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A Christmas Carol (1951) Ultimate Collector's Edition

VCI Entertainment

Cast: Alistair Sim, Mervyn Johns, George Cole, Kathleen Harrison, Herminone Baddeley.

Rating: NR

Run time: 81 mins.

Genre: Christmas

Verdict: Brilliant (see rating system)

This 1951 British production tops my list of the Best Christmas Movies - it is simply brilliant.

No actor has come close to the performance of Alistair Sim in the title role of Charles Dickens's classic miser Ebenezer Scrooge and in this all-new 2-disc edition, fans can choose between two top notch transfers of the movie - one in the original black and white, the other in quite decent colour.

The movie is the most faithful adaptation of the book, with Scrooge visited by the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley (Michael Hordern) one Christmas Eve. Marley, damned for eternity for his own wasted, money-loving life, warns Scrooge that he has only one chance to mend his own miserable ways to avoid the same fate.

Scrooge reluctantly agrees to be visited by the ghosts of Chrstmas past, present and future and soon finds himself reviewing a life he grows quite ashamed of. A lost love, poor treatment of his clerk Bob Crachit (Mervyn Johns) and general ignorance of the needs of others are laid before him - as is the ultimate reward for his sins.

The story is universal: every man or woman can improve their life and be of service to others, but it is presented in masterly fashion like no other. Sim IS Scrooge, his emotion running from cold disdain for humanity in the beginning to the tearful joy of being given a second chance.

The sets depicting gloomy London in the 1840s are wonderfully atmospheric and the ghosts are terrific. Watch out for Patrick Macnee (John Steed in The Avengers TV series) in his big-screen debut as the young Marley.

The finale is a real two-hankie affair!

This new edition comes with several extra features on the movie, including:
"Spirit of Christmas Past"--George Cole (young Scrooge) remembers Alistair Sim
"Richard Gordon Remembers George Minter & Renown Pictures"
"Charles Dickens--His Life and Times"
Before & After Restoration Comparison
Optional Narrative for the Blind
Photo & Press Book Gallery
Cast Bios
Original American and British Theatrical Trailers
"Scrooge" (1935 Seymour Hicks Version)
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