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YULE TUBE Alastair Sim's A Christmas Carol found
December 18, 2008  | By Diane Werts
 

Not on TV, unfortunately. Like It's a Wonderful Life -- another classic that used to run constantly -- Sim's 1951 British-produced A Christmas Carol has become a rare find on the tube.

christmas carol dvd sim.jpgBut on DVD, this seasonal selection has finally gotten the treatment it deserves. VCI's 2-disc release includes both a gorgeous restoration of the original black-and-white (with wonderful extras about its making), anda colorized version to placate the kids. The latter version certainly hurts my eyes, having been done awhile back in the days when the computer process could only be called crude.

(Colorizing has vastly improved now. The recently re-toned It's a Wonderful Life on DVD shows it can be done, intricately, tastefully and with respect to the bygone era in which the original was produced.)

VCI's A Christmas Carol set also includes a 16x9 widescreen adaptation that's been trimmed down from the 4x3 full-screen original -- and pretty well, actually, in another nod to viewers' changing tastes.

You can still get these DVDs from Amazon in time for Christmas if you check the right shipping option. (Click the links above.) And then you'll have them for years to come, so you won't be dependent on the whims of TV schedulers.

But you might search your local listings, anyway, for that 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. Scattered public TV stations seem to be showing Sim's Dickens of a Scrooge every now and then.

(I found a Philadelphia listing for Sim's 1951 Carol on WHYY/12 this Saturday, Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. It follows an 8 p.m. airing of Seymour Hicks' 1935 Scrooge.)

It's a Wonderful Life gets its last seasonal airing, by the way, on Christmas Eve 8-11 p.m. ET on NBC.

 
 
 
 
 
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