Monday, February 20, 2017

Orson Welles' Radio Version of A Christmas Carol: Review by William Mortensen Vaughan

Christmas and A Christmas Carol
TitleA Christmas Carol
My Rating**

AdaptationStarring Fredric March
Date ReleasedSunday, December 24, 1939

Format:  DVD,
audio recording with slide show

Is this adaptation reverentYes, this adaptation is reverentIt is, essentially, an audible version of the novel.

Does it include the phrase, "God bless us..."?  Yes, Tiny Tim  says, "God bless us, everyone!"

What does my wife think of it
She's not impressed.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  This adaptation follows the original novel
fairly well.  It has Orson Welles and Lionel Barrymore reading/quoting the text from the novel for a radio show.

My copy of this adaptation is an extra, included on a DVD titled Christmas and A Christmas Carol, a documentary about Christmas in general, with an emphasis on how Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol, influenced it.  

Overall, the DVD seems unprofessional and poorly edited.  There are scenes with no logical explanations as to what the viewer is looking at, or even why the footage is included.

A slideshow is included with the audio recording of Orson Welles' radio adaptation of A Christmas Carol, with historic illustrations from or related to the novel, but they are not placed or timed with any logical correlation to the words heard while the images are on the screen.

What dialect is used?  Plain English.

When and where does this adaptation take place?  London in the 1800's.

Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel?  No.

Is this adaptation supernatural? 
Yes, this adaptation is supernatural, featuring four ghosts and time travel.
Is this adaptation "framed"

What original musical numbers and/or dance routines are includedNo music is included.

How attractive is the visual art?  The illustrations are adequate, but should have been placed in correlation to the words heard while the images are on the screen.

How creative and instense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another?
  The transitions are an audible version of those in Dickens' text.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, the lack of correlation to the illustrations.

What extras are included on the DVDThis adaptation is the extra on this DVD.

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