A Christmas Carol [DVD] [1938]

  • SKU: 9448788
  • Release Date: 11/08/2005
  • Rating: NR
Edwin L. Marin's A Christmas Carol (1938), produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Gene Lockhart and Reginald Owen, has been given very respectful, if not overly ambitious treatment by Warner Home Video on DVD. The movie has been transferred (in full-screen, 1.33-to-1) about as well could be expected, and then some, with the image looking sharper and richer than it did in a showing of a new 35mm print that this reviewer saw some 25 years ago, and the sound is crisp and bright and clean as well, bringing out the profound subtleties of Franz Waxman's score. (Even the original trailer, hosted by Lionel Barrymore, looks exceptionally good, which is not always the case with materials such as that). The 70-minute movie has been given a very generous 18 chapters, The movie is supported by a trio of featurettes -- "Jackie Cooper's Christmas Party" and "Judy Garland Sings 'Silent Night'" are enjoyable pieces of studio self-promotion, though they're not in as good condition as the movie itself. The bonus feature that is in beautiful shape is the Hugh Harman-produced cartoon "Peace On Earth", a cautionary anti-war story that probably would have been considered subversive if it had been made a few years later, but is no less relevant today, nearly 70 years later. These features are easy to access through a simple multi-layered menu that opens automatically on start-up.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (17 out of 17)

Special Features


  • 2 festive vintage featurettes: Jackie Cooper's Christmas Party and Judy Garland Sings "Silent Night"
  • Classic Oscar®-nominated*
  • Cartoon Peace on Earth
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis


A Christmas Carol
For a generation of radio fans, Lionel Barrymore was the definitive Ebeneezer Scrooge. Alas, Barrymore was crippled by arthritis by the time MGM got around to filming Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1938, so the Scrooge role went to contract player Reginald Owen - who, though hardly in the Barrymore league, does a splendid job. Hugo Butler's screenplay must make some adjustments from the source material. The Ghost of Christmas Past, for example, is played not by a robust middle-aged man but by a beautiful young woman (Ann Rutherford). Impeccably cast, the film includes such reliable character players as Leo G. Carroll (Marley's Ghost), Barry McKay (Scrooge's nephew Fred) and Gene and Kathleen Lockhart (Bob and Mrs. Cratchit). The Lockhart's teenaged daughter June makes her screen debut as one of the Cratchit children, while Terry Kilburn is a fine, non-sentimental Tiny Tim. Commendably short for a major production (69 minutes), MGM's Christmas Carol is one of the best adaptations of the oft-filmed Dickens Yuletide classic, and definitely on equal footing with the more famous 1951 Alastair Sim version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Reginald Owen
    Reginald Owen - Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Gene Lockhart
    Gene Lockhart - Bob Cratchit
  • Kathleen Lockhart
    Kathleen Lockhart - Mrs. Cratchit
  • Leo G. Carroll
    Leo G. Carroll - Jacob Marley
  • Terry Kilburn
    Terry Kilburn - Tiny Tim



Customer rating

5.0
100%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Christmas Movie & Bonus!

    Posted
    kevman79

    Of all the film adaptations of Charles Dickens' 'Christmas Carol,' It is my opinion that the 1951 British version starring Alastair Sim is the best. However, this 1938 rendition starring Reginald Owen, would be my second favorite. And it looks just breathtaking here on this re-mastered dvd that is well worth the buy. Even better, is that the animated short 'Peace On Earth,' which was nominated for an oscar, is included here, and it amazes me how relevant its subject matter still is today. Highly Recommended!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic Christmas movie finally on Blu-Ray

    Posted
    KISSALIVE75
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    It's nice to see this Classic Christmas movie on Blu-Ray. It has good picture and sound with good extras. It was kind of odd to see the Judy Garland extra of her singing Silent Night on this movie.. I would have thought it would show up on one of her movies. But, good to have it here. Just wish it was longer. If you don't own this movie yet, this would be the format and time to get it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Movie

    Posted
    cruiser50
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is the all time great Christmas Carol movie cause it is the original. None of the remakes can compare with the actors in this movie. I watch this over and over during the Holiday season. Is by far one of my favorite movies.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Something old, something new.

    Posted
    Tarus
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I grew up watching this movie as a kid. The last 2 years it has been hard to find it on TV anymore. So I bought this Blu-ray having not to wait to see it on TV. The remastered old version to Blu-ray is outstanding.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Transfer of an old Classic

    Posted
    KISSALIVE1975
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This movie looks great on Blu-Ray. It looks as good as a movie from this era is going to look. The sound is good, as well. An interesting Extra is Judy Garland singing Silent Night as well as the Trailer for the movie.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Classic Version

    Posted
    RickyRicardo
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Best version of A Christmas Carol! The cast is superb, especially Reginald Owen as Scrooge. This adaptation has a wonderful atmosphere that newer versions just can't match.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great B&W Movie

    Posted
    JeremyS
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This is a classic holiday movie and one of the best versions of A Christmas Carol out there. It's black and white but still amazing! Reginald Owen is great as Scrooge!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Bah Humbug!

    Posted
    soundlover
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Love this version of the classic holiday movie . Good quality on DVD. There are several versions and this is a favorite.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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