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  • Blog Post: Scrooge U: Part XXXVII -- Ahrens & Menken deliver delightful "A Christmas Carol: The Musical"

    "Tell the truth. You're getting kind of tired of writing about ' A Christmas Carol ,' aren't you?" No, this wasn't an e-mail that some disgruntled JHM reader sent me. But -- rather -- the ever-wise & patient Nancy (Who -- FYI -- has been formatting each & every one...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U: Part XXXV -- How "A Carol Christmas" kick-started William Shatner's career

    Are you a fan of William Shatner 's Emmy Award-winning work on ABC 's " Boston Legal "? If so, then you should be aware that one of the main reasons that William was cast as daffy Denny Crane was because " The Practice " creator David E. Kelley supposedly caught Shatner's...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part XXXIII -- "Christmas Carol -- The Movie" beefs up Belle

    Belle has always been one of the more intriguing characters in Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale. The woman who gave Ebenezer Scrooge back his engagement ring because she was the first to see how hard his heart was becoming. Whatever became of Belle after she walked out of Ebenezer's life...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U: Part XXXI -- "A Diva's Christmas Carol" puts a silly but cynical spin on the season

    Some adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" are like a huge holiday meal. Rich, meaty, memorable. Really stick-to-your-ribs kind of shows. And then there are those holiday specials like " A Diva's Christmas Caro l." Which are the television equivalent of Chinese food. Don't get...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U: Part XXVIII -- "Ms. Scrooge" is kind of hit & ms. ... er ... miss

    As I mentioned in this past Sunday's review of " Ebbie ," " A Christmas Carol " is a surprisingly resilient story. It can survive a change of location or time period. Even giving Ebenezer Scrooge a sex change operation doesn't necessarily undercut the emotional effectiveness...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part XXVI -- "Ebenezer" is just " ... blah-blah-blah"

    On paper, this sounds like such a clever idea. Shifting the location of "A Christmas Carol" out to the Old West. I mean, what better place is there to tell a ghost story than around a campfire? And then the truly genius notion of hiring Academy Award-winner Jack Palance to play a westernized...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part XIX -- Missing scene mars "Muppet Christmas Carol"

    Just how good is The Muppet Christmas Carol "? Well, to be honest, that depends on whether or not you saw the version that ran in theaters back in 1992 OR the version of this Brian Henson film that now runs on television and/or is currently available for sale on DVD. "What's the difference...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U: Part XVII -- "Scrooged" puts satirical spin on holiday favorite

    You know, when you think about it, "A Christmas Carol" has contributed many memorable phrases to our holiday vernacular. These include: "Bah, Humbug!" "God bless us, every one! " And, of course, my personal favorite: "The b*tch hit me with a toaster." Wait a minute...
  • Blog Post: Your JHM Holiday Bonus: An up-close look at the IBC version of "A Christmas Carol"

    For "A Christmas Carol" fans, it's one of the guilty pleasures of watching " Scrooged ." Those brief glimpses you get of that totally ridiculous version of "Scrooge" that Bill Murray & Co. were struggling to get on the air. Copyright 1999 Paramount Home Entertainment...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part X -- A second chance fumbled

    I don't really need to explain who Basil Rathbone was, right? I mean, we're talking about the acclaimed actor who crossed swords with Errol Flynn in " The Adventures of Robin Hood ," traded quips with Danny Kaye in " The Court Jester " and even served as the narrator of the...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part IX -- Little's special is a lot of fun

    It is one of my favorite Hollywood "What If" stories. And -- appropriately enough -- you can read a full-blown account of this tale over on one of my favorite blogs, Mark Evanier's great " newsfromme.com ." Here's the Reader's Digest version: W.C. Fields (Who was a Dickens...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part VIII -- Williams wins an Oscar

    Okay. I know. We all love those moments in "A Christmas Carol" after Scrooge has been redeemed. When the old skinflint tries to make amends to all those he's wronged over the years. That's when Dickens' classic holiday tale becomes truly heart-warming. But -- prior to this point...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part VII -- Finney is fine, but ...

    Picking up where we left off yesterday ... You know that somewhat queasy, bloated feeling that you sometimes feel on Christmas Day? After you've made a little too merry, maybe had one too many glasses of eggnog? Well, 1970's " Scrooge " is the cinematic equivalent of that feeling. Copyright...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part VI -- Magoo's a musical miser

    Remember how I talked yesterday about how the CBS " Shower of Stars " version of " Scrooge " should have worked? What with a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright handling the adaptation of Dickens' classic holiday tale, a two-time Academy Award-winner performing the title role and...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part IV -- Sim is Supreme

    Picking up where we left off yesterday ... Following MGM's good looking if somewhat heartless " A Christmas Carol ," leave it to English filmmakers to deliver what many consider to be the very best movie version of Charles Dickens' holiday tale. Copyright 1999 United Home What is it...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part III -- Barrymoore No More

    Picking up where we left off yesterday ... Most of you Disney dweebs out there will probably be able to identify this character. Copyright 1964 Walt Disney Productions That's right. Admiral Boom from Walt Disney Productions' 1964 release, " Mary Poppins ." Naming this next character...
  • Blog Post: Scrooge U : Part I -- Have a Short & Silent Night

    Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving officially ushers in the holiday season. Between now and New Year's Day, you won't be able to turn your television on without encountering some holiday special. Which brings us to the subject of today's article. Which (I should warn you) is the first installment...
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