"Humbug Not to Be Spoken Here"
My Rating: **
Adaptation: Starring Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha, and Charles Lanes as Jessie Mortimer, "the Scrooge"
Date/Year of Release: Thursday, December 21, 1967
Format: VHS, animated TV episode
Is this adaptation reverent? No, this adaptation is not particularly reverent. It includes Santa Claus, and panders to commercialism.
Does it include the phrase "God bless us...?" No.
Does it mention "God" or "Christ"? No.
What does my wife think of it? She think it's one of the "dumbest shows" she has ever seen.
How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens? This adaptation does not follow the original novel very closely. The scene is set when Darrin's boss (Dick York and David White, respectively) tries to impress Jessie Mortimer (Charles Lane) enough to win a $500,000 contract by having Darrin work late on Christmas Eve. Darrin refuses, and loses the contract.
Darrin's wife, who puts the "witch" in "Bewitched," pays Mr. Mortimer a visit in his bedroom on Christmas Eve, identifying herself to him as a witch, and taking him, on a broomstick decorated for Christmas, to visit her friend in the North Pole, Santa Claus (Don Beddoe).
Then Santa takes them for a ride in his sleigh, as he delivers Christmas presents. He shows Mr. Mortimer how happy his employee, Hawkins (Martin Ashe) is, even though he's poor.
The next day, Mr. Mortimer appears at Darrin's front door with a Christmas present and an apology.
What dialect is used? Plain English.
When and where does this adaptation take place? The U.S.A., circa 1970
Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel? No.
Is this adaptation supernatural? Yes, it includes witchcraft, and Santa Claus.
Is this adaptation "framed"? No.
What original musical numbers and/or dance routines are included? This adaptation is not musical.
How attractive is the visual art? The set and wardrobe are adequate.
How creative and instense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another? The transitions are poorly done. The characters look stiff during the broomstick and sleigh flights, as if sitting still while snow is blown past them with a fan.
What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation? The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, how much emphasis is placed on Santa Claus, and how little emphasis is placed on Mortimer and Hawkins. Mortimer's cold heart is turned, just by seeing Hawkins playing happily with his wife and child, even though he's poor.
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