A Christmas Carol
Greater than "David Copperfield" !
Reginald Owen portrays Charles Dickens' holiday humbug Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser's miser who has a huge change of heart after spirits whisk him into the past, present and future.
Probably my favorite version of the story.
I love all versions of this.
The role of Ebenezer Scrooge was supposed to go to Lionel Barrymore, who was famous at the time for doing the radio version of this film, but he suffered an accident and could not star in the first talking version of this story.
Reginald Owen got the role of his career as Scrooge and really did a fine job of playing the old buzzard.
There were other fine performances here: Gene Lockhart as Bob Crachit and Terry Kilburn as Tiny Tim. and Barry MacKay as Scrooge's nephew.
What really made the film was the starkness of the black and white.
This version really excels in showing the bleak life of Scrooge and even in the black and white, the glow of the Christmas celebration.
I liked this one better then the 1999 I watched last night. It was different adaption. Some good energy but was a bit too cheery throughout. I wouldn't call this the best or the worst. It has its place. Sim still rules!
Odd and unsatisfying adaptation of the classic book makes some comic additions and some major omissions, both of which are detrimental. Gone are the details of Scrooge's past including the death of his sister, the end of his engagement, commitment to greed, his meeting of Marley and the takeover of Fezziwegg's business. You know, the parts that explain how and why he became a heartless miser. The comic bits are just fluff that add nothing.
The acting is another major issue. I am able to adjust my gauge of performance based on the era a film was made and 1938 is still relatively early on in cinema's history. However, there is far better acting to be found in other Thirties…
I found myself wanting to punch Tiny Tim in the face every time he came on screen. Definitely my least favorite of all the Christmas Carols I've seen so far.
By this point we've had a million better versions made so this one isn't really worth the time.
Throughout the years, I have watched almost every version of this story put to celluloid. But for some unknown reason, I never came to view the MGM version from 1938, starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge. Well, after finally righting this wrong, I find that I wasn't missing much. This is by far, the worst adaptation of my favorite Christmas classic. The performances as a whole, are wholly unbelievable and largely over the top. Terry Kilburn, who was outstanding as four generations of the Colley family, in Goodbye Mr. Chips, plays Tiny Tim as if he's suffering from an intake of too much sugar, topped with a dollop of ADD. He's too manic and cheery to play the suffering, yet hopeful…
Produced by MGM in 1938, this quick-paced adaptation of A Christmas Carol was the undisputed definitive edition of Dickens' parable for more than a decade, and even though it's since been overshadowed by more recent versions, there's still plenty to recommend it—a lush Victorian world, a strong focus on redemption, and several fine performances.