Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Carry On Christmas: Review by William Mortensen Vaughan

TitleCarry On Christmas
My Rating*

AdaptationStarring Sid James as Ebenezer Scrooge
 
Date ReleasedWednesday, December 24, 1969


Format:  DVD,
live-action, film

Is this adaptation reverentNo, this adaptation is not reverent; it's bawdy, and seems to mock Christians.  For example, Scrooge throws the contents of his chamber pot on a nun and her Christmas carolers.  Also, Bob Cratchit prays a humorous, irreverent prayer, and disapproves of the humorous answer he receives.


Does it include the phrase, "God bless us..."No.

What does my wife think of it
She hates it.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  This adaptation does not follow the original novel
very well.

For one, thing, there is no Jacob Marley.  Instead, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows up with several balls and a chain.  He shows Scrooge a vision of Dr. Frank N. Stein, to whom he refused to lend money to finish his monster.  Count Dracula serves as his assistant, instead of Igor, and he takes some of Dr. Jekyll's forumula.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is a petite blonde lady, with whom Scrooge attempts to have sex.  She shows him a vision of a poet named Robert (Bolling?) who dies trying to elope with his girl friend.

The Ghost of Christmas to Come shows Scrooge another vision - of Cinderella.

Scrooge wakes up and decides to mend his ways, so he takes a chamber pot full of his money outside, and offers it to a woman, who has a Bobby arrest him for soliciting her.

What dialect is used?  Plain English.

When and where does this adaptation take place?  London, during Queen Victoria's reign.


Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel?  No.

Is this adaptation supernatural? 
Yes, this adaptation is supernatural, featuring three ghosts and time travel.
 
Is this adaptation "framed"
No.

What original musical numbers and/or dance routines are includedThere are two Christmas carols:  "The First Noel" and "Good King Wenceslas."  Scrooge blows up the first group of carolers, with a bomb, leaving only their shoes with smoke pouring out of them.  The second group is a nun with four schoolgirls (played by elderly men), on whom he throws the contents of his chamber pot.

How attractive is the visual art?  The set, wardrobe, architecture, and art are good, including signs in excellent calligraphy.  There are three main sets:  the streets outside Scrooge's office and quarters, Scrooge's office, and his private chamber upstairs.  There are also three sets for the visions:  Dr. Frank N. Stein's laboratory, the bedroom of Robert's girl friend, and Cinderella's kitchen.

How creative and instense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another?
  The transitions are fair, involving mostly cameras cutting to the next scenes.  For the bombing scene, an explosion is heard; smoke rises from the bottom edge of the screen until it covers the screen; when the smoke clears, the camera zooms in on the smoking shoes.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, the absence of reverance.  Also notable, is the number of feminine costumes worn by elderly men.  This adaptation also has one of the Ghosts of Christmas in chains as if he were Marley, but this is not unique; the Sesame Street adaptation shows something very similar.


What extras are included on the DVDThree other Carry On Christmas shows are included on the DVD.

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