When I was in elementary school, the 1970 movie Scrooge had a release during the holiday season. I first saw it on a school movie day, where all of us basically took a day off to watch a movie on the big screen. The movie stars Albert Finney as Scrooge and was directed by Ronald Neame. Alec Guinness is also in this movie as Jacob Marley. You want some classically trained British acting, you got it!
The movie was also a musical. Many of the songs resonate in my mind to this very day: “Thank You Very Much,” “I Hate People,” and “Father Christmas” specifically. Why these songs aren’t in regular rotation on the SiriusXM Holly Channel, I don’t know. The movie scored Academy Award noms for Best Original Song (“Thank You Very Much”, losing to… “For All We Know” by Lovers and Other Strangers) and Best Original Song Score, as well as Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
It also had some of the most terrifying scenes ever to expose a young child to.
Horror movie ghosts floating above London…
The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come exposing his face to reveal a spooky skeleton underneath….
Scrooge actually going to Hell and being chained up by masked shirtless dudes ….
This last one is sort of a novelty. There are plenty of A Christmas Carol adaptations that have spooky ghosts. This might be the only one, outside of ones directed perhaps by David DeCoteau, with shirtless buff dudes.
Every time I see this movie in syndication, they always cut these scenes. For the longest time I wondered if I imagined the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come showing his grisly face was all in my overactive imagination. I didn’t help that every single other A Christmas Carol adaptation doesn’t show they guy’s face, either. So… was this some sort of Candle Cove situation and I had a mental break where I imagined spooky skeletons?
When I learned about what happened, it taught me a hard lesson in censorship.
The movie is both one of the most delightful adaptation of A Christmas Carol and also one of its most creepy. You me took this all into heart, and probably this is why current me still considers this his favorite A Christmas Carol adaptation.
The entire movie can be viewed on YouTube currently, complete with all the scenes that are Too Hot for TV!