

Format Reviewed:  live-action, television special, on VHS

Is this adaptation reverent?:  Yes.

Who, if anyone, utters the the phrase, "God bless us..."?  Tiny Tim.

What does my wife think of it?  This adaptation is a film of three men in tuxedos, reading and narrating the novel. My wife prefers dramatizations such as Scrooge, starring Albert Finney, but liked the way this adaptation had documentary commentary "sprinkled" in.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  This is an abridged adaptation, combined with documentary commentary and footage.

What dialect is used?  Plain English.

When and where does this adaptation take place?  This adaptation takes place in London, circa 1843.

Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel?  No.

Is this adaptation supernatural?  Yes, this adaptation is supernatural, featuring spirits and time travel.

Is this adaptation "framed"?  No.

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

This film includes instrumental, background music, where appropriate.

How attractive is the visual art?  

The visual art, wardrobe, and setting are adequate. As noted above, this adaptation is a film of three men in tuxedos, reading and narrating the novel. They are located in the Pierpont Morgan Library, in New York City, New York, performing before a live audience. Occasionally, the camera cuts to documentary clips about the novel and its history, which included views of the original manuscript, Dickens' "prompt copy," and various illustrations.

One irregularity is the difference between the title as seen on the screen, and the title as seen on the box this VHS tape came in. The title on the box reads, "Bah! Humbug! A Celebration of Dickens' Classic Christmas Tale." The title which appears on the screen reads, "Bah, Humbug!: The Story of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'."

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

The transitions are "low-tech," but effective. The Narrators take turns delivering their lines and narrations in such a way as to create the impression that they are performing a play. Lighting and background music are used effectively. For example, when Martin Sheen "appears" to Scrooge as Jacob Marley, the light on him is dimmed to create the impression that he is a ghost speaking from the shadows.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  

The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, that it is performed by three men in tuxedos, standing before a live audience.

It is also remarkable that it has historical, documentary clips sprinkled throughout it, and that it is performed in the library where the original manuscript and Dickens' "prompt copy" were kept at the time of this performance.

What extras are included on the VHS tape?  None.

Test your knowledge of this film by taking these quizzes:

Quiz 1 of [TBD]

Quiz 2 of [TBD]

Quiz 3 of [TBD]

Quiz 4 of [TBD]

Quiz 5 of [TBD]

Quiz 5 of [TBD]


Jacob Marley on www.ClipArtXtras.com

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