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The one Tiny Tim you did not want to grab hold of and strangle. . .


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. . .in this, the 1951 version, and my favorite, of Charles Dickens' tale, with Alistair Sim. It seems in all the other iterations the producers sought out the most irritating, the most obnoxiously treacly, the most enragingly pert and chipper abomination of a boy-child actor to mar this wonderful tale. Here, Glyn Dearman, manages to convey simple, childish goodness, without manipulative playing on our sentimentalities.

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Here, Glyn Dearman, manages to convey simple, childish goodness, without manipulative playing on our sentimentalities.

 

So true. Thanks to the Scrooge marathon, I saw Reginald Owen's version all the way through, which I guess was new to me. Horrid, horrid makeup job and wow was Terry Kilburn bad as Tim.

 

Alastair Sim always was and always will be Ebeneezer Scrooge to me.

 

Oh, and did anyone catch Mank's joke? The man has come a long way as host, RO can retire now. Oh, the joke: he said there were many other iterations of A Christmas Carol, e.g., Mr. Magoo's. He then went on to say there was a new one coming out, A Kardashian Christmas Carol, with lovers past, present and future. He said he was kidding but told E! to call him.

 

Anyone stick out the Sterling Hayden teleplay version by Rod Serling? I couldn't, perhaps in the daytime. Again, Mank barbed that it was probably the only UN/Xerox Christmas Carol in existence.

 

Kudos, Ben.

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"Here, Glyn Dearman, manages to convey simple, childish goodness, without manipulative playing on our sentimentalities."

 

Well put. Total agreement. slaytonf. Upon seeing the thread title I was hoping that was the conclusion to which you were leading.

 

The role as essayed in two "Scrooge" outings (1935 & 1970) was particularly painful.

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Right on!

 

I always watch the Alastair version, which so far is the really only valid rendering of the role onfilm.

 

I usually love Albert Finney but that version is...well kind of horrid, if you compare to Alastair in the part. Not Finney's fault really, just too young to be valid.

 

And yes, Tiny Tim is only believable and sweetly enchanting [without making one sickly] in the 1951 film. That one hits all the spots and has so many fab character actors like Ernest Thesiger and Hermione Baddeley [sp?].

 

What a wonderful film. Alastair can be dastardly nasty and then ingenuously kind and caring, with it not seeming too quick a change due to his acting chops.

 

I even watched the Seymour Hicks' version out of curiosity. Not so bad and maybe better than Reginald Owen, who was kind of sad in the part. Terry Kilburn made me want to see Herbert Khoury in the role, or whatever Mister "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" real name is...

 

Just think...with him in the role, Miss Vicky could have played one of Bob Cratchett's kiddies!

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"Anyone stick out the Sterling Hayden teleplay version by Rod Serling?"

 

Yes.

Overly ambitious. Serling's work often was. He was a quality writer but heavy, heavy-handed even at his best. Like many writers to fully appreciate Rod Serling one has to allow certain accommodations to his style.

But his prose is often fashioned in lead, shaped like a club and used to beat the audience over the head with any given moralistic point. And "A Carol for Another Christmas" overreaches even for Serling trying to illuminate truths about multiple facets of the human condition. While I think it's worth watching at least once all the way through, those who gave up on it early can rest assured it carries its turgid tone pretty much all the way through. And effective as he can be a turgid Sterling Hayden is tough to take in large doses.

 

(Just a note: My Better 99% absolutely- and unapologetically- hated it.)

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*A 1950s Musical Christmas Carol*: This might add further proof to your argument, but I find the early television version interesting because Bernard Herrmann composed the score. *A Christmas Carol* first aired in 1954 and starred Fredric March as Scrooge, Basil Rathbone as Marley's ghost and Christopher Cook, as Tiny Tim, sings *Good Bless Us Every One*. You can find the *Shower Of Stars* show on YouTube, if you can stand to sit through yet another version (a decent quality print and less than an hour running time):

 

 

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Since they're rather short movies, I watched the 1935 and 1938

versions back to back. The 1935 one seems to be pictorally more

true to what one imagines London in the 1840s might be like. The

M-G-M version seems a bit cleaned up. For an employee of a miser

like Scrooge, Bob Chatchit seems rather prosperous. Unless I missed

it, I don't remember Belle, Scrooge's fiancee, appearing in the 1938

version. I don't recall exactly how sappy Tiny Tim was in the original

story, but I can imagine it's a tough balancing act between sympathetic

and bathetic.

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I didn't catch the Sim version last night, but have seen it before a

number of times, though not lately. The 1935 version doesn't even

show Marley. Maybe they were trying to save a little money. And

in the 1938 version, Leo G. Carroll is a little scary or else he's

somewhat constipated, or maybe both. I got a kick out of the woman

who played the Ghost of Christmas Past in the M-G-M version. Her

headgear and hair style look a lot more like 1930s Hollywood than

1840s London.

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I found the photography in the 1935 "Scrooge" different, one finds in other films. Has a ghostly type appearance in some of the scenes. The drawback is because of the slight differences in the shades of gray, it tend to pixalate.

 

I think Seymour Hicks who plays Scrooge is the least mean, hateful compared to others, somewhat like a grouchy relative.

 

f310d95c638d226d4cfa874f9c9c4cc6.jpg?ito

 

Seymour Hicks out of costume.

