Movie Review: Scrooge (1970)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1970 musical starring Albert Finney and Edith Evans.

Synopsis: A musical re-telling of the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol,” about a rich old miser that hates Christmas and, as a result of efforts by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, is visited by three spirits that attempt to get him to change his ways before it is too late and he is forced to spend an eternity in chains. The movie was directed by Ronald Neame.

Who's in it?


Scrooge was designed as a follow-up to 1968's Oliver, the Oscar-winning musicalization of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. The umpteenth musical version of Dickens' 1843 novelette...

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A Decent Holiday Movie

I wasn’t really planning on watching any Christmas movies yesterday afternoon. However, I couldn’t find anything good on TV and, since it had been a long while since I saw this particular movie, I decided to give it a chance. And, for the most part, I did enjoy myself.

I honestly wasn’t overly impressed with the musical aspect of this film. The songs just weren’t that catchy and made the movie drag on a bit more than I normally prefer. In fact, I don’t think they added a whole lot to the film in general and it probably would have been slightly better had the writers not made it a musical.

That being said, I did think this was a decent movie and a big part of the reason for this is Finney’s performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. I’ve seen a variety of actors in that role but Finney is easily one of the best. He played Scrooge in a way that not only made him easy to dislike, he was actually kind of scary in the process. The latter made him much more intimidating, something that made many of the scenes considerably better as a result (there's nothing worse than a Scrooge that just doesn't strike fear into people).

I was also somewhat impressed by the special effects in this movie. They were actually pretty sophisticated for a film that was released 44 years ago and some of the scenes, such as when Scrooge is with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Paddy Stone) and pushed into Hell, were much more intense as a result of them. In fact, there were some scenes that made me glad my daughter wasn’t watching this with me.

Hallmark Holiday Collection Movie 4 Pack (Trading Christmas, Lucky Christmas, Case For Christmas,...

Hallmark Holiday Collection Movie 4 Pack:Trading ChristmasLucky ChristmasCase For ChristmasNational Tree

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Final Opinion

As I said before, I do think this movie would have been considerably better without the song and dance numbers. However, even with those in it, it is still one of the better film adaptations of this story that I have seen and one I would recommend watching if you are looking for classic holiday movies to watch. I would just caution against watching this one with younger children.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 03/02/2016, StevenHelmer
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