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A Christmas Carol [DVD] [1938]

SKU:9448788
Release Date:11/08/2005
Rating:
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.
$9.99

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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




    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.