Tuesday, December 12, 2017

“Your Reclamation, Then” | Alastair Sim (1971)



Richard Williams' animated version had Scrooge hurry off to bed after his encounter with Marley and we find out in this scene that he did go to sleep. He's awakened by the chime of one though, so there's no sitting up and fretting for the last hour. I'm curious to see if any of the theatrical versions include that and how they might handle it, but I expect that most will just cut straight to the Spirit's showing up.

Michael Redgrave's narration comes back in rather unnecessarily, since he's just describing things we can see onscreen, like the room's filling with light or a ghostly hand drawing back Scrooge's bed curtain. Once Scrooge and the Spirit speak though, Redgrave backs off.

The Spirit itself is super accurate. It's got the long, white hair and the youngish, gender-neutral face. It carries the holly and the cap and there's a bright flame coming from its head. It even flickers in the way Dickens described, with extra limbs and even heads coming into and fading out of view. (One cool result of this is that the Spirit can hold onto its holly and cap, but still have hands to interact with Scrooge.)

Scrooge is very polite to it. He calls it "sir" (that could be his own bias talking as much as any real understanding of the ghost's gender) and he doesn't complain about the light or ask the Spirit to put on its cap. Scrooge is so polite that when the Spirit says that its there for Scrooge's welfare, there's not even a mention of unbroken rest. Scrooge doesn't even think it, as far as we know. If he does, the Spirit doesn't correct him, but I think that line was left out on purpose. Scrooge's attitude seems to be very complacent and it has been since the end of Marley's visit. It looks like Marley did the heavy lifting on this transformation. Scrooge already seems willing to learn.

That might also explain why this Spirit never has to touch Scrooge's heart. It simply says, "Rise, and walk with me," and then whisks Scrooge out of the window. Scrooge doesn't express fear of falling and doesn't appear to need any extra upholding by the Spirit.

1 comment:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Interesting, and I think you speculate that the animated version might do this spirit more justice with its appearance. It seems you are correct in that.

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