Friday, November 29, 2013

An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler[Blu-ray]

An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler[Blu-ray]Henry Winkler proves his acting ability in this American version of the Dickens classic. One will actually forget that he was 'The FONZ' and will be amazed at his transformation from nice guy to mean guy back to nice guy. The general feel of this movie, though, is grey. That's the best way to describe it. But then, it was a bleak grey time in American history, with the Great Depression and all. When Dickens originally wrote the book, it was a grey time in England's history as well, so the subdued feeling one gets while watching this 'modern' version fits in well with the spirit of the original story.

A nice twist (sorry, Oliver!) to a true classic.

By the way, for my money, the finest original version out there is the George C. Scott version followed closely by Alistair Sim.

First time i saw this movie was 1985 on television. Henry Winkler was excellent! Actually, the whole cast was great. I spent 17 years trying to locate this movie. You won't find it in a video store, at least where i live. And they don't show it on regular t.v. anymore. It is a MUST HAVE if you collect christmas movies.

Buy An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler[Blu-ray] Now

"A Christmas Carol" may well be the most-adapted Christmas story in literature, with version ranging from whimsical to musical to deadly serious. This particular version, starring Henry Winkler as Benedict Slade (a.k.a. Scrooge) is my favorite.

The movie translates Dickens' classic story from 19th century England to Depression-era New England. The result is very effective. For me, an American born to parents who grew up in the Depression, the 20th century setting made the story feel very real. The writers and director made excellent decisions in their choice of sets. Three notable examples were the New England furniture factory as the setting for Slade's youth, the newly-conceived idea of consumer credit as the source of his subsequent wealth and avarice, and the choice of an African-American as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come ("You must be Future," Slade declares, cowering before him).

Winkler's performance is brilliant. He captures the essence of Slade perfectly, and makes the gradual transformation from miser to redeemed man seem natural and believable. The scene at the Thatcher (a.k.a. Cratchit) household at the end of the film never fails to bring tears to my eyes and those of my family. The supporting cast performs ably as well, making this a Christmas classic that one can watch every year.

"An American Christmas Carol" debuted in 1979, midway through Winkler's popular "Happy Days" television series run. After a few years of reruns, it disappeared from view until recently, when it became available on DVD and video. I heartily recommend it for your holiday DVD collection.

Read Best Reviews of An American Christmas Carol, actor Henry Winkler[Blu-ray] Here

If you already have (and love) the Alistair Sim version (Scrooge, 1951), the Reginald Owen version (1938) and Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (no, I'm not kidding, it's beautifully done), this will be an interesting film for comparison.

Two good points stand out for this version of Dicken's classic Christmas story:

1) Since it is an adaptation, set in a different time and place from the original (Depression-era New England), deviations from the text and basic plot-line, are not as bothersome as they are in the films that adapt the story in "Dickensian" England.

2) Henry Winkler, who, at the time, was playing against his well-known Fonz character, gives an excellent characterization to the Scrooge-like Benedict Slade.

George C. Scott and Albert Finney give detailed performances as Scrooge in their version, and the films that feature them have good production values -and, in the case of the Finney version a couple of good songs -but the deviations in text in the Scott version and the added material in the Finney version (Scrooge in hell -what?) are both unnecessary and more than a little annoying.

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One of the best "Scrooge" movies, a very creative adaptation.

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