Scrooge (1935 film)
Film Title Frame
|Directed by||Henry Edwards|
|Produced by||Julius Hagen|
|Written by||H. Fowler Mear
Charles Dickens (novel)
|Starring||Sir Seymour Hicks
|Music by||W.L. Trytel|
|Editing by||Ralph Kemplen|
Twickenham Film Studios(United Kingdom)Paramount Pictures(United States)
78 minutes63 minutes (edited version)
Scrooge is a 1935 British fantasy film directed by Henry Edwards and starring Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop and Robert Cochran. Hicks appears as Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who hates Christmas. It was the first sound version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, not counting a 1928 short subject that now appears to be lost. Hicks had previously played the role of Scrooge on the stage many times beginning in 1901, and again in a 1913 British silent film version.
||This section possibly contains original research. (June 2012)|
The 1935 film differs from all other versions of the story in one significant way – most of the ghosts, including that of Jacob Marley, are not actually shown onscreen, although their voices are heard. Only the Ghost of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche) is actually seen in full figure – the Ghost of Christmas Past is a mere shape with no discernible facial features, Marley's Ghost is seen only briefly as a face on the door knocker, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is just an outstretched pointing finger.
Why the film was made this way remains unclear; it is obviously not because British filmmakers could not achieve special effects, since we do see Marley's face superimposed on Scrooge's door knocker.
Another aspect making this film different from other versions of the story is that Seymour Hicks plays both the old and young Scrooge, rather straining the credulity of the audience, since by this time, the sixty-four-year-old actor was visibly too aged to convincingly play a young man.
The story is also severely truncated, even more than in the 1938 MGM film version, although the 1935 version is actually slightly longer. Much time is spent at the beginning of the film – before any of the ghosts appear – setting up the atmosphere of rich and poor London. Scrooge's sister Fan and Fezziwig are completely omitted from this version.
This is the first of only two sound versions in which Tiny Tim is actually seen lying dead. In the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come sequence Bob Cratchit grieves at Tim's bedside. The 1999 Patrick Stewart version also contains this scene.
Maurice Evans appears briefly as a man harassed by Scrooge to pay his debts. Donald Calthrop portrays a Bob Cratchit who bears an uncanny physical resemblance to John Leech's illustrations of the character in the original 1843 edition of the novel.
Also, copyright for this film was never renewed and therefore it is in the public domain and can be shown on multiple stations in a market. For years it was kept out of circulation, due to the extremely poor quality of most of the surviving prints. In the past few years, it has been remastered.
- Sir Seymour Hicks – Ebenezer Scrooge
- Donald Calthrop – Bob Cratchit
- Robert Cochran – Fred
- Mary Glynne – Belle
- Garry Marsh – Belle's husband
- Oscar Asche – Spirit of Christmas Present
- Marie Ney – Spirit of Christmas Past
- C.V. France – Spirit of Christmas Future
- Athene Seyler – Scrooge's charwoman
- Maurice Evans – Poor man
- Mary Lawson – Poor man's wife
- Barbara Everest – Mrs. Cratchit
- Eve Gray – Fred's wife
- Morris Harvey – Poulterer with Prize Turkey
- Philip Frost – Tiny Tim
- D.J. Williams – Undertaker
- Margaret Yarde – Scrooge's laundress
- Hugh E. Wright – Old Joe
- Charles Carson – Middlemark
- Hubert Harben – Worthington
- Scrooge at the Internet Movie Database
- Scrooge is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]