Scrooge (1970 film): Wikis


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Scrooge movie poster
Directed by Ronald Neame
Produced by Robert H. Solo
Written by Charles Dickens (novel, A Christmas Carol)
Leslie Bricusse
Starring Albert Finney
Alec Guinness
Edith Evans
Kenneth More
Michael Medwin
Laurence Naismith
Music by Leslie Bricusse
Cinematography Oswald Morris
Editing by Peter Weatherley
Distributed by National General Pictures
Release date(s) November 5, 1970 (U.S. release)
Running time 113 min.
Language English

Scrooge is a 1970 musical film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 1843 story, A Christmas Carol. It was filmed in London, directed by Ronald Neame, and starred Albert Finney in the title role. The film's musical score was composed by Leslie Bricusse, and arranged and conducted by Ian Fraser. With eleven musical arrangements interspersed throughout (all retaining a traditional British air about them), the award-winning motion picture is a faithful musical retelling of the original, with one exception noted below. The film was widely praised with Albert Finney winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971.


Cast of Characters


  • A Christmas Carol - opens the film. It is sung by a chorus over the opening credits about the joys of caroling. An instrumental bit in the middle is a medley of Christmas Carols.
  • Christmas Children - sung by Bob Crachit and his children walking home while shopping in the market area.
  • I Hate People - Scrooge's song on his way home from work.
  • Father Christmas - a comic relief song performed by a group of urchins following Scrooge right after his "I Hate People" song.
  • See the Phantoms - a brief, dark song sung by Marley as he and Scrooge fly through the dark sky, surrounded by phantoms.
  • December the 25th - a rousing jig at Fezziwig's party.
  • Happiness - sung by the love of Scrooge's life, Isabel, while they enjoy each other's company.
  • You...You - sadly muttered by the older Scrooge, watching himself let Isabel go.
  • I Like Life - belted out by the Ghost of Christmas Present and an at first reluctant Scrooge.
  • The Beautiful Day - performed by Tiny Tim for his family.
  • Thank You Very Much - Scrooge is unaware that he is seeing his own funeral in the future (his coffin is brought out of his office with his back turned). He finds everyone who owes him money, led by hot soup man Tom Jenkins, singing and dancing on his coffin, "thanking" him for dying and cancelling their debts. A flattered Scrooge joins in, not knowing they're rejoicing over his death. This song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
  • I'll Begin Again - Scrooge's song of redemption when he wakes up, relieved to be alive.

The finale is a huge medley of reprises. First, Scrooge marches through the streets singing I Like Life, then dons a Father Christmas outfit and is paraded through town by the kids singing a happier version of Father Christmas. Following that is a massive reprise of Thank You Very Much performed by Scrooge, Tom Jenkins and the entire town, delighted and grateful at the lender's profound change of heart at having announced cancellation of everybody's debts. Finally, Scrooge goes home and speaks to Marley through his doorknocker (which the spirit had appeared in earlier), even dressing it in his costume hat and beard. Scrooge thanks his partner for all the help and then leaves to prepare for Christmas dinner with his family. A chorus sings a reprise of A Christmas Carol as the film draws to a close with views of the dressed-up doorknocker and a wish of "Merry Christmas".

A soundtrack album containing all the songs from the film was issued on Columbia Records in 1970. Due to legal complications, however, the soundtrack has never been re-released in the CD format.

Soundtrack listing

  1. Overture
  2. A Christmas Carol
  3. Christmas Children
  4. I Hate People
  5. Father Christmas
  6. See the Phantoms
  7. December the Twenty-Fifth
  8. Happiness
  9. A Christmas Carol (Reprise)
  10. You....You
  11. I Like Life
  12. The Beautiful Day
  13. Happiness (Reprise)
  14. Thank You Very Much
  15. I'll Begin Again
  16. I Like Life (reprise)
  17. Finale: Father Christmas (Reprise) / Thank You Very Much (Reprise)
  18. Exit Music (Bonus Track)


Overall, the film was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the UK, one Golden Laurel award, four Oscars,[1] and five Golden Globes in the U.S.A., in which Albert Finney won for The Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971. Finney was only 34 years old at the time he was chosen to play both the old miser and the young man Scrooge of flashback scenes, but his performance was widely praised by the critics and the public. Several critics, however, found fault with Leslie Bricusse's score.[2][3]

Academy Award nominations

A number of well-known British actors appear in the film, such as Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley's ghost, Dame Edith Evans as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Kenneth More as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Original aspect

Though the film was given a very mild "U" (Universal Audience) rating in the UK and a "G" (General Audience) rating in the U.S., one rather original aspect of this version of the story is a departure from the novel during the visit of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in an unusual extension of the graveyard scene. In a nightmarish sequence, the ghost shows its face (the face of Death) to Scrooge who falls backwards, screaming, through his own open grave, through a seemingly bottomless shaft, and into the very bowels of Hell. He wakes up in a coffin-shaped crater and meets Marley, who tells him of his appointment as Lucifer's personal clerk and shows him to his icy, rat-infested office. The frightened Scrooge's massive chain then arrives on the backs of several burly, hooded "demons" who wrap it around him, fairly immobilizing him, amid his futile cries to Marley for help. This scene is often edited or censored from television airings (and even some home video releases of the film, though the current Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs retain the sequence).

However, as frightening as the scene sounds, Alec Guinness's performance as Marley here is dryly comic, and lends an aspect of humor to it (e.g. Marley's answer to Scrooge asking him if he is dead "as a coffin nail", of where they are: "I should have thought it was obvious", of why he is there to welcome him: "Nobody else wanted to", of his comments on Scrooge's chain: "It's even bigger than I thought." and "That's quite a ponderous chain." and Scrooge's pleas for help: a deadpan "Bah humbug" and a "Merry Christmas" before the door is shut).

Stage adaptation

In 1992, a stage musical adapted from the film, featuring the Bricusse/Fraser songs and starring Anthony Newley, was mounted in the U.K. under the title Scrooge: The Musical.

The show was revived in 2003 on a tour of the country by British song & dance man Tommy Steele, and he again reprised the role at the London Palladium in 2004 -making him the performer to have done the most shows at the Palladium. In 2007, Shane Ritchie played the part at the Manchester Palace.

See also


  • New York Times Movie Reviews [1]
  • Roger Ebert.Com [2]

External links



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