Seymour_Hicks3.jpg

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The multiple-version Scrooge night, a yearly staple on TCM for as many years as I can remember, is my personal Kryptonite, the same way TCM showing any movie that's less than 50 years old seems to upset so many posters. But I always seem to end up watching a few of the versions, anyway. This year, I made it through the Albert Finney version and the Alistair Sim version and watched about the first 15 minutes of the 1935 version before I had to go to bed. Kinda wish it had aired earlier, because it was the only one of the five versions I hadn't seen previously. The Carol for Another Christmas got a primetime TCM premiere last year, so it's still pretty fresh on my mind. I would recommend everyone to watch it once, though I don't know that its extremely heavy allegorical style holds up to repeated viewings. Its strong pro-UN point of view would never find favor with a mainstream American television audience today.

 

The story is so familiar to me by now, I could pretty much speak the dialogue simultaneously with the actors. Aside from all the roller coaster 3-D gimmeckry, the Robert Zemeckis animated version with Jim Carrey from a few years ago uses pretty much the same dialogue as all the others, which I assume is taken directly from the original Dickens story, which I haven't read since seventh grade.

 

The only aspect of showing all these different versions of the same story back to back that I even find slightly interesting is comparing subtle differences between versions. I'm not sure if Scrooge is shown to have a love interest in the Dickens story. If that's so, I'm kind of curious which movie version she appeared in first (she gets different names in different movies). I didn't stay up long enough to see if she appears in the 1935 version. She's not in the 1938 version but does appear in 1951 and 1970 versions. Sounds like the 1935 version spends the most time on the "first act", skipping Marley entirely. In contrast, the 1970 version, having a virtual superstar in the Marley role, brought him back for a second scene, Scrooge-and-Marley-in-Hell, late in the picture. The nephew gets a bit of a beefed-up role in the 1938 version, which I like, because I played Fred in a fifth grade production of a Christmas Carol! The 1951 version gives by far the longest account of Scrooge's life story, adding the bits about his leaving Fezziwig and selling his soul to gain power, as he and Marley blackmail their way into taking over the company, none of which are in the Dickens original.

 

I have liked the Finney version more upon repeated viewings. Interesting to see the flashback scenes of him where he gets to appear as he actually looked in 1970. The scenes of his romance and courtship, however, with all this lovely English countryside, sort of takes you out of the gloomy winter setting with which we always associate this story. And there's a nice bit of dark comedy where Finney/Scrooge doesn't get the he isn't being honored; the whole city is cheering him because he's dead, and he sings and dances and speechifys, oblivious to his own coffin making its way down the street.

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>sewhite2000:

>I'm not sure if Scrooge is shown to have a love interest in the Dickens story

 

She's there, and breaks the engagement for the same reasons, that Scrooge's love of money has displaced her in his affections.

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Just watched the Shower of Stars TV series episode of A Christmas Carol (

), with Frederic March as Scrooge, and Basil Rathbone as Marley's ghost. Both acquit themselves well in their roles in this distinctly abridged edition; except the costuming and make-up are so extraordinary that is is distracting and diffuses the effect of their performances. Marley has what appears to be a pony tail sticking horizontally out the back of his head, and Frederick March is attached to a most abnormally large nose; the makers evidently intending to channel Shylock (as if miserly moneylending engenders rhino-gigantism). Anyway, the songs and music are fine: buoyant and celebratory in the songs and carols, and eerie during the ghostly visitation--if a little evocative of The Day the Earth Stood Still. And Tiny Tim has a song of his own.

 

I found the version of A Christmas Carol with Basil Rathbone as Scrooge by accident on YouTube while watching the above. You can see it here:

 

 

 

It's part of a TV series called Tales From Dickens. And guess what? Frederick March introduces it! It's even more abbreviated than the March Christmas Carol, but somehow manages to transmit more of the flavor of the original work--maybe because there are no songs taking up the precious time. Curiously, Mr. Rathbone is also attached to an exaggerated nose. Ah, well. . . .

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To me the print of the 1935 version looked darker, even darker than the

bleakness of the first part of the film called for. The M-G-M version looks

a lot clearer and cleaner. The two shots that looked identical were

the ones of Scrooge looking down from his window and telling the boy

to go get the big turkey. Rathbone looks like a long-haired

hippie compared to the other two, especially Reginald Owen,

who is holding onto his last wisps of hair for dear life.

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The Tiki family views A CHRISTMAS CAROL twice every year-one traditional version and one "modern" version.

This year we saw the George C Scott as Scrooge version for the traditional (good Tiny Tim too!) and Bill Murray in SCROOGED as the modern one.

 

I used to read the book every year (easy read, brilliant dialogue) but I like seeing all the interpretations. And yes, most follow the dialogue faithfully, even the modern ones.

 

It's amazing the story can be so adaptable, not many stories are as successful when updated.

Too bad we can't make the 35mm screening of the Alister Sim version at the historic Capitol Theater....but I know one lucky person on this board who IS going!

 

And as for the singer Tiny Tim, don't discount his talent from those goofy Laugh-In or Carson appearances. He was a very talented musician and had a beautiful singing voice when not doing that silly falsetto schtick.

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The story is so familiar and fairly basic that it's easy to plug

different takes on it while still keeping the heart of it. And it

is a relatively short read that can be accomplished in a few

days. I remember seeing the M-G-M version on TV long ago

and the print was so awful it really took away from the film

itself. I bet it would be fun to see the Sim version in 35mm

in a theater.

 

I don't know much about Tiny Tim except that he was quite

knowledgeable about music from the 1920s and 1930s and

perhaps earlier than that.

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