Citizen Kane

If you are reading this to hear me say “it’s overrated” then you have come to the wrong place. Some say it’s the best film ever made…I will not argue that statement. I have watched this 1941 film at least 8 times and have enjoyed it every single time. Before I watched this movie I had read all the accolades the movie received through the years. This is one of the few movies that lived up to them.

Orson Welles is the most natural actor in this movie I’ve ever seen. He IS Charles Foster Kane.

The camera work is still fantastic and holds up to this day and it’s been copied over and over. The below floor level shots and others make it a beautiful film to watch. You can see this movie’s influence in a countless number of movies that followed.

Orson based his character off of William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, actress Marion Davies. That fact brought Orson trouble that would haunt him. Hearst owned everything at that time…newspapers and businesses across the globe and had as much influence as a person could have. He didn’t care too much for this movie because it was too close for comfort. If you ever get the chance…see the documentary “The Battle Over Citizen Kane.”

He stopped advertisements in his newspapers and did everything in his power to stop and sabotage the film.

Orson made some great movies after this but never…to me reached this pinnacle again. That is really unfair because I don’t think anyone has reached this high again.

The plot? The movie, unlike other movies at the time, starts at the end. The mighty Charles Foster Kane dies but before he does he utters one last word “Rosebud” and everybody tries to find out what he meant by that. Reporters will go interview everyone in his life trying to find the answer and all the while…Kane’s story is being told. One of the lines in the movie is “I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life.” That is true but it’s what “Rosebud” represents that helps make this movie great.

The movie flows so well from beginning to end.

When the silent movie era ended…the first “talkies” were clumsy with the actors/actresses overacting with their theater training. The studios were also using bulky cameras and microphones that left the scenes stationary. This movie ended all of that. Citizen Kane changed the cinema for good. Up until this movie, we got the same old shots, stiff acting, theater makeup, and mediocre music scores… You couldn’t get by with that anymore after this movie.

Is it the best movie ever? That is subjective but for me, the answer is…yes.

 

Here is the cast from Wiki

Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland, Kane’s best friend and a reporter for The Inquirer. Cotten also appears (hidden in darkness) in the News on the March screening room.

Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander Kane, Kane’s mistress and second wife.

Agnes Moorehead as Mary Kane, Kane’s mother.

Ruth Warrick as Emily Monroe Norton Kane, Kane’s first wife.

Ray Collins as Jim W. Gettys, Kane’s political rival for the post of Governor of New York.

Erskine Sanford as Herbert Carter, editor of The Inquirer. Sanford also appears (hidden in darkness) in the News on the March screening room.

Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein, Kane’s friend and employee at The Inquirer.

William Alland as Jerry Thompson, a reporter for News on the March. Alland also voices the narrator of the News on the March newsreel.

Paul Stewart as Raymond, Kane’s butler.

George Coulouris as Walter Parks Thatcher, a banker who becomes Kane’s legal guardian.

Fortunio Bonanova as Signor Matiste, vocal coach of Susan Alexander Kane.

Gus Schilling as John, headwaiter at the El Rancho nightclub. Schilling also appears (hidden in darkness) in the News on the March screening room.[8]

Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Rawlston, News on the March producer.[8]

Georgia Backus as Bertha Anderson, an attendant at the library of Walter Parks Thatcher.[8]

Harry Shannon as Jim Kane, Kane’s father.[8]

Sonny Bupp as Charles Foster Kane III, Kane’s son.

Buddy Swan as Charles Foster Kane, age eight.

Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy newspaper publisher

 

20 Famous Duos

Many times you cannot think of one person without thinking of the other. That is true for many on this list. From Lennon – McCartney to Romeo and Juliet. It was a lot of fun coming up with these famous duos. Here are a few in no order…

 

1.  Lennon and McCartney – The most influential Rock/pop writing duo

The Beatles - It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught ...

2.  Andy Griffith and Don Knotts – Andy and Barney…Great comedic timing between the two…with Andy being the straight man.

20 wonderfully irrelevant Andy Griffith Show conversations

3.  Jack Klugman and Tony Randall – The Odd Couple

TV's 'Odd Couple' in the '70s: Jack Klugman & Tony Randall as ...

4. Abbott and Costello – Who’s on first? Great comedy team. I still like Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein

From the Archives: Lou Costello, Famed Comedian, Dies at 52 - Los ...

