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JLFM's Movie Reviews (152)

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Scrooge (1970) 
A Healthy Dose of Christmas Cheer
3/4 stars

There have been dozens of adaptions of A Christmas Carol over the years. Some better than others, but with each bringing something new or interesting to the beloved story. Now, I don't consider myself to be an authority on A Christmas Carol- I haven't read the book, and I certainly haven't seen all of the movies. But I can say with certainty that Scrooge will likely please even the grouchiest of humbugs.

You know the story: An old grump named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts representing the past, present, and future respectively. They have come so that Scrooge might see the error in his ways, and redeem himself before he permanently dooms himself in the afterlife.

Scrooge does everything a Christmas movie should do. It provides a Christmas-y atmosphere, it references plenty of Christmas carols, and it leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside when the film ends. If you love Christmas, you will more than likely enjoy yourself while watching Scrooge.

Something worth noting is that Scrooge is a musical, and therefore has a large number of songs. Though some merely consist of characters saying rhyming dialogue without even singing. The songs are generally likable, though I found many to be forgettable, and one was borderline annoying ("Thank You Very Much"). The only song that really stands out is "Christmas Children," which is a beautiful song that perfectly captures the feeling of Christmas. Also notable is "A Christmas Carol" which opens the film during the opening credits.

The performances are solid all around. Albert Finney is especially impressive as the title character, Scrooge, perfectly selling the old miser, despite only being 34 at the time of this film. A performance that often gets overlooked, despite it being really excellent is Alec Guinness as Marley's ghost. Also very notable is Edith Evans (Christmas Past), Kenneth More (Christmas Present), David Collings (Bob Cratchit), and Richard Beaumont (Tiny Tim).

The score, composed by Leslie Bricusse (who also wrote the songs and the screenplay) is appropriately Christmas-y, but not especially memorable. Then again, most of the score is covered with lyrics, as there is little music without song.

Scrooge is not a perfect movie. It has some small pacing issues, not all of the songs are good, and I suppose one could say that this film is pretty cheesy. And yet, I would be lying if I didn't say that I definitely cried at the end. Yeah, Scrooge has some problems, but when a film fills you up with so much Christmas cheer as this one did, it's relatively easy to forgive its few problems.

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