Saturday, December 07, 2013
'You Wish to Be Anonymous?' | Fredric March (1954)
Index of other entries in The Christmas Carol Project
The Christmas Carol episode of Shower of Stars continues the tradition in the early adaptations of putting the solicitors in front of Fred. It even uses the pair as an introduction to Scrooge himself. We meet them on the street, collecting a donation from another pleasant gentleman before heading into the next place on their list: Scrooge and Marley's. It's a nice move, letting us witness the success they're used to before hitting us with Scrooge's cranky rejection.
The script moves around some of the dialogue so that the solicitors get to their purpose more quickly than usual and ask Scrooge what they can put him down for. When he says "nothing" and they ask if he wants to be anonymous, it makes sense because he hasn't yet had a chance to make his feelings about the poor known to them. His response that he wants to be left alone leads them to expand on why they're there as they try to convince him.
One other remarkable thing is the look Scrooge has after his remark about decreasing the surplus population. He pauses and smiles broadly to himself, incredibly pleased with his cleverness. It's a weird expression and somewhat out of character for the traditional Scrooge. It'll bear watching to see if he exhibits a similar sense of humor as the story progresses.
The solicitors are so flummoxed by his refusal to chip in that they just stand slack-jawed in his office until he gets up and shows them the door with a grouchy "good afternoon."