5. Belushi and Aykroyd – The Blues Brothers and part of the first cast of SNL

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion ...

6. Orville and Wilbur Wright – Credited as creating the first motorized plane.

Orville and Wilbur Wright: The Brothers Who Changed Aviation ...

7. Jagger and Richards – The Stones Glimmer Twins

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, NYC, 1972 | Bob Gruen

8. Simon and Garfunkel – American folk-rock duo

You made me look like a fool': inside Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge ...

9. Laurel and Hardy – They made over 100 short and feature movies combined.

Laurel and Hardy – Three Shorts

10. Martin and Lewis – The hottest act in the 50s.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin's 20-Year Feud - Comedy Duo Jerry ...

11. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak – The Apple architects.

Are You A Steve Jobs Or A Steve Wozniak? » Leaderonomics.com

12. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield -Ben and Jerry’s  I’ll take some Cherry Garcia, please.

Ben & Jerry's Unveils "Pecan Resist" Flavor Ahead of Midterm ...

13. Phil and Don Everly – Two voices blended as one

Video: Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers dies at 74 (updated ...

14. Gerry Goffin and Carole King – Two of the top songwriters in the 60s.

Gerry Goffin | The Times

15. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall – Laverne and Shirley

The most famous women duos in pop culture - Insider

16. Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker – Infamous Bonnie and Clyde

Police kill famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde - HISTORY

17. David Duchovny and  Gillian Anderson – Mulder and Scully from the X-Files

Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder Will Pick Up Their Badges Again

18. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith – Jay and Silent Bob

Kevin Smith Teases 'Jay and Silent Bob' Reboot With Miramax

19. Batman and Robin – I couldn’t leave these guys out

Adam West and Burt Ward to return as Batman and Robin in new ...

20. Romeo and Juliet the two star crossed lovers from Romeo and Juliet….a tragedy written by William ShakespeareThe Balcony Scene in 'Romeo and Juliet' Is a Lie - The Atlantic

BONUS…How could I forget Bert and Ernie!!!

Frank Oz weighs in on 'Sesame Street' writer saying Bert and Ernie ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

When The Winds Blow 1986

The animation is wonderful in this movie. I want to thank Dave for mentioning it in his blog.

I was moved by this movie. It brought back the Cold War that even as kids we thought about from time to time. I watched this movie Wednesday night and I have been thinking about it ever since.

It’s not a movie to cheer you up by any means. It’s about an elderly British couple named Jim and Hilda Bloggs who read that war was about to begin. This was made during the cold war and Jim comes home with government brochures on how to prepare for a nuclear attack. They both keep thinking of WW2 and neither were knowledgeable on the horrors of nuclear war.

You really get invested in this couple and as the story unfolds and it’s terribly realistic. Jim keeps reading the brochure and both are optimistic about it all without fully understanding it…Even after the worse happens they remain confident that all will be well…it’s worth a watch. When the Wind Blows was based on a 1982 graphic novel, by British artist Raymond Briggs, that shows a nuclear attack on Britain by the Soviet Union.

It looks like a stop-motion background but with cartoon characters for the bulk of the movie. A technical crew employed a striking combination of hand-drawn and stop-motion animation to bring to life Briggs’ characters, the numerous fantasy/dream sequences, and the soon-to-be nuclear-ravaged, picture-postcard surroundings of the Sussex countryside.

The music… David Bowie sings the theme “When The Wind Blows” and he was going to give more tracks but decided to back out to focus on his album. Roger Waters came in and finished it up. Squeeze also adds to the soundtrack.

Why apocalyptic animation When the Wind Blows is still devastating ...

Why apocalyptic animation When the Wind Blows is still devastating ...

 

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

I love old monster films and Universal Studios had some great monsters. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man and the monster of this post…The Creature from the Black Lagoon. This movie was released in 3-D and I’m going to get that version.

It’s been years since I watched this movie so I watched it Wednesday night. The movie was made in 1954 with some great water shots and the star of the film…The Gill-Man. He looks so odd that it still works today. The underwater shots are clear and exciting. The creature looks natural underwater.

The costume…Universal invested 15,000 dollars on the costume…in 1950s money…that would be equal to $143,294.05 today. Two different stuntmen were used to portray the creature, and therefore, two different suits were used in the movie. Ricou Browning played the creature when it was in the water and wore a lighter suit, Ben Chapman played the creature when it was out of the water with a darker suit.

