10 December 2008

A Christmas Carol. . .

I must admit that I am something of a big sap when it comes to Mr. Dickens' well-known story, which always gets me even though, as an adult, the story's social message is a bit heavy handed in places. Still, it's a fun story. So, a few nights ago, the Grand Duchess and I sat down to watch the 1984 production of A Christmas Carol, which stars George C. Scott, Susana York, David Warner, Edward Woodward, Roger Rees, and a host of other well-known actors.

What I enjoy most about this production is the fact that this production remains very close to the original 1843 story. Its visual lushness is also wery special. The British always do period pieces well, and this 1984 movie is no exception. I have three particularly favorite parts of the movie. One is the Christmas Eve party at Mr. Fezziwig's, where the young Scrooge was apprenticed, during the Ghost of Christmas Past sequence. The next is when the Ghost of Christmas Present (played by the Equalizer himself, Edward Woodward) strolls through 1840s London (actually Shrewsbury) on Christmas morning with Scrooge.

Finally, the end of the story, where Scrooge wakes up a changed man on Christmas morning is great. The excitement of Chrstmas Day and Scrooge's newly found lease on life is palpable and something I enjoy every year. It's contagious. And yes, before anyone asks, I did actually read the story in December 1987, and it was highly enjoyable, but I'll always have a soft spot for this movie.

Oh yes! One more thing. The Action at Pickelhaubewicz. Jonathan and I rolled the dice in our musketry duel last night. You'll recall that our grenzers and jaeger were arrayed in in close order lines at close musketry range, that is less than 6". We each had a dozen figures capable of firing at each other, so we rolled two dice each, one for eight figures and one for the remaining four.

Jonathan had the magic touch and threw a 2 and a 5 for his red-coated Irishmen, scoring a total of 7 hits on my green-coated jaeger. Unfortunately, I rolled just a 3 and a 1, scoring only four hits on Jonathan's troops! So, Colonel von Grundig's Jaeger zu Fuss inflicted four casualties and received seven casualties in return at the hands of Major von Hirschbiegel's smug Irish Grenzers, almost half their original number. Things are not looking good -- We are using the old, tried and true 50% rule, as stipulated in Charge!, so I'm afraid it won't be long before the Jaeger zu Fuss will have to be withdrawn from the the game altogether. :-(


MMG said...

Ahhh, yes. I know Christmas is also upon us when you sit down to watch your favorite movie (besides Heroes of Telemark)! A Christmas Story will begin heavy rotation in my office tomorrow and I will think of you as I light the leg lamp :)
So, from the looks of things is the Grand Duchy in peril?

Stokes Schwartz said...

Yes, I would say that the situation looks rather unpromising for the Grand Duchy at the moment.



Fitz-Badger said...

I've never seen the George C. Scott version*, but always enjoy the Muppet version (heresy?). :-)

* I guess that's another movie to add to my list of ones to watch for.

Grimsby Mariner said...

There can only ever be one Scrooge - Alastair Sims in the 1951 version. We watch this movie every (and I do mean every) year and enjoy it.
But which ever version you watch just avoid the one with Patrick Stewart. A good actor possibly but an aweful movie all the same.


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