Before I start this is another movie that was colorized at the library. Colorization of classic black and white films is an absolute atrocity. You lose all the shadows, light, nuances the cinematographer and director worked so hard to get. Instead you get something that looks drawn on and adds nothing to the story.
To me it is as offensive as if I were to go up to a Van Gogh and say ‘I don’t like how you can’t see the images completely. I’m going to fix it’. Let the artists visions stand as they created it. Do not alter it!!!
I would rather not watch a movie than see it in a colorized version. I thought that was over with VHS tapes but I’ve learned from this project that it continues. It’s outrageous!
I’m nearing the end of my Scrooge series so if there are versions you would like me to review let me know. Tomorrow I am going to see it at the local theater- Hale Center Theater Orem and greatly looking forward to that. They do a great job and the man has been playing Scrooge for over a decade and is better than any film version I have seen.
Let’s talk briefly about the 1935 version with Seymour Hicks. We have already reviewed a version with Hicks in my review of the silent movies.In the 19113 version Hicks plays Scrooge as a violent character who looks like a bum, more of a Frankenstein creature than a businessman.
Here that is a tempered a bit but we still have the rumpled hair and the messy look.
This is not a very successful movie but it isn’t terrible so if you are curious go for it. Otherwise skip.
Scrooge- Seymour Hicks is a grumpy, Frankenstein kind of creature here but not as intensely violent as in 1913. He keeps the same expression throughout the movie and I didn’t get a feeling of change or redemption.
Donald Cathrop is very good as Bob Cratchit. They show Tim’s body in this version and when Bob is grieving over his son it is moving.
This is one of the few versions that includes the lighthouse/ship carol scene with Present (Stewart is the only other one I remember seeing it in).
They skip over a lot not showing you him and Fan or the Fezziwigs and jump to Belle watching Scrooge not give a loan extension to a young couple. It left me wanting more and wishing they had changed things around.
There is also a strange scene where we see the King and Queen of England dining with their friends with the poor people outside. They then all sing God Save the Queen. It didn’t make any sense for the story except to make British audience members happy I guess.
Another big difference is you don’t see either Present or Future, just a shadow. We know from the earlier silent films that they could make ghosts but chose not too here which is strange? It just doesn’t work.
You don’t see Marley either, just the door open and shut and Scrooge talking to a chair.
Strengths- Some of the cinematography is nice with the black and white shadows. The acting is fine. The music is fine.
Weaknesses- The way they do the ghosts does not work. Scrooge still has that Frankenstein creature look which I don’t like. He’s a businessman and should look like one.
The Pawn Shop scene at the end goes on way too long and feels more like a low grade horror movie than a respected literary adaptation.
So overall I am not a fan of this adaptation. Like I said earlier if you are curious check it out. If not a definite pass.