Now let’s get to the object of the Creatures obsession… Julia Adams as Kay  Lawernce. I don’t blame the Creature.

3….2….1

Creature From the Black Lagoon's Julie Adams Dies At Age 92 | CBR

Now the plot…A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discovers a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one in the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.

The plot is fine but you watch to see the Creature. They did have two sequels and in the Revenge of the Creature made in 1955 you see a very young Clint Eastwood.

creature-in-the-black-lagoon | Trailers From Hell

Death Wish 1974

When I started to watch this movie…I thought it was going to be Charles Bronson randomly mowing down the people in New York City…but it had a purpose and was a pretty good movie.

There was some controversy when this movie was released because of Bronson being a vigilante in the movie. The critics who disliked the film complained that it irresponsibly exploited fear. They also claimed the film gave an exaggerated picture of crime in New York and that it glorified vigilantism… that it endorses violence as a solution to violence.

I enjoyed the film. New York in the mid-seventies makes a great atmosphere…although not a safe one. The movie is brutal but realistic.

On a side note…this movie is Jeff Goldblum’s film debut.

From IMDB

Open-minded architect Paul Kersey returns to New York City from vacationing with his wife, feeling on top of the world. At the office, his cynical coworker gives him the welcome-back with a warning on the rising crime rate. But Paul, a bleeding-heart liberal, thinks of crime as being caused by poverty. However, his coworker’s ranting proves to be more than true when Paul’s wife is killed and his daughter is raped in his own apartment. The police have no reliable leads and his overly sensitive son-in-law only exacerbates Paul’s feeling of hopelessness. He is now facing the reality that the police can’t be everywhere at once. Out of sympathy, his boss gives him an assignment in sunny Arizona where Paul gets a taste of the Old West ideals. He returns to New York with a compromised view on muggers…

 

Where is… the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car Now?

For my eighth birthday, I was given the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack. I loved the movie so much that my mom got it for me. The movie is a classic…and what’s not to like… a flying car…that is all it took to get my attention and the catchy theme song.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang found fame in the 1968 children’s movie of the same name starring Dick van Dyke. The magical car not only traveled on land but could fly and also float on water. The car was designed by the film’s production designer, Ken Adam.

The original driving car that was used in the film and the final product weighed approximately 2 tons, was 17 feet long, and built on a custom made ladder frame chassis.

The alloy dashboard plate was from a British World War I fighter plane. All of this was built around a modern Ford V6 engine with Automatic transmission. Chitty rolled out of the workshop in June 1967 and was registered with the number plate GEN 11 given to her by Ian Fleming in his novel.

For the 1968 film, six cars were created, this one was the fully functional road-going car.

From 1970 to 2011, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car was owned by a man named Pierre Picton, who toured in the car, taking it to various auto shows around the UK. In 2011, the car was auctioned for $805,000.

The acclaimed Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson purchased the car. Jackson has since used the vehicle to raise money for charities in various capacities. The car is kept in New Zealand where it is registered as GEN 1I, because the original Gen 11 Plate was already taken.

 

 

Where is…The original Death Star model from Star Wars now?

It’s unbelievable how close this famous movie prop came to being lost.

The model used in the film along with some other props were thought to be garbage after the movie finished filming.

Many of the props were kept in a facility called Dollar Moving and Storage. The storage unit was rented by the studio and upon completion of postproduction, the studio decided they no longer wanted to pay rent and ordered everything in storage to be discarded. An employee named Doug W. rescued many of the props from the garbage including the Death Star. In a world before ebay…who knows what was lost.

Doug displayed the Death Star in his home in California for about a decade. Around 1988, Doug moved to Missouri and stored the Death Star at his mother’s antique shop (Sutter’s Mill Antiques, later renamed The Mexican Hillbilly) in Missouri.

Todd Franklin, a Star Wars collector living in the area, drove by the antique shop and was immediately convinced it had to be the original Death Star model. Todd wondered how and why the original Death Star was in Missouri. He made some calls and was convinced it was the one. He was going to buy it but before he got back it was sold to another person named Mark who was the owner of a country and western music show called Star World. Mark displayed the Death Star in the lobby.

