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A Christmas Carol 1908
Description: Scrooge goes into his office and starts working. His nephew, along with three girls who want for Scrooge to donate enter. However, Scrooge dismisses them. On the night of Christmas Eve, his long-dead partner Jacob Marley comes as a ghost, warning him of a horrible fate if he does not change his ways.
Released: 09 Dec 1908 Director: N/A Writers: Charles Dickens (short story) Actors: Tom Ricketts Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Short
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A Christmas Carol Reviews:

We can only wonder how the globe of literature (and indirectly of movies) might have changed had not Charles Dickens wandered past a cemetery one day and noticed an weatherbeaten tombstone on which was carved "Scrooge. Miser. Died without a Friend" With just that as a foundation his writers imagination soared and he gave us a novel which is loved to this day.Many filmmakers also found a challenging subject in the short novel and movie ver of the famous storyline started popping up early in film history. Thomas Edison got there first and the first person to enjoy Ebeneezer Scrooge was Charles Ogle, the Edison stock company user who would go on to be the first Frankenstein creature just 2 years later.We all know the story, but Edison's ver was just one reel and so a lot had to be dropped. Gone is Scrooge's nephew and Bob Crachit is nowhere to be seen but it's the ghosts we care about, right? Well they are there in all their surrealist glory. Edison "borrowed" some techniques from Georges Melies as the spirits teach the miserly Ebeneezer his lesson. Double and even triple exposures, which were pioneered by Edison photographer Edwin S. Porter in shorts like DREAMS OF A RAREBIT FIEND in 1906, are used to the fullest here. Okay so the results are a tiny bit creaky today, I'll bet folks should not take their eyes of the screen back in 1908! The visions of Scrooge's past life and his bleak future are still quite nice and performances are better than average.People used to todays overabundance of CGI will probably tell "Humbug!" to this oldie but I for one still play it very much. Give it a try, and don't wait for next Christmas to check it out.


It is impossible to praise this movie too highly. It reproduces the storyline as closely as it is possible to do in a movie and the technical excellence of the work cannot be questioned. The photography, the staging and the acting are all of the best, and the storyline said is everytime impressive. The stage where the tiny woman is the only one who will love the old boy is touching and brought the tears to more than one pair of eyes in the audience. Such movies cannot be too highly commended. They are a welcome relief from the riot of bloodshed which has marred the moving picture shows of Fresh York and another towns far too long. Even though it costs a fortune almost to prepare such a film, it is quite likely that the public will patronize it sufficiently to create nice the extraordinary outlay. – The Moving Picture World, January 2, 1909


The history of "A Christmas Carol" and of the films that have been made of it and adapted from it is fascinating, but it did not start with Charles Dickens ever seeing a tombstone with the name "Scrooge" on it. Dickens was touring children's work houses and slums in preparation for writing a series of articles on poverty and social abuses of the terrible in England when the concept for the storyline hit upon him. Not as colourful as storyline as the tombstone, but it shows that Dickens's main purpose to start with was not just to write about the redemption of an unlovable boy but to create a larger comment on the materialism and social injustices of his time.As for the moves, I personally think the 1938 and 1951 versions are by far the best, not only because they share Dickens's social conscience, but because the characters and caricatures replicate Dickens's writing so well, and visually they look like the original illustrations. They really knew how to do Dickens in those days!



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