December 21, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Future (Past)

I am a huge fan of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol"!
We own dozens of printed versions of the book, and it is read aloud in the days before Christmas.
We also own most cinematic versions of the story from Alistair Sim's perfect personification of Scrooge in 1951, to Patrick Stewart's interpretation in 1999
(We also saw Stewart in his one man show of "A Christmas Carol" on Broadway in 2001!)

One of my favorite Scrooge roles was played by George C. Scott in 1984. It was shot on location in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, including the cemetery scene, where Scrooge is shown his own tombstone. In reality, the scene was filmed in St. Chad's Churchyard and Scrooge's stone was real.
The coolest things is that it is still there!

Here is the scene...

And here are some shots I found online.

December 4, 2008

"Great Expectations" in Chilling, Thrilling!

So last night I was watching a movie version of one of my favorite Dickens stories,
"Great Expectations" from 1946 (IMDB Listing). The story has one of my favorite Dickens characters, "Miss Havisham", a wealthy woman who was jilted on her wedding day and spent the rest of her life wearing her tattered wedding gown, sitting by her aged wedding cake, in her decaying mansion.
Sound a little familiar? Phantom Manor?

Anyway, near the end of the story, Miss Havisham's dress catches fire and she dies. To my surprise, Miss Havisham's movie scream was instantly recognizable as one of the more chilling screams used in the classic Disney album, "Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House"!

Here is the scene from the movie. Pip is running up the stairs to try to save Miss Havisham.

And here is the "Chilling, Thrilling" sound which actually plays twice.
Start listening at 24 seconds (0:24).

And of course, the screaming moan that follows the Havisham scream (0:32) is from the Disney Mickey Mouse classic, Lonesome Ghosts"

  sound on/off - Lonesome Ghosts