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please give details on 'slightly atypical' version of "A Christmas Carol"


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I've been trying for years to find out details (such as year of release, who starred in, etc.) of an older, black & white, live action version of "A Christmas Carol" that I saw years ago..

The main thing that I recall being different was that in the scene where Ebenezer Scrooge first is outside the door of his house and encounters the lion face door knocker, the knocker ITSELF comes to life (I suppose using stop-motion animation) INSTEAD of Marley's ghostly face being superimposed over it.

Any knowledge of this version?? I would be much obliged for any insight! I'm pretty convinced that I wasn't just seeing things..

- Thank you, Mongo!

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Of course, in the book, the knocker was not a lion's head. Dicken's wrote that there was nothing in particular special about the knocker. As I noted on the "Ask mongo" thread, in the Alistair Sim version, the knocker is replaced by Marley's face. I can't say that I've seen every version of this movie, but I've never seen one (to the best of my memory) in which the lion-headed knocker comes to life.


Sorry I can't be of any more help.



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I could check my copy of the 1971 Oscar-winning Chuck Jones version of the story, but it's animated too and the OP said it was live-action.


Here's another point along the lines of the door-knocker question: in the book, the old, thought-to-be-broken house bells actually moved when they rang. In the Sim version, I think they are heard to ring but don't move. In the George C. Scott version, I believe they move and ring, which to me has a slightly better "scare factor."


Sim, incidentally, provided Scrooge's voice for the Chuck Jones version. A friend of mine who's 41 now still remembers being scared by it as a child when it ran on TV. I only discovered it on VHS in recent years, and it's an outstanding version that hits most of the high points of the story in only 25 minutes or so. When Marley's ghost removes the kerchief holding his jaws together, the animated version allows something to happen that would have been impossible for a live performer to pull off!

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(from the question poser)


Thanks, guys, for your replies.

Yes, the film in question definitely was live action and not animation. I am grateful for that most recent reply describing the 1971 animated version; I'm curious to check that out - thanks!


I shall have to see if it is indeed the Alastair Sim version, as I, ironically, am not so familiar with that one. I would almost have to believe that there was an "alternate version" of the Alastair Sim version - or that it was a forgotten silent film that sound was added to which is the mystery version that I have been seeking.


Please let me know of any other possibilities - thank you.


production 4

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I'd have to check my tape of the 1938 version with Reginald Owen too. I'm sure I've seen what you describe, but I couldn't name the exact version it's in.


There are various b/w TV versions, not all of which may exist now. How long ago did you see it, and is there any chance you saw a color version on a b/w TV?

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  • 2 weeks later...

What is the "best" version of the story.......personally I loved George C Scotts version...I thought the recent A&E version with (Star Treck guy?) was fine but not as good.


I am told the Albert Finney one is the best?



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Thanks for the further replies!


I saw this "mystery" version in the mid-to-late 1970s and it looked quite old BACK THEN [as if from the 1940s] .. pretty sure it was in black & white and viewed on a color t.v.

I know it wasn't a musical and also I do doubt it was a t.v. production - but I could be wrong about that!



In my opinion the story itself is, in a sense, the best version; for, look how many productions (from film to animation to live production) it has commanded! I am most partial to this "mystery" one which I originally inquired about - most similar to the 1951 Alistair Sim version - but I also like the musical version starring Albert Finney and the somewhat dated-in-production values version starring Sir Seymour Hicks. I found the George C. Scott one very well-produced. I believe that the best 'one' is really the composite of a couple of them - for each tells this great tale with its own special aspects and touches - if you catch my meaning.


I hope that everyone has an enjoyable holiday season (which ..seems to have commenced a few weeks ago, already..!)

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  • 1 year later...

It's funny. I too have had a "Christmas Carol" image in my head and couldn't place it.


I could have sworn I saw a version in which Marley's Ghost goes swirling out the window and then up into the air, as if being sucked by a vacuum cleaner. He gets really thin and curvy. Now, maybe I saw it, maybe I made it up, or maybe the story is so vivid that I read it! I don't know, but every time I watch one of the versions I think "This is the one"- and it isn't.


Sorry to be of no help on the knocker question.


Message was edited by: JackFavell

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