Directed by Ronald Neame (1970) Starring: Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, David Collings, Edith Evans, Kenneth More
The more adaptations of A Christmas Carol I see, the more unlikely it feels that I will ever read the book. Once you get over the cartoon versions (the various Disney incarnations, the specials created for a series) and the darker, made for TV versions, and the various in betweeners, the book seems secondary.
Scrooge is on the dark side, but it’s also a gleeful musical. The movie just finished, and I already know that “Thank You Very Much” will be stuck in my head all day. Also, the choreography was pretty sweet– they used updated versions of period dress and during the big marching scenes kept the dancing simple. Considering these were often huge crowd scenes, the simpler movements created a bigger effect.
I figured that Finney would have been too young to play old Scrooge in 1970 (case in point, he was only 34), but the make up they used looked great and they fleshed out his young scenes a bit more in this adaptation.
On the whole, the production is very theatrical. They used a strange, wide-angle lens for everything, which was great for the details, but also made it really obvious that they were on a set. A lot of the camera movement and character movement just made it seem like this was supposed to be stage production, rather than a movie–then, of course, there are the large scenes on the street or outside, and that hypothesis is ruined.