In 1994 Todd, his brother Pat, and friend Tim Williams traveled to Star World who was going out of business. The Death Star was being used as a trash can in the corner! Todd made an offer and bought it on the spot. All three owned it and contacted Lucasfilm but they did not want to buy it back.

In 1999 Gus Lopez contacted Todd, Pat, and Tim and negotiated a price. Now, Gus owns the famous Death Star.

Since then, Lopez has had the original Death Star on display in a custom-made case in his home, and he even loaned it to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle (though Lopez refers to it by its former name: the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum) for a five-year stint.

Gus Lopez: “The EMP gave it top billing in the museum with a prominent spot at the center of one of the main rooms. I got a kick out of reading about the Death Star in local tourist literature and walking by the Death Star on display at the museum to hear conversations from people telling their stories about what Star Wars meant to them. And now the Death Star is back home, where I see it every day. And when I look at it, I am still amazed it survived its long journey and is sitting right in front of me.”

Image result for original death star

 

Where is…Rosebud from Citizen Kane Now?

There were three Rosebuds made to burn at the end of the film. Orson Welles directed all the insert photography and Welles was happy with the second sled they burned, and so the third sled was not needed, and that was put in storage at RKO Pictures.

After that…The sled had been owned by John Hall, RKO’s chief archivist, who had bought it from a studio watchman. The watchman had found it in a trash heap outside the prop vault in the old RKO studios in Hollywood.

Steven Spielberg bought Rosebud during a Sotheby’s auction in 1982.  He paid $60,500 for the prop sled, beating out other bidders.

Spielberg has now donated the sled to the Academy Museum. The Museum is set to open on December 14, 2020, per their website.

Steven Spielberg: “It’s going to be at the Academy Museum eventually – the new Academy Museum. It’s in my office right now and it’s been there for years and years, ever since I purchased it. It was at home for a while and then it was in my office. But I think it really belongs in a museum so everybody can see it.”

spielberg sled

Steven talks about Rosebud starting around 7:12

Robinson Crusoe on Mars

I watched this movie in the early eighties with my dad, it was on the late, late, late-night show and I could not remember the title…with that title, it doesn’t seem possible. I remembered one scene of the movie and googled it for years and 5 years ago…I finally found it. It was better than I thought it would be after watching it as an adult.

The movie was released in 1964 and the special effects were great for being what it was…a 1960s science fiction movie. There are no fake-looking monsters in rubber masks running around and the scenery looks really good. The first half is slow but it picks up well in the second half. Paul Mantee plays the lead role and he does it well. Also, you will see a young Adam West in this one. He is in it a short while.

After a slow start where our stranded astronaut has to find his way around the alien planet, things pick up with the arrival of an odd Man Friday-type who leads him out of the grasp of the aliens who descend with destruction in mind. Mantee holds the lead role together well.

For a low-budget film, this is visually stunning at times. The pre-CGI special effects occasionally fail to convince but the inventiveness of the crew makes it special in its own way.

I would recommend watching this on a slow Sunday. It’s not Star Wars by any means but a fun 60’s movie.

Here is a short description in IMDB

During a flight to Mars in the spaceship Mars Gravity Probe 1, Commander Christopher ‘Kit’ Draper and Colonel Dan McReady are forced to deviate from an asteroid and they leave their spacecraft in pods. Draper lands on the surface of the Red Planet and survives. He learns how to produce oxygen and while exploring the planet, he finds McReady dead in his crashed pod. He finds also the monkey Mona and brings the animal to the cave where he is sheltered. He learns that he can breathe the Martian air for short periods but needs also oxygen. But Mona finds water and an edible plant in the underground. .After a long period alone, Draper feels the loneliness. One day, he sees a spacecraft landing on Mars and he believes it might be the rescue team to save him. But he finds aliens working on the planet and some of them are slaves. One of them flees and stumble with Draper and he names him Friday. Now he needs to find a way to be rescued and return to Earth

 

 

 

Let’s All Go To The Lobby!

“Let’s All Go To The Lobby” is an animated short from the 1950’s that was played before movies and during drive-in intermissions.

This advertisement is beyond catchy. It’s hard to get it out of your head. Plus, who doesn’t want to see singing popcorn, candy, and a drink? I KNOW I DO!

I see this occasionally at the theater when they are showing an older movie.

