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A Christmas Carol Blu-ray

United States
60th Anniversary Diamond Edition | Scrooge / Blu-ray + DVD VCI | 1951 | 86 min | Not rated | Nov 08, 2011

A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray)
Large:


Family
Holiday
Drama

Video
Codec: VC-1
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: LPCM Mono
English: LPCM 5.1

Subtitles
English, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)
DVD copy

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.93  

Amazon: $41.02
Best Buy: $14.99 (Save 25%)  

New from: $41.02
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Movie rating
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8.4
76
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 3.9 of 53.9
Audio 3.6 of 53.6
Extras 4.1 of 54.1
Based on 2 user reviews

43%
popularity
303
collections
30
fans




A Christmas Carol

 (1951)

A Christmas Carol Blu-ray delivers great video and solid audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Ebenezer Scrooge contentedly meanders through his life as a cruel miser until one fateful Christmas Eve when he is visited by three ghosts. The spirits show him how his behavior has degenerated over the years as his heart has become colder. Using events from Scrooge's idealistic past, dreary present, and dismal future, the apparitions try their best to melt his steely soul. Will Scrooge see the error of his ways and learn the true meaning of Christmas? Check out this hailed classic and find out! Many critics widely consider this the definitive film version of Charles Dickens' cherished novel.

For more about A Christmas Carol and the A Christmas Carol Blu-ray release, see A Christmas Carol Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Writer: Noel Langley
Starring: Alastair Sim, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Michael Hordern, Hermione Baddeley, John Charlesworth

» See full cast & crew


A Christmas Carol Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Wow! What a difference a few years makes. VCI's first Blu-ray release of A Christmas Carol was rendered via the even then relatively "ancient" MPEG-2 codec, but for the most part the film looked fantastic in high definition. This entirely new transfer is delivered via VC-1 in 1080p and 1.33:1 and the improvement is rather amazing. VCI's press releases touting this latest Blu-ray state that the transfer was sourced from "the 35mm negative and fine grain", by which I assume they may mean an interpositive (which begs the question as to why both elements were needed, but perhaps the negative had damage). I no longer have press material on the first Blu-ray release, but I'm wondering if perhaps that was sourced from a 35mm print. Right off the bat, there's increased clarity, depth and especially contrast in the opening titles and that continues on into the opening scenes, where black levels are beyond gorgeous. The first transfer of A Christmas Carol most likely had some judicious DNR applied (VCI's transfers still tend to overuse noise reduction), and this transfer probably did, too, but the fact that I state "probably" is as good an indication as any that it's not egregious. The film retains suitable but never overwhelming grain structure and looks very cinematic throughout its presentation. Clarity, sharpness and fine detail are outstanding, and contrast is markedly improved. There are still some niggling issues, including a few missing frames (see the audio section below for a bit more information with regard to this), as well as softness and contrast issues in the opticals, which are to be expected. But this is a major image quality upgrade from even the excellence of VCI's first release, and the label is to be soundly congratulated for having taken the time and trouble (not to mention the expense) to so thoroughly reinvigorate what may well be the crown jewel in their current catalog.


A Christmas Carol Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

VCI still has some issues with audio, but thankfully this time they mostly have to do with labeling, something which has plagued several previous VCI Blu-ray releases. Both the cover and the Main Menu advertise Dolby tracks, but what is actually offered here are two uncompressed LPCM tracks, the original mono delivered via LPCM 2.0 and rather artful LPCM 5.1 repurposing. (In the unintentionally humorous department, the Main Menu hilariously transposes two letters, advertising a Dobly track, perhaps an homage to June Chadwick's character of Jeanine in This is Spinal Tap, the meddling girlfriend of David St. Hubbins who can never quite pronounce the word correctly). While some of the damage that was more than evident on VCI's first Blu-ray release of A Christmas Carol is still apparent, the new lossless audio offerings considerably open up both the high end and low end of the film's soundtrack. That presents both good and bad results. Hiss is more readily audible than it was before, and a couple of the film's flaws, notably some missing frames (something I was hesitant to ascribe to that problem) now have audible skips in the soundtrack where before the lossy Dolby tracks muffled those moments. While pops, cracks and the occasional flutter are still audible, overall this track is clearer and fuller sounding, albeit still with the same prevalent "boxiness" that is no doubt endemic to the source elements (I doubt VCI had access to whatever original stems might still be lurking in some archive and most likely sourced this from a 35mm print). The 5.1 track isn't overly immersive, and indeed it's mostly the lovely Richard Addinsell score which populates the surrounds, though there are a few moments of discrete sound effects placed appropriately around the soundfield. Generally what's been done here is to simply reproduce sounds in more than one channel, which creates a slight phasing-like sound at times, especially with regard to the closing narration, but overall this is a decent 5.1 repurposing that doesn't gimmick up the original mono track to the point where it's unlistenable.


A Christmas Carol: Other Editions




2-disc set
$11.76

2-disc set



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