Balladeer’s Blog’s TENTH Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues!
THE MERCURY THEATER PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL – In 1938, the same year as the Mercury Theater’s legendary War of the Worlds radio broadcast, came this presentation of the Dickens classic.
By December 23rd, the date of the Christmas Carol broadcast, the radio show had gained a sponsor and was technically called Campbell Playhouse, but the Mercury Theater affiliation was still well-known.
I prefer the 1938 Mercury Theater version to the 1939 version. In 1938 Orson Welles narrated AND played Ebenezer Scrooge, while in 1939 Welles narrated but the venerable Lionel Barrymore, in poor health, limped along as Scrooge. It’s not Barrymore’s fault, of course, but that is why the 1939 version edits down Scrooge’s lines so much to spare Lionel. Filler material was thrown in at the end to pad out the on-air performance since so much was cut. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual orgy of versions of the Dickens classic as Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2019 resumes!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) – Don’t be misled by the 1984 date, this is neither the George C Scott version NOR the French TV version which I first reviewed years ago. This is a taped stage performance that aired on Ohio Public Television station WNEO on December 22nd, 1984.
Just to give you an idea of the psychotically obsessive lengths I sometimes go to to track down these obscure versions of the Carol: Years ago when I bought this it was one of the many productions not available on video. Nor was it to be found on E-bay or Amazon or any of the usual outlets.
By emailing various staff members at Kent State University (whose theatre department mounted this version) I eventually reached a kind individual. He stated that, though the university did not have copies of the production for sale he would ask around on the KSU faculty’s exclusive chat boards to see if anyone had a copy they may have taped off television back in 1984. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s 9th Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this song from the 1970 musical Scrooge.
Balladeer’s Blog’s 9th Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues!
Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!
In the middle 1980s, way down on Level 31 Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class hosted this neglected cult show.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: December 14th, 1985 to the best that can be determined.
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie our members of the Film Vault Corps showed and mocked a chapter of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).
In that serial Ming the Merciless unleashes a disease called the Purple Death on Earth, prompting Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr Zarkov to fly to the planet Mongo to find a cure and defeat Ming for good.
HOST SEGMENTS: None have been unearthed for this episode yet. As always if any other fans of this show have any info they would like to share feel free to contact me – see my About page for details.
We’ve come a long way toward tentatively reconstructing a tiny bit of this show’s history over the past few years so hopefully more memories will be jogged.
MOVIE: Continue reading
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2017 comes to a close with this eeriest of all the versions to date!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2012) – This adaptation of A Christmas Carol was a noble effort to try something different that was not just a gimmick. Ignore the negative IMDb reviews which accuse this adaptation of using “Elizabethan language.” They’re off by a few hundred years, since in reality the dialogue follows that in the Dickens novel of 1843.
This 2012 version of A Christmas Carol boasts absolutely beautiful cinematography. Its emphasis is on the eerie nature of the story and has the look of a horror film much of the time. It has assorted flaws which I’ll cover as we go along but I almost hate having to cover the negative aspects of such a brave experiment.
I will take a hundred creative attempts like this, which may fall short but are trying something new, over one more soulless item which updates the story to the modern age but has no emotion to it. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s Eighth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues!
SCROOGE (1935) – This is the notoriously cheapjack and rushed version of A Christmas Carol.
It is almost unwatchable if you’re not a lover of bad movies like I am. And we are talking lame, lame LAME! Continue reading
Before you know it Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2017 will be over so let’s cram in as much as we can before the 25th. Here’s another individual song from one of the many versions of A Christmas Carol that I’ve reviewed over the years. From Scrooge (1970) it’s Thank You Very Much, which SHOULD have been sung by Bob Cratchit but instead goes to the guy from the Schizoid Man episode of The Prisoner.