Saturday, 1 December 2012


1970, Ronald Neame, 114 mins.

A musical version of the Dickens classic.

This attempt to cash-in on the success  of Oliver isn’t in the same league, largely because Leslie Bricusse isn’t Lionel Bart and Ronald Neame isn’t Carol Reed. However, the material is just about impossible to spoil and the film, while wildly inconsistent and boasting a mediocre song score, has numerous virtues. The chief one is Albert Finney whose performance as Scrooge is serious and thoughtful, which is essential if the material is going to work and make his eventual transformation dramatically satisfying. There’s a strong supporting cast amongst which Edith Evans, Kenneth More and Alec Guinness stand out – the latter’s camp take on the role is particularly good value in the added scenes in hell towards the end – and the best musical number features Anton Rogers making the most of “Thank You Very Much” as he dances on Scrooge’s coffin.

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