Underrated Christmas Films:Scrooge (1970)/Albert Finney

Scrooge, the 1970 film starring Albert Finney is a musical version of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.”  The link to Dickens you might have guessed by the name.  If you and your kids sing show tunes–if you haven’t heard “Let it Go” enough, you’ll like this musical.

There have been dozens of versions of this very famous book, and most of them are quite good.  From depictions by George C Scott, Bill Murray and the Muppets, there is a wide range of depictions for every taste.  The 1970 musical is for music loving romantic nostalgics.

The songs are all meaningful and catchy, unless they are meant to just be expressive. The story follows the Dickens manuscript fairly and the actors, though most of them unknown, deliver their performances without the cheesiness you expect from live action films with invalid children singing songs.  The atmosphere is great.  A recreation of Dickens timeline without the drab removal of color you see in many recreations.

The 1970 version of Scrooge also manages to do something that very few telling of A Christmas Carol does on film–it gives you some empathy for the main character, allows you to connect to him when he was younger and more optimistic, and helps you understand why he might be worth redemption.  AT THE SAME TIME — like in Dickens book, it shows you what would happen without him.  If you don’t enjoy when all the people who owe Scrooge money sing “Thank you very much!”–go back to animated movies.

This is a great family movie.  My family has watched it every year for more than 3 decades.  We still sing “Thank you very much” to each other all the time- even when it’s not Christmas.

I personally like the focus on gratitude and happiness being rebuilt in the main character.  It’s what the spirit of Christmas should bring.  It’s what is missing in commercialism and humanism of modern celebrations of the season.

I’d be very interested in how you like the film if you watch it.


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