A Christmas Carol Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.