Leslie Bricusse, who wrote the screenplay and original music for the 1970 movie version of "Scrooge" starring Albert Finney, said he was happy to tackle the piece because he'd loved the Dickens tale and its heartfelt message since he was a child. "It's all about redemption -- that even the worst, meanest person can find a way to see life differently," Bricusse said. "No matter how it's interpreted -- contemporary or period -- the eternal truth is always there." His iteration of "Scrooge" starred then-34-year-old Finney, at the time the youngest person to ever play the penny-pinching sourpuss. There were other powerful British actors in the mix -- Richard Harris, Rex Harrison, Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton -- but Finney landed the role during dinner with Bricusse one evening and was on set the next day. The production, which features elaborate flash mob-style song-and-dance numbers, continued at that break-neck pace. It filmed in about three months in early 1970 and opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall in November, just in time for the holidays. There's been talk of revisiting the project as a made-for-TV movie for CBS, Bricusse said, in light of the resurgent interest in musicals. Songs from the film include the show-stopping ditty, "Thank You Very Much," and Scrooge's anti-social ode, "I Hate People." In the spirit of the season, here's a peek at some of the most enduring big- and small-screen adaptations of the iconic Dickens story.
Cinema Center Films