Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Last week Betsy at My Five Men posted an homage to her favorite version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. That classic version is a favorite with me as well but I must say that my absolute favorite version is the 1970 musical aptly titled, Scrooge, starring Albert Finney as the cantankerous old Ebenezer. I have to watch this version every year and am preparing to watch again this weekend. This version has captivated me since I was a wee girl and draws me into Dickens' London like none other. I did a bit of digging on this adaptation and found a very interesting fact about the movie score. That old familiar song, Thank you very much, indeed received an academy award nomination for best original song. And here I thought that song had been around for much longer. The scene above is where Ebenezer so jubilantly joins in on the rousing rendition of this great song as the crowd takes to the streets in a spectacular choreographed funeral march, all the while Mr. Scrooge is completely oblivious to the minor detail that it is in fact his death that they are celebrating with such enthusiasm. I might add that if you recognize the actor portraying Tom Jenkins, the character leading the rendition and dancing on top of Scrooge's coffin, it is none other than legendary British actor Anton Rodgers, former star of the British comedy series, May to December.

Below is a listing of all the great numbers in the movie:

Overall, the film was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the UK, one Golden Laurel award, four Oscars, and five Golden Globes in the U.S.A., in which Albert Finney won for The Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy in 1971. Finney was only 34 years old at the time he was chosen to play both the old miser and the young man Scrooge of flashback scenes, but his performance was widely praised by the critics and the public.

A number of well-known British actors appear in the film, such as Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley's ghost, Dame Edith Evans as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Kenneth More as the Ghost of Christmas Present....( my personal favorite ghost:^)...Rebecca)

(from Wiki)

A Christmas Carol - opens the film. It is sung by a chorus over the opening credits about the joys of caroling. An instrumental bit in the middle is a medley of Christmas Carols.

Christmas Children - sung by Bob Crachit and his children walking home anticipating Christmas morning.

I Hate People - Scrooge's song on his way home from work.

Father Christmas - a comic relief song performed by a group of urchins following Scrooge right after his "I Hate People" song.

See the Phantoms - a brief, dark song sung by Marley as he and Scrooge fly through the dark sky, surrounded by phantoms.

December the 25th - a rousing jig at Fezziwig's party.

Happiness - sung by a young Scrooge and Isabel, while they enjoy each other's company.

You...You - sadly muttered by the older Scrooge, watching himself let Isabel go.

I Like Life - belted out by the Ghost of Christmas Present and an at first reluctant Scrooge.

The Beautiful Day - performed by Tiny Tim for his family.

Thank You Very Much - Scrooge is unaware that he is seeing his own funeral in the future. He finds everyone singing and dancing on his coffin, "thanking" him for dying. This song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

I'll Begin Again - Scrooge's song of redemption when he wakes up, relieved to be alive.

The finale is a huge medley of reprises. First, Scrooge marches through the streets singing I Like Life, then dons a Father Christmas outfit and is paraded through town by the kids singing a happier version of Father Christmas. Following that is a massive reprise of Thank You Very Much performed by the entire town, delighted and grateful at the lender's profound change of heart. Finally, Scrooge goes home and speaks to Marley through his doorknocker, which the spirit had appeared in earlier. Scrooge thanks his partner for all the help and then leaves for Christmas dinner with his family. A chorus sings a reprise of A Christmas Carol as the film draws to a close.

Enjoy the clip....


Betsy said...

Oh Rebecca...I think I've only seen this once and many years ago! I had completely forgotten about it...and thank YOU very much...this song will now be stuck in my head all day! tee-hee!...ok...I'm off now...singing!

willow said...

You know, no matter what version, the Fezziwig's party is always a delight! It's been ages since I've seen this one. Thanks for the reminder. Gotta see if my library has it...

Rebecca said...

This version has so many songs that get stuck in my head but "Thank You Very Much" has to be the most addictive..I also like "Father Christmas" and "December the 25Th"...

Willow, The Fezziwig party is great when they're playing that game, "The Minister's Cat".. So funny...