My attempt to review a different version of Dicken's classic tale, "A Christmas Carol," for everyday of Advent.
Twenty-four days. Twenty-four adaptations. One story.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Year One. Day Twenty-Three: "A Christmas Carol" (1910)
Day Twenty-Three of my Advent Christmas Carol Challenge:
"A Christmas Carol" (1910)
This silent film adaptation of the novella is believed to be the
earliest surviving film version ever made, (although two were made
before, both are thought to have been lost.)
It is an interesting prospect to watch a silent version of the story. So
much of the spirit of the adaptations I have seen so far depend upon
the unforgettable dialogue to capture the spirit of Dickens' work.
Marc McDermott plays Scrooge - a once staggeringly prolific Australian
actor who would go on to feature in over 180 films. It's hard and
perhaps unfair to judge his performance, as silent film acting is so
different to acting nowadays. However, he was very popular during his
career so presumably he was doing something right.
utilises some very early special effects for the ghosts, which was
surprising and very welcome to see, and the version I watched had some
enjoyably jaunty music to accompany it.
The film runs at a
breakneck 10 minutes, meaning that there's no chance for any real depth
to the tale. However, it is clear that this adaptation was not really
meant to tell the story, as it is far too brief to properly explain it;
it is more a way of filming the novella for those who already knew it
(who, much like today, would have been most people.)
has nothing to offer that other versions did not do better, it is still
an irresistible viewing experience to see a film that is over a hundred
years old, and for that reason it is more of a historical curio than a
classic version of the story.