Scrooge (1970 film)
Theatrical release Poster by Joseph Bowler
|Directed by||Ronald Neame|
|Produced by||Robert H. Solo|
|Screenplay by||Leslie Bricusse|
|Story by||Charles Dickens (novel)|
|Music by||Leslie Bricusse|
|Editing by||Peter Weatherley|
|Studio||Cinema Center Films|
|Distributed by||National General Pictures|
|Running time||113 minutes|
Scrooge is a 1970 musical film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 1843 story, A Christmas Carol. It was filmed in London, directed by Ronald Neame, and starred Albert Finney in the title role. The film's musical score was composed by Leslie Bricusse, and arranged and conducted by Ian Fraser. With eleven musical arrangements interspersed throughout (all retaining a traditional British air about them), the award-winning motion picture is a faithful musical retelling of the original, with one exception noted below. The film received limited praise, but Albert Finney won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971.
The film received four Academy Award nominations. It is the only live-action version of the story to be nominated for Oscars.
Cast of Characters 
- Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge
- Alec Guinness as Marley's ghost
- Edith Evans as Ghost of Christmas Past
- Kenneth More as Ghost of Christmas Present
- Paddy Stone as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
- David Collings as Bob Cratchit
- Frances Cuka as Mrs. Cratchit
- Richard Beaumont as Tiny Tim
- Michael Medwin as Scrooge's nephew
- Mary Peach as Nephew's wife
- Gordon Jackson as Nephew's friend
- Anton Rodgers as Tom Jenkins
- Laurence Naismith as Fezziwig
- Kay Walsh as Mrs. Fezziwig
- Suzanne Neve as Isabel
- Derek Francis as portly gentleman
- Roy Kinnear as portly gentleman
- Geoffrey Bayldon as toyshop owner
- Molly Weir as woman debtor
- Helena Gloag as woman debtor
- Reg Lever as Punch and Judy man
- Keith March as well wisher
- Marianne Stone as party guest
- A Christmas Carol - opens the film. It is sung by a chorus over the opening credits about the joys of caroling. An instrumental bit in the middle is a medley of Christmas Carols.
- Christmas Children - sung by Bob Crachit and his children walking home while shopping in the market area.
- I Hate People - Scrooge's song on his way home from work.
- Father Christmas - a comic relief song performed by a group of urchins following Scrooge right after his "I Hate People" song.
- See the Phantoms - a brief, dark song sung by Marley as he and Scrooge fly through the dark sky, surrounded by phantoms.
- December the 25th - a rousing jig at Fezziwig's party.
- Happiness - sung by the love of Scrooge's life, Isabel, while they enjoy each other's company.
- You...You - sadly muttered by the older Scrooge, watching himself let Isabel go.
- I Like Life - belted out by the Ghost of Christmas Present and an at first reluctant Scrooge.
- The Beautiful Day - performed by Tiny Tim for his family.
- Thank You Very Much - Scrooge is unaware that he is seeing his own funeral in the future (his coffin is brought out of his office while his back is turned). He finds everyone who owes him money, led by hot soup man Tom Jenkins, singing and dancing on his coffin, "thanking" him for dying and cancelling their debts. A flattered Scrooge joins in, not knowing they're rejoicing over his death. This song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
- I'll Begin Again - Scrooge's song of redemption when he wakes up, relieved to be alive.
The finale is a huge medley of reprises. First, Scrooge marches through the streets singing I Like Life, then dons a Father Christmas outfit and is paraded through town by the kids singing a happier version of Father Christmas. Following that is a massive reprise of Thank You Very Much performed by Scrooge, Tom Jenkins and the entire town, delighted and grateful at the lender's profound change of heart at having announced cancellation of everybody's debts. Finally, Scrooge goes home and speaks to Marley through his doorknocker (which the spirit had appeared in earlier), even dressing it in his costume hat and beard. Scrooge thanks his partner for all the help and then leaves to prepare for Christmas dinner with his family. A chorus sings a reprise of A Christmas Carol as the film draws to a close with views of the dressed-up doorknocker and a wish of "Merry Christmas".
Soundtrack listing 
- A Christmas Carol
- Christmas Children
- I Hate People
- Father Christmas
- See the Phantoms
- December the Twenty-Fifth
- A Christmas Carol (Reprise)
- I Like Life
- The Beautiful Day
- Happiness (Reprise)
- Thank You Very Much
- I'll Begin Again
- I Like Life (Reprise)
- Finale: Father Christmas (Reprise) / Thank You Very Much (Reprise)
- Exit Music (Bonus Track)
The film was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the UK, one Golden Laurel award, four Oscars, and five Golden Globes in the U.S.A., in which Albert Finney won for The Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971. Finney was only 34 years old at the time he was chosen to play both the old miser and the young man Scrooge of flashback scenes, but his performance was widely praised by the critics and the public. Several critics, however, found fault with Leslie Bricusse's score.
- Academy Award nominations
- Best Art Direction (Terence Marsh, Robert Cartwright, Pamela Cornell)
- Costume Design (Margaret Furse)
- Best Original Song
- Best Score
A number of well-known British actors appear in the film, such as Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley's ghost, Dame Edith Evans as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Kenneth More as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Original aspect 
Though the film was given a very mild "U" (Universal Audience) rating in the UK and a "G" (General Audience) rating in the U.S., one rather original aspect of this version of the story is a departure from the novel during the visit of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in an unusual extension of the graveyard scene. In a nightmarish sequence, the ghost shows its face (the face of Death) to Scrooge who falls backwards, screaming, through his own open grave, through a seemingly bottomless shaft, and into the very bowels of Hell. He wakes up in a coffin-shaped crater and meets Marley, who tells him of his appointment as Lucifer's personal clerk and shows him to his icy, rat-infested office. The frightened Scrooge's massive chain then arrives on the backs of several burly, hooded "devils" who wrap it around him, fairly immobilizing him, amid his futile cries to Marley for help before finding himself back in his own home. This scene is often edited or removed from television airings (and even on some home video releases of the film, though the current Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs retain the sequence).
Stage adaptation 
The show was revived in 2003 on a tour of the country by British song and dance man Tommy Steele, and he again reprised the role at the London Palladium in 2004 -making him the performer to have done the most shows at the Palladium. In 2007, Shane Ritchie played the part at the Manchester Palace. The musical was revived at London Palladium in October 2012 with Steele reprising the role. It will run till January 5, 2013.
See also 
- "NY Times: Scrooge". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
- Canby, Vincent (1970-11-20). "'Scrooge' Varies Ritual In Version at Music Hall". The New York Times.[dead link]
- "Scrooge". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Tommy Steele brings Scrooge back to Palladium from 24 Oct