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Alastair Sim's A CHRISTMAS CAROL / SCROOGE - apparently now canceled

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Alastair Sim's A CHRISTMAS CAROL / SCROOGE - apparently now canceled

Old 06-23-05, 07:59 PM
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Alastair Sim's A CHRISTMAS CAROL / SCROOGE - apparently now canceled

From Davis DVD:

Perennial Christmas favorite Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, is being released by BBC Video on September 27th. Adapted from Charles Dickens' beloved "A Christmas Carol," the 1951 film has been restored and remastered to its original black-and-white glory. This definitive deluxe special edition features an exciting array of bonus features, including the rare 1914 and 1922 silent film versions "A Christmas Carol" and "Scrooge," as well as two complete radio plays from Christmas Day 1950 and 1965. Retail is $19.98.

- Andy
Old 06-24-05, 12:35 AM
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'Bout time. I've got one of the original DVD releases, but this is a film worthy of a souped up release.
Old 06-24-05, 02:31 PM
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Nice, this is truly the best version. The current disk is horrible.
Old 06-24-05, 11:47 PM
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i will rebuy uit
Old 06-25-05, 10:48 AM
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Excellent news! I have it on LD, but of course it's been re-titled "Scrooge" for those of us too ignorant to know what "A Christmas Carol" is, and has a made-for-TV introduction by Patrick Macnee which always makes me wince, so I've been waiting for years to see a good DVD release. I'll definitely be getting it.
Old 06-25-05, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Second Guest
Excellent news! I have it on LD, but of course it's been re-titled "Scrooge" for those of us too ignorant to know what "A Christmas Carol" is, and has a made-for-TV introduction by Patrick Macnee which always makes me wince, so I've been waiting for years to see a good DVD release. I'll definitely be getting it.
Actually, it was originally titled "Scrooge" but then it was retitled "A Christmas Carol" in the US for those of us too ignorant to know what "Scrooge" is.
Old 06-25-05, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by garlandtaylor
From Davis DVD:

Perennial Christmas favorite Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, is being released by BBC Video on September 27th. Adapted from Charles Dickens' beloved "A Christmas Carol," the 1951 film has been restored and remastered to its original black-and-white glory.
It's already available in B&W. The current Region 1 DVD from VCI Home Video comes in 3 forms: Colorized, B&W, and Both. Granted the new features and transfer are definitely welcome. I'll more than likely double-dip.
Old 06-26-05, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
Actually, it was originally titled "Scrooge" but then it was retitled "A Christmas Carol" in the US for those of us too ignorant to know what "Scrooge" is.
Seriously?! Well that's just weird. I guess I'm still a little indignant over the flap about the first "Harry Potter" movie having to be retitled for the U.S. since we ignorant Yanks couldn't possibly be interested in a film about a "philosopher's" stone.

Anyway, thanks for setting me straight.
Old 06-26-05, 09:48 PM
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I don't like movies about philosophers - that's boring. I like sorcerers!
Old 06-27-05, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by joliom
I don't like movies about philosophers - that's boring. I like sorcerers!
Hmmm. That's probably just a Hawaiian thing.
Old 06-29-05, 12:35 AM
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Now this is really good news.... I always support VCI as much as I can. They've always struck me as trying to do good jobs on public-domain titles (like And Then There Were None and The Southerner), which can be a thankless task, and I don't think they received enough praise for their fine release of Bunuel's Robinson Crusoe. But Scrooge is the kind of masterpiece that deserves much better treatment than VCI is able to give.
Old 06-29-05, 10:43 AM
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According to some posts over at HTF, the DVD releases of this have all been missing a few seconds from the very beginning when the book is removed from the bookshelf. It will be interesting to see if this is intact on their version. It really at least a very good adaption of the story, the best in my opinion.

Also agree with VCI's efforts on PD titles. Their release of Jean Renoir's The Southener is quite good, not Criterion quality but very watchable and as far as I know the only DVD release of this film.
Old 07-12-05, 11:14 PM
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Looks like this new BBC release has been cancelled?

