“Seymour Hicks plays the title role in the first sound version of the Dickens classic about the miser who’s visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. This British import is notable for being the only adaptation of this story with an invisible Marley’s Ghost and its Expressionistic cinematography. This is the uncut 78 minute version.
Scrooge is in the public domain, and you can download it here for free:
Timeless Classic Movies on Jul 31, 2012
“Scrooge” is a 1935 British film directed by Henry Edwards featuring Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who hates Christmas. It was the first sound version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, not counting a 1928 short subject that now appears to be lost.
Hicks had played the role of Scrooge on the stage many times beginning in 1901, and again in a 1913 British silent film version. The 1935 film differs from all other versions of the story in one significant way – most of the ghosts, including that of Jacob Marley, are not actually shown onscreen, although their voices are heard. Only the Ghost of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche) is actually seen in full figure – the Ghost of Christmas Past is a mere shape with no discernible facial features, Marley’s Ghost is seen only briefly as a face on the door knocker, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is just an outstretched pointing finger.
Why the film was made this way remains unclear; it is obviously not because British filmmakers could not achieve special effects, since we do see Marley’s face superimposed on Scrooge’s door knocker. Another aspect making this film different from other versions of the story is that Seymour Hicks plays both the old and young Scrooge, rather straining the credulity of the audience, since by this time, the sixty-four year old actor was visibly too aged to convincingly play a young man.
Maurice Evans appears briefly as a man harassed by Scrooge to pay his debts. Donald Calthrop portrays a Bob Cratchit who bears an uncanny physical resemblance to John Leech’s illustrations of the character in the original 1843 edition of the novel.
Directed by Henry Edwards, produced by Julius Hagen, written by H. Fowler Mear
Charles Dickens (novel), starring Sir Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, Robert Cochran, Mary Glynne, Garry Marsh, Oscar Asche, Marie Ney and C.V. France.
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