A Christmas Carol - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Christmas Carol Reviews

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January 19, 2018
This is possibly the stuffiest rendition of Dickens' holiday classic. The production is rigid and cold, and doesn't get warmer even when Scrooge changes. And Scott's incessant overacting makes him one of the least convincing portrayals. Maybe if this were the only filmed version of the story I would like it more, but there are just SO many better ways to watch this beautiful tale of redemption.
December 29, 2017
Another remake that's just ok. If Hollywood remakes this movie one more time, I'll lose my mind. But I still watched it and it is the same bland old story.
December 22, 2017
Ugh, this version of Dickens' much loved fable is very stale fare indeed. Scott's Scrooge, with the occasional exception, is so very one note, he looks like he's on auto pilot for much of the film. Warner's Cratchit is far too poised and self assured for a character that is supposed to be downtrodden, stressed out, browbeaten but again his mildly perturbed and shrugging "oh well, what you can you do" performance is very much in keeping with Scott's slightly grumpy and disinterested Scrooge.

The problems though, aren't limited to those two actors, the guy playing Fred the nephew isn't nearly as charming and likeable enough for the part he plays and at times even comes across as quite reserved. The ghost of Christmas past looks like an 80's new romantic pop star. Marley's ghost looks like a hammy Shakespearean luvvie in heavy grey makeup - ala Alec Guinness in the musical version - and isn't at all believable as a condemned spirit.

The classical beauty Susannah York as Mrs Cratchit is also an ill fit, far too aristocratic and perfectly turned out. The only part not horribly miscast is Edward Woodward as the ghost of Christmas present and even he does nothing special with the role and struggles to instil any emotion into the film.

I'm completely baffled as to how anyone could cite this movie as being one of the best versions and as being better than the wholly superior Patrick Stewart version. I guess it's true, there really is no accounting for taste.
December 18, 2017
Of all the Christmas Carol adaptations I've seen (and I've seen plenty) this is probably the one I have the least to say about. In a strange way though, that's kind of a good thing. I don't have any major nitpicks, it tells the story and it tells it well. The only problem is, again, it's a little undewhelming as it never goes above and beyond in it's storytelling past just telling Dickens' tale as best it can. There's nothing memorable about it in a bad way, but not much stands out as exceptional either. Well, except two things. First, I love how they handle the ghost of Christmas yet to come. He's off in the distance mostly and we never really get a full view of him, which works a lot better than some adaptations that put him front and center. Second, George C. Scott as Scrooge. That's really what elevates the whole movie and makes it arguably the best adaptation of this story yet. He's a very powerful and sometimes menacing sort of Scrooge. It seems like he's always trying to be in control, even when it's clear he isn't. This makes the scenes where he looses control or his inevitable turnaround all the better. He's portrayed not as an evil man, but as a man that's been broken down over the years and has no room left in his heart for what he views as nonsense, and that's the perfect way to play Scrooge. With Scrooge being the most important character in this story, this makes what could have been an okay adaptation into one of the best of these adaptations, if not the best. The film has some issues with pacing, a banal tone at times, and some pretty clear signs of aging. Nothing about it truly blew me away, except for Scott's Scrooge, but I think that's fine. A classic story like this deserves it's deffinitive adaptation, and for my money I think this one could be it.
½ December 7, 2017
This rendition of the classic Dickens tale suffers from some stiff direction, acting, and moments that can be taken out of context in an uncomfortable way, but George C. Scott's performance of Ebenezer Scrooge is the most serious Scrooge put onto film which helps make this a different enough version of "A Christmas Carol" to check out during the Holidays.
He is seldom joyous and often very sarcastic and snarly. Even when he is all happy and jovial in the end he still says wisecracks to the townsfolk and is never overly passionate in showing his change of heart.
Some will disagree with his performance, but I respect him in delivering a unique Scrooge I've not seen before, and ultimately, he carries this fair film from mediocrity to good.
½ May 4, 2017
With so many film versions of this Dickens story you can easily skip over this one. George C. Scott is actually not a bad Scrooge, but it's a bland television movie. (First and only full viewing - 12/9/2010)
½ December 28, 2016
Of all of the Christmas Carol movies I've seen, this may be the best. I like Warner, but I'm not sure is the best Cratchit. The simile game should have been cut. The homeless family scene could've been shortened. Could've used more fire. Regardless, the most dramatically comprehensive. His angry Scrooge is the best. But I think there may be better happy Scrooges. He seems to still have an edge. Also would have preferred Scrooge visiting Bob's home to see Tiny Tim.
December 24, 2016
The George C Scott one is one of the better versions. Christmas classic.
December 24, 2016
Over-played, aesthetically off, and under-directed, the 1984 version of the timeless classic just seems like it was made for the sake of another remake, though George C. Scott does make a commanding, and sometimes funny, take on Ebenezer Scrooge.
½ December 24, 2016
This TV movie is an excellent depiction of the Charles Dickens' novel. Great acting by George C. Scott and Edward Woodward. The spirit of Christmas Future was riveting. Unfortunately, this version is not as well known as it should be. This may be the definitive version of the classic novel, hadn't Alastair Sims' "Scrooge" (1951) establish the standard well beforehand.

Question: Did Woodward walk on stilts to make the spirit of Christmas Present seem so tall? There is one scene where Woodward and Scott are walking away from the camera at what seem to be normal heights.
December 23, 2016
Every year I watch both this and the Sim version as they tell the story in different ways. Firstly on the Scrooge front whilst Sim was a tortured soul Scott was mean by design and he wallowed in it. Scott did this deliberately so as not to be compared to Sim and both were brilliantly acted so you pays your farthing and takes your choice on the approach. But where this adaption accelerates IMO is with its depth and emotion due to stronger acting all round. There are plenty of scenes to leave lumps in the throat - from Tiny Tim (who unlike in the Sim version actually is tiny and looks ill) and his father trying to convince each other that one day he'll play with the other kids to Scrooges reconciliation with Fred and his wife. Throw in a stand out performance from Woodward as a powerful ghost of Christmas present, and the final graveyard repentance scene that is worth the entrance fee alone then this for me is, pound for pound the best version.
December 17, 2016
Best version. It's sentimental without being overdone. Scott's performance is perfect. He portrays scrooge as grateful and humbled rather than manic like many of the portrayals I have seen. Love this version!
½ December 17, 2016
This version of A Christmas Carol is less refined and lacks the nuance of previous versions.
December 10, 2016
a good adaptation of the well known Charles dickens story.
December 6, 2016
Magnificently filmed and even better acted, this is by far, by very far, the best A Christmas Carol treatment. A treat every time.
August 3, 2016
Awesome movie I loved it
January 23, 2016
In my opinion, the best traditional adaptation of the novel. I am well aware this was a made-for-TV version. Still.
½ December 12, 2015
Well-cast and with a bleak and beautiful production design, the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol is arguably the best film version of the classic Dickens story.

V: 85%
November 21, 2015
Great cast and acting, wonderful version of a classic!
½ July 5, 2015
Personally, I think George C. Scott is the best Scrooge.
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