At least, according to http://dvdlist.kazart.com/DVDList2.php
Old 07-13-05, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
Looks like this new BBC release has been cancelled?
I thought I remembered reading (Video Business?) that BBC Video didn't properly have the rights to release this title. I searched on their website but couldn't find a link.
Old 07-15-05, 01:23 AM
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and just to compare the old covers

Old 09-12-05, 01:45 AM
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So what was the official word on the cancellation of this? It was one of the titles I was really anticipating, so I was saddened to see it cancelled.
Old 09-25-05, 03:50 AM
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i totally missed that this was cancelled....just read it over at HTF....WTF.

I got rid of my old copy....now i'm bummed
Old 09-25-05, 10:57 AM
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I'd also read that the release was cancelled, so why am I at this very moment looking at an ad for it at the top of the DVD Talk page? "Coming Soon", it says. Sadly, it links to an error page at Amazon. I too am bummed. Humbug.
Old 09-27-05, 06:09 PM
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i keep seeing that pop up as well...weird
Old 10-10-05, 02:39 PM
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I just picked up this version of A Christmas Carol today ....... http://www.morningstarent.com/mornin...407f7a39e3.jpg

This is really bizarre. It's not the BBC version , but similar to the BBC version it appears hard to track down on online dvd order sites or was possibly cancelled. It contains the Scrooge (UK Version) and A Christmas Carol (US Version) + a 10 page booklet, original theatrical trailer and restoration comparison. Has anyone seen this "Emerald Edition" for sale anywhere else? I got it in Atlantic Canada and it says a "product of Canada" on the packaging and released by Morningstar Entertainment.

This just came out on 10/04/2005. I checked other american and canadian order sites and can't seem to find this version. Anyone have more info on how it came to be?

I should also not that I played a few minutes of the "Scrooge" version and immediately following the scene where Scrooge tells the kids singing in front of his business "be off with you" there's a few second pause before the next scene where we see Crachit putting his pen down and warming his hands. I tried playing the "A Christmas Carol" version and this does not happen. Could possibly be a branching problem? Doesn't see to really matter anyway, because the movies have the same running time , so it appears they are probably identical unless someone knows of any differences.

I'm not sure of the running time of other DVD releases, but this version is 86 minutes and the dvd claims that 3 mins have been added back into the movie that have not been present since the original theatrical release.
Old 10-11-05, 12:08 AM
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strange indeed...who does BBC distro in canada....if this disc contains the same content as are cancelled disc, then i'm gonna order.
Old 10-13-05, 06:13 PM
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Warner is the distrubutor of BBC products here in Canada, also.
Old 10-13-05, 06:25 PM
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I just purchased this DVD online. I just hope it's not a complete waste of money, and is some sort of improvement over the VCI release.

There also seems to be UK Region 2 special edition coming out on November 14th, 2005. This edition includes:

Audio commentary from George Cole
Exclusive interview
'Traditions Of Christmas' featurette

I may have to get this one as well.

Last edited by garlandtaylor; 10-13-05 at 06:48 PM.
Old 10-13-05, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by garlandtaylor
I just purchased this DVD online. I just hope it's not a complete waste of money, and is some sort of improvement over the VCI release.

There also seems to be UK Region 2 special edition coming out on November 14th, 2005. This edition includes:

Audio commentary from George Cole
Exclusive interview
'Traditions Of Christmas' featurette

I may have to get this one as well.
Please keep us updated on both these releases. I don't think I'd like to go through another Christmas without a definitive DVD release of this film. It's one of the few films that helps me make it through the crass commercialism that has become Christmas.
Old 10-21-05, 07:09 AM
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The Canadian Morningstar Edition (2005)

Originally Posted by stickz2
I just picked up this version of A Christmas Carol today ....... http://www.morningstarent.com/mornin...407f7a39e3.jpg

This is really bizarre. It's not the BBC version , but similar to the BBC version it appears hard to track down on online dvd order sites or was possibly cancelled. It contains the Scrooge (UK Version) and A Christmas Carol (US Version) + a 10 page booklet, original theatrical trailer and restoration comparison. Has anyone seen this "Emerald Edition" for sale anywhere else? I got it in Atlantic Canada and it says a "product of Canada" on the packaging and released by Morningstar Entertainment.

This just came out on 10/04/2005. I checked other american and canadian order sites and can't seem to find this version. Anyone have more info on how it came to be?

I should also not that I played a few minutes of the "Scrooge" version and immediately following the scene where Scrooge tells the kids singing in front of his business "be off with you" there's a few second pause before the next scene where we see Crachit putting his pen down and warming his hands. I tried playing the "A Christmas Carol" version and this does not happen. Could possibly be a branching problem? Doesn't see to really matter anyway, because the movies have the same running time , so it appears they are probably identical unless someone knows of any differences.

