Old Scrooge
A Christmas Carol (1913):
Review by
William Mortensen Vaughan
As of: 10:25 a.m. E.S.T., Monday, April 10, 2017

A Christmas Carol (1913)
Title:   Old Scrooge/A Christmas Carol

My Rating:  **

Adaptation: 1913 adaptation, starring
Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge

Year Released: 1913 (U.K.); re-released in 1926 (U.S.A.) - not to be confused with Scrooge (1935), also starring Seymour Hicks

Format Reviewed: live-action, black and white, "silent" film, on DVD

Is this adaptation reverent?: [TBC]

Does it include the phrase, "God bless us..."? [TBC]

What does my wife think of it? She thinks it's creepy. She's not fond of silent films, since most, if not all of the actors seen in them, have passed away.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens? This adaptation does not follow the original novel very well; it seems like an abridged version, although it starts with Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit in Scrooge's office. Fred comes to invite Scrooge to dinner. Then a woman comes to ask for a charitable donation; then a man comes to ask for a charitable donation. Jacob Marley's ghost appears to Scrooge in his office, precluding any need for a street, tavern, or home scene. Jacob Marley also shows Scrooge visions of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, precluding the need to have other ghosts visit him.

What dialect is used? (Not applicable)

When and where does this adaptation take place? Victorian London.

Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel? No.

Is this adaptation supernatural? Yes, this adaptation is supernatural, with a ghost and time travel or visions.

Is this adaptation "framed"? No.

What original musical numbers and/or dance routines are included? There is background music, but no song and dance routines are included, in this adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

How attractive is the visual art? The visual art is poor. Scrooge appears to be a bum dressed in rags. At times, dust seems to form a cloud around him, as if he were Pig Pen in the Peanuts cartoons, by Charles M. Schulz.

How creative and instense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another? The transitions are poorly done. Jacob Marley visits Scrooge in his office, and shows him the visions the Ghosts of Christmas would have, as if in holograms, created by double exposure.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation? The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, the exclusion of the Ghosts of Christmas, and having Marley visit Scrooge in his office, instead of Scrooge going home after work. Also, that Scrooge resembles Pig Pen...

What extras are included on the DVD? No special features are available on the DVD.

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