In 1957 Chicago-based Filmack Studios released the trailer animated by the producer of Popeye, Dave Fleischer, as part of a series of similar Technicolor shorts to promote the newly installed concession stands in theaters across the country.

Filmack has continued selling copies in the decades since its production. The company estimates that 80% of independent theaters have screened the film at various points.

In 2000, “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

So everyone… Let’s Go Out To The Lobby!!!!

Let’s All Go To The Lobby

Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat

Delicious things to eat
The popcorn can’t be beat
The sparkling drinks are just dandy
The chocolate bars and nut candy
So let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat
Let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat

New Beatles Let It Be Movie attempts to “bust the myth”

Peter Jackson combed through 55 hours of video footage to give a broader picture of the Let It Be sessions. A short preview was shown and it showed the Beatles in good spirits…against what we have read about. There was drama, but from what is being said…there was more good than not.

It will be interesting to get more of a broader picture of that time in the Beatles career…right before they made Abbey Road.

I will be there when it’s released. Here are a couple of articles.

https://variety.com/2020/music/news/beatles-peter-jackson-film-let-it-be-sessions-jolly-1203486729/

https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/1235056/The-Beatles-movie-Peter-Jackson-Let-It-Be-documentary-John-Lennon-Paul-McCartney

 

 

Charlie Chaplin – City Lights

Another masterpiece by Chaplin. This 1931 movie followed “The Circus” and is truly a classic. It is like watching poetry in action on the screen. The shooting of this movie was full of stops and troubles for Charlie but the finished product flows perfectly. Chaplin’s pantomime works so well in this silent movie that you never miss dialog.

While other movies at the time were going toward “talkies” Chaplin stuck stubbornly to silent and the film is all the better for it. Sound films at the time were in their infancy and they were more times than not very clumsy. The actors would talk too loud and be glued to a single spot because of bulky cameras and microphones they had to use.

The Gold Rush has been mentioned as Chaplin’s best movie but this one is just as good or better. The last scene is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie…silent or otherwise.

Chaplin had trouble with Virginia Cherrill the leading lady. She wasn’t an actress, she was a Chicago Socialite. Chaplin liked working with someone with little or no acting experience. He spent weeks showing her how to hold a flower properly. Chaplin was a perfectionist and would think nothing of shooting a scene over 300 times.

He spent almost 3 years filming this movie and almost scrapped it all at the end and replace Virginia and refilm but decided against it when he looked at the cost. After all of the trouble he went through including a divorce at the beginning of filming…he turned out another masterpiece.

If you haven’t tried a silent movie…give this one a try. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton made some of the best comedies ever…not just in the silent period.

Below the trailer is an outtake from City Lights that he didn’t use…it’s brilliant how he used a simple piece of wood on a city grate to make a great comedy scene that he deemed unworthy. I used this clip in an earlier post on the Unknown Chaplin…if you get a chance… watch it…it’s only around 7 minutes long.

Short plot description of City Lights from IMDB

A simple story of The Little Tramp who meets a lovely blind girl selling flowers on the sidewalk who mistakes him for a wealthy duke. When he learns that an operation may restore her sight, he sets off to earn the money she needs to have the surgery. In a series of comedy adventures that only Chaplin could pull off, he eventually succeeds, even though his efforts land him in jail. While he is there, the girl has the operation and afterward yearns to meet her benefactor. The tear-inducing closing scene, in which she discovers that he is not a wealthy duke but only The Little Tramp, is one of the highest moments in movies.

Where is… the original King Kong model now?

I remember watching this great 1933 movie when I was 10 and loving every minute of it. I loved monster movies and this was a classic one. I was more of a Godzilla guy but King Kong was great.

I always wondered where the model was…well there were four of them. Two survive today. Eugene Hilchey saved one model from the studio, Hilchey entrusted the model to Bison Archives/Productions who brought it to Christie’s where is sold for $200,000 in 2009. The other one is the story below.

Special effects man Willis O’Brien and sculptor Marcel Delgado created two 18-inch-high full-body miniatures of the giant ape. They began by making durable metal armatures, which were covered with sponge rubber for the ape’s muscle structure, and rabbit fur for his hair. They also made one jointed 24-inch model of the same materials for the New York scenes and a small model of lead and fur for the climactic plummeting-down-the-Empire-State-Building shot.