I'm not sure of the running time of other DVD releases, but this version is 86 minutes and the dvd claims that 3 mins have been added back into the movie that have not been present since the original theatrical release.
I just got this Canadian-made "Emerald Edition" (i.e. 55th anniversary) from local store Bay Street Video in Toronto. It's reasonably priced. The booklet explains that it was collated from 7 different prints, comprises more than 700 edits and was electronically cleaned up. It is between 86 and 87 minutes long.



The picture branches into the US or British opening titles at the viewer's choice. The rest of the film is exactly the same in both versions, which makes the "American" version somewhat longer than it used to be since it is in fact the longer British version which we are used to seeing on TV in Canada. The American version had been cut by three minutes and didn't show the "want and poverty scene", which was deemed Communist propaganda by U.S. censors at the time (1951) and still packs a solid punch today. [God forbid that good McCarthy-era Republican children's ears be exposed to that firebrand socialist Charles Dickens' progressive social ideas about child labour and public education in 1843 England!]

Note of interest: The uncensored, longer British version was eventually re-titled "A Christmas Carol" for British television. It must have been called "Scrooge" to begin with for fear of litigation by MGM or, at least, confusion with the 1938 MGM film. These fears were allayed when the film was successfully marketed under that name in the US by United Artists, who actually capitalized on the name recognition.

The picture is on the whole "clean enough", although rather dark and high-contrast, as it is made from a choice of surviving prints rather than the original negative elements. Blacks are deep but detail is sometimes problematic. The edits from one picture source to the other are sometimes audible in the soundtrack even if they are not visible to the naked eye.The electronic improvement has been solely to remove some of the most outrageous vertical lines (though enough were left in to distract the most entranced viewer) and dust specs and scratches. Missing frames, like the pulling out of the book in the intro and the filing of an account book for the year 1835 in a later scene, were restored.

Three positive points: The picture has been stabilized frame-to-frame; the bit rate is very high; and the 1.33:1 picture is nicely "pillar-boxed" to compensate for the overscanning of most TV sets. This useful feature also prevents my widescreen rear-projection TV from showing jagged edges in progressive scanning mode.

Some scenes could still use improvement but the general look of the film is uniform and tolerable. The other scenes look absolutely gorgeous, of course, and this 1951 version of the story is "definitive" in the sense that it has the best acting, the best artistic vision, the best overall concept, the best historical recreation, the most flawless and graceful staging, the most serious tone and the most uncompromising "crash-course in basic Christian principles".

The 2.0 mono sound here is the real problem. It is hollow and full of bumps and skips and the occasional crackling artefact. In the scenes where the ghosts speak in an echoing voice, the hollowness of the soundtrack is most pronounced and irritating. There are no subtitles. The sound is clear enough, though, to make out that Richard Addinsell wrote a very fine, intricate and varied score and that the sound effects were truly ahead of their time but the whole thing should have been subjected to the same professional treatment MGM did on "The Ghoul" (1933) which shows a truly amazing sound restoration by an outfit called Sonic Solutions, which probably doesn't come cheap. Tape hiss, however, is generally absent or hard to notice.

I guess Morningstar saw a need when the BBC project fell through and patched it up with this homemade job as best they could, which is "better than nothing". The "before and after" demo is instructive but badly put together and runs so long one wonders if what we are seeing in the sample is not the whole of the restoration effort. It is in no way comparable to the Canadian (Alliance Atlantis) edition of "It's A Wonderful Life", which was not electronically restored but made from the original negative, THX-certified and contained many interesting extras. I'm still glad I bought this version. It's certainly one of the better versions available and appears to be a genuine labour of love.

See this page for product info:
http://www.morningstarent.com/mornin...e=view&id=1500 [Please note that there is no "enteractive" trivia quizz, except for the "Did You Know" section of the booklet. Please also note that I paid much less than the suggested retail price and that we're talking Canadian dollars. Is is for sale on the www.amazon.ca site under the mention "available 18/10/05" on this page http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/...511594-7551514
See this page for retail outlets:
http://www.morningstarent.com/morningstar/site.php?p=30

Last edited by baracine; 10-24-05 at 11:08 AM.

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