Director Ronald Neame made Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, into a musical film combo in 1970. I am not a fan of musicals because they are surrounded by weak characters and limited character advancement. Neame does not make the same errors, instead heeding to Dickens’ material and guiding the cast in a direction that forms a convincing atmosphere and memorable tale. A film that garnered Academy Award nominations for costume design and Best Art Direction, Scrooge transports its audience back in time through detailed sets that come across as very authentic.
The cast itself is led by Albert Finney as Scrooge, who won an award for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy. Finney’s representation is accurate and creative in its own sense. The audience’s understanding of his character is thorough entering the film, causing the need for an original performance from him to be all the more important. Finney rises to the task, never leaving the audience bored even though they have met the character countless times. The supporting cast is not overshadowed by the musical score, another blunder common in musicals but avoided here. A commendable secondary role by David Collings as Bob Cratchit was especially memorable for me.
The musical score is catchy and complements the mood of the story well. It’s not song after song, but rather song, significant plot building, song.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Gangster Squad, Elf, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Along Came Polly, Aliens, Alien Resurrection, Full Metal Jacket, Thor)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot Games, The Great Gatsby, Pitch Black, Alien)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy, Dark Fury, Alien 3)
My score for Scrooge: 91.
Neame turns a Christmas classic into an enjoyable musical film experience, one that should be viewed every Christmas season. It also highlights the key messages of A Christmas Carol, one of those being faith in the human spirit.
*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!
Nothing to spoil. Sorry guys.