Two of the Kong figures were later cannibalized for parts in other creations. The other armature survived because it was used again in “Son of Kong” (1933), which went into production soon after the first film was released.

The model stayed at RKO until 1962. Animator Phil Kellison rescued the Kong model from the studio. After discovering that the remaining rubber skin was beginning to eat away at the figure’s metal hardware, he had Kong steam-cleaned to its present state – the original bare metal skeleton. Film historian and collector Bob Burns, a friend of Kellison, said that when the person was told what he was cleaning, he began exclaiming “I’m killing King Kong! I’m killing King Kong!”

Image result for bob burns king kong

In 1975, Bob found himself at the place where the artifacts from movies were stored. To Bob’s surprise, he spotted the King Kong armature in a corner, and immediately contacted Phil. After Kellison picked up the prop, Bob was surprised yet again when Phil gave him the armature for his collection – where it resides to this day.

The Smithsonian Institute has tried to borrow or purchase the skeleton from Bob. Fearful of it being lost again, he has refused.

In October of 2005, when director Peter Jackson was finishing his remake of “King Kong,” he flew Bob Burns, his wife Kathy, and the King Kong skeleton to the location in New Zealand. They spent a week as guests of the production, showing off the historic armature to the crew. The animators even filmed the model for reference (animating it probably for the first time since its use in the “Kong” sequel in 1933). And Bob and Kathy were given cameos in the film, screaming at Kong during the film’s climax.

Another model from the film

Related image

It’s A Wonderful Life

I didn’t watch this great movie until the late 80s. All it took was one time and I haven’t missed a year of watching it. I don’t tear up very easy..but it never fails at the end of the movie when Zuzu says… Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings…it gets me every time. This movie was released in 1946.

Poor George Bailey. All he wanted to do was travel and get out of Bedford Falls to see the world. Every single time he gets close…so close that it hurts…something happens and George ends up doing the right thing.

Bedford Falls needs George Bailey…every town needs a George Bailey but many end up with only a Mr. Potter. There is one thing about this movie which was unusual. Mr. Potter was never punished for what he did…which drew criticism at the time but it was more in line with reality to me.

This is a Christmas movie but really only the last part of the movie is about Christmas. It is a movie for any time not just for December. We were thinking of names for our unborn child and couldn’t think of one…I was watching this movie in November of 1999 and it hit me…Bailey…so the movie means more than some movies do.

Here is a small summary from IMDB…don’t read it…watch the movie instead. If you haven’t seen it…give it a shot…whether it is Christmas or July.

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint, Mr. Potter, from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings. He shows George what things would have been like if he had never been born.

A Christmas Carol 1951

There have been many versions of this great story. This is the version that I like the most. The great Alastair Sim plays Ebenezer Scrooge and he is the reason I like this so much. When I think of the Scrooge… I think of him.

The movie is in black and white which turns some people off but it makes it that much better to me. The effects they use are obviously not CGI but they get the point across well and serve the story. I like the scene where the ghost of Jacob Marley is warning Ebenezer of being greedy…the two were not on the set at the same time…it looked really good for being 1951…or anytime for that matter.

So get some eggnog or hot butter rum and sit back and watch this great movie.

From IMDB…spoilers

Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is a greedy businessman who thinks only of making money. For him, Christmas is, in his own words, a humbug. It has been seven years since his friend and partner, Jacob Marley (Sir Michael Hordern), died and on Christmas Eve. Marley’s ghost tells him he is to be visited during the night by three spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Michael Dolan) revisits some of the main events in Scrooge’s life to date, including his unhappy childhood, his happy apprenticeship to Mr. Fezziwig (Roddy Hughes), who cared for his employees, and the end of his engagement to a pretty young woman due to a growing love of money. The Ghost of Christmas Present (Francis De Wolff) shows him how joyously is nephew Fred (Brian Worth) and his clerk, Bob Cratchit (Mervyn Johns), celebrate Christmas with those they love. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Czeslaw Konarski) shows him what he will leave behind after he is gone. Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning, a new man intent on doing good and celebrating the season with all of those around him.

Cast

  • Alastair Sim (Ebenezer Scrooge)
  • Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Dilber)
  • Mervyn Johns (Bob Cratchit)
  • Hermione Baddeley (Mrs. Cratchit)
  • Michael Hordern (Jacob Marley)
  • Glyn Dearman (Tiny Tim)