Tag Archives: A Christmas Carol

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SCROOGE (1983)

Gospel According to Scrooge 2This entry for Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2016 is a true oddity. It’s not so much a “love it or hate it” version of the Dickens classic so much as it’s a “like it or ridicule it” version, due entirely to the forced religious slant.

The Gospel According to Scrooge is a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol – one which continues to be performed to this very day at various Christian venues around the country. This very first performance was televised in December of 1983 on the Trinity (as in Holy Trinity) Broadcasting Network.

Gospel According to Scrooge 3I have a hard time forcing myself to be as rough on Christianity as I used to be, given the atrocities committed by Muslim fanatics on a daily basis and the way in which the world grovels for those same Muslims, all the while that same world pretends to be “daring” and “iconoclastic” by relentlessly bashing Christians and Jews. Uh. Yeah. Gutless hypocrites.

At any rate since I’m a non-believer in all the world’s religions I laugh my ass off whenever I watch The Gospel According to Scrooge, but committed Christians will probably like this Carol for all the same reasons that someone like me laughs at it.   Continue reading

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THE CHRISTMAS CAROL (1949)

1949 A Christmas CarolTHE CHRISTMAS CAROL (1949) – This relic from the VERY early years of television was a syndicated production. It was also one of THREE productions of the Carol to hit the airwaves in 1949.

This version’s biggest claim to fame is the on-screen presence of a bearded (despite the picture to the right) Vincent Price as the story’s narrator. For my fellow bad movie geeks the one and only Robert Clarke portrays Nephew Fred to Taylor Holmes’ Scrooge.

Price is the very best element of the production, which is so haphazard that it repeatedly presents Scrooge’s first name spelled “Ebeneezer” instead of “Ebenezer” like it should be.

All things considered, this is a reasonable (but bland) presentation given its brief 25 1/2 minute running time and technical limitations. With no special effects the tableau of Marley’s Ghost walking through a solid door is accomplished by Continue reading

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THE ENERGY CAROL (1975)

Energy CarolWATCH IT BEFORE IT GETS TAKEN DOWN AGAIN!

During past Christmas Carol-A-Thons I’ve reviewed The Energy Carol, a Canadian educational short which adapts the theme of A Christmas Carol to energy conservation.

It was taken down from Youtube years ago but I just noticed it was posted again.

TO WATCH IT, CLICK Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982): THEA MUSGRAVE’S OPERA

thea-musgrave

Get it right this time or I’ll squeeze your balls like THIS!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982) – Balladeer’s Blog’s 2016 edition of my annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this EXPANDED look at the great Thea Musgrave’s opera version from Granada Television video in 1982.

Musgrave was British and in my opinion she was one of the few masters of opera from the late 20th Century. The world premier of this most accessible of Thea’s works was on December 16th, 1981 at the Norfolk Center Theater. That Norfolk, VA production was by the Virginia Opera Association.

Later the opera debuted at the Royal Opera House in the U.K. and at the State Opera House in Australia.   Continue reading

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READ-ALONG CHRISTMAS CAROL (1995)

Fezziwig's Christmas Party

Fezziwig’s Christmas Party

Balladeer’s Blog’s Seventh Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues!

It’s the time of year when I examine countless adaptations of the Dickens classic from television, movies, radio and elsewhere! As always new versions will be sprinkled in with the old standards.

Here is a look at the 1995 home video Read-Along Christmas Carol This version is just 50 minutes long and is ideal for youngsters learning how to read or for the hearing-impaired to watch.

The video features a series of still drawings AND limited animation from the Dickens classic accompanied by word-balloons of dialogue (like in comic books or comic strips) appearing over the characters’ heads.

This version provides an Continue reading

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PATRICK STEWART’S ONE-MAN PERFORMANCE OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1988)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: PATRICK STEWART’S ONE-MAN STAGE SHOW (1988) I’ll come right out and admit it – I’ve always been a sucker for any version of A Christmas Carol. Trouble is, most adaptations distort the story or are produced by people who don’t seem to “get” the story or treat it like it’s a children’s tale. Anyone who thinks that needs to read the novel.

My love of mythology is partly why I love the story so much. A Christmas Carol is the closest thing to an Epic Myth the Industrial Age has produced. The language Dickens uses is very close to prose poetry but precious few adaptations of the story preserve enough of it.

That brings us to Patrick Stewart’s one-man stage presentation of A Christmas Carol. (NOT the made-for- tv movie he did on TNT) Stewart does all the voices and pretty much all the sound effects and his presentation is magnificent. It’s NOT a book-on-tape, it’s  Patrick Stewart acting out the story by himself, like he did on Broadway in the Continue reading

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EBENEZER (1998)

EbenezerBalladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2016 continues with the 1998 telefilm Ebenezer, the only version of the Dickens classic to feature a whorehouse! Well, as long as you don’t count whatever underhanded business Scrooge and Marley are running in the Alastair Sim version. (I’m kidding!)

Previously Balladeer’s Blog has reviewed The Trail to Christmas, a version of A Christmas Carol adapted to the American West of the 1800s. Ebenezer adapted the Dickens novel to the wild west of Canada in the 1800s, which adds an extra layer of novelty to this production. Casting Jack Palance as Ebenezer Scrooge was the real strength of this adaptation!  

Palance’s Scrooge is a miserly and crooked saloon owner while Bob Cratchit (Albert Schultz) is his much-abused bartender. Rick Schroder (yes, Rick Schroder) portrays gun-slinging Sam Benson, a character unique to this version and Tiny Tim is played by Joshua Silberg. Continue reading

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