Advent Calendar 2017! - Day 17



Version: An American Christmas Carol (1979, dir. Eric Till)

So here's a weird one: a modern America-based adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Luckily, the Scrooge/urchin scene survived the adaptation process. I'm glad that this iconic moment in literature is clearly so universal. This is quite a good version of the scene but it's ever so slightly off-kilter. The costume design for example is good in some places, like Scrooge's big ugly robe, but in others it just misses the mark. There's a really amazing urchin cap in this scene but unfortunately it isn't the one on the urchin's head. Instead it's perched on the head of the back-up urchin, who provides a nice vocal harmony on the words 'Christmas Day!'

Scrooge's performance is also kinda weird. He's wearing old age make-up that makes him look like Miracle Max from The Princess Bride, and his voice can't really decide what accent to go for, but his date reaction is delightfully overblown. I like that the soundtrack kicks it at the exact moment he goes from confusion to joy. This is an adaptation that uses every tool in the cinematic toolbox. The framing of the shots is just a bit weird too, like they were struggling to get good angles out of that window and past the car.

It should also go without saying that I take issue with the fact it doesn't adapt the buying of the turkey from the urchin, instead cutting off after the big date reveal. Then again, this is a modern version, so he could probably just order a prized turkey the size of Tiny Tim to be delivered from Tesco. Does America have Tesco? Does 1979 have Tesco?

Framing 5 out of 10.
Scrooge's Reaction To The Date 9 out of 10.
Urchin Accent 6 out of 10.
Window Height 8 out of 10.
Scrooge Nightgown Quality 8 out of 10.
Urchin Cap Quality 7 out of 10.
Final Score 7.1 out of 10. A surprisingly high score considering it doesn't even adapt the whole scene.