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Old November 14th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #21

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D: Aw, no 'Our Mutual Friend' fans? Read that one in senior AP English, I loved its simplicity and admittedly cheesy, feel-good happy ending. It's a good read for a cool night and a warm blanket.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #22
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Old November 14th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #23

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My own favourite film versions of ''A Christmas Carol'' are the 1951 Alistair Sim filmed version and Albert Finney in the musical film version of Dickens's Xmas masterpiece.
Mr. Magoo and The Muppets.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #24
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Dickens is wildly mixed and indisciplined, but immensely creative - and I'd like to say that he shows all the signs of having a much warmer heart than the novelists of the Great Tradition I was brought up on. Mind you, like many a writer, he was a bit of a shite in his personal life. Only Mrs Thatcher is perfect!
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Old November 14th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #25

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D: Aw, no 'Our Mutual Friend' fans? Read that one in senior AP English, I loved its simplicity and admittedly cheesy, feel-good happy ending. It's a good read for a cool night and a warm blanket.
I never managed to get through the book, but there was a very good TV version in the 70s which I enjoyed very much.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #26
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I've never seen the Mr Magoo version of Dickens ''Christmas Carol''/Scrooge but I agree about the Muppets version with Michael Caine.
Another good ''Scrooge'' was American actor George C Scott-who won the ''Oscar'' for playing ''Patton'' in 1970.Scott was very good in the 1984 film version of ''Scrooge''as the eponymous miser in the movie which was shot in England in the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #27

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Earlier I said Dickens' characters were gross exaggerations. I notice subsequent posters often agree.
Another point mentioned is the ease with which they translate into TV etc. There is a reason for this. Dickens loved theatre and loved to read from his own works to an audience. One could argue he was an actor at heart. Anyone who understands Victorian theatre would know that his characters reflect the taste of the time. Of course Stephan is too saintly for our modern tastes, he was written for an audience who expected black an white. Think of a Victorian melodrama. The villain is always a wonderful mix of lust and whiskers, the hero shines so bright with purity you are almost blinded by the halo. Dickens was successful because he gave "em what they wanted. Don't judge him by modern taste. Sit back and enjoy good melodrama.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #28

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...Dickens loved theatre and loved to read from his own works to an audience...
Please forgive my cropping your post Viking, I just wanted to mention the documentary "Dickens's England" with Derek Jacobi which I've seen about three times now and could still watch again. Your comment about public readings reminded me of Jacobi saying that Dickens would often argue with agents about the price and venue for such readings, with Dickens wanting large venues and nominal prices so as not to exclude the less well-off from his performances.

Elsewhere I've read that his first public readings were in fact charity events for the working classes (e.g. A Christmas Carol before an audience of 2000 in Birmingham), although in later life he seemed happy to take on well-paid tours... his visit to the States in 1867/8 supposedly earned him nearly 20,000.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:14 AM   #29
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Earlier I said Dickens' characters were gross exaggerations. I notice subsequent posters often agree.
Another point mentioned is the ease with which they translate into TV etc. There is a reason for this. Dickens loved theatre and loved to read from his own works to an audience. One could argue he was an actor at heart. Anyone who understands Victorian theatre would know that his characters reflect the taste of the time. Of course Stephan is too saintly for our modern tastes, he was written for an audience who expected black an white. Think of a Victorian melodrama. The villain is always a wonderful mix of lust and whiskers, the hero shines so bright with purity you are almost blinded by the halo. Dickens was successful because he gave "em what they wanted. Don't judge him by modern taste. Sit back and enjoy good melodrama.
That is true, but there is a lot more than melodrama there. Naturally he couldn't make a working man a human hero any more that Harriet Beecher Stowe could make a black one so (they had their audience to think of), and he was already accused of 'sullen socialism' for telling the truth at all, but he does see very clearly what is wrong. Like so many liberals, alas, he has no sensible answer - but he is thinking about it, fair play.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #30

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Now it is close to Christmas I will soon be re-reading Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". I have promised myself to read all his books in retirement...delightfully warm and cheerful prospect in bleak old age.
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