Monday, December 22, 2008

The Face of the Future

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
"The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come"
(Click on images to view larger.)

"Hey, Ebenezer, pull my finger!"

In the 1971 film "Scrooge," starring Albert Finney, we finally get to see what's hidden under the dusky shroud of the Ghost of Christmas Future. And as we suspected, it's not a pretty sight.

Scrooge did the smelly spook one better by actually soiling his shorts.

Earlier versions of the film never showed what this Ghost looked like other than the novel's description of a black-cloaked figure shrouded in darkness. But even there the resemblance to the Grim Reaper was not lost on Scrooge who, upon being taken to the cemetery in the final vision, looked upon the Ghost and "dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape."

"Watch that first step, it's a killer!"

In the scene depicted here, Scrooge, upon reading his own name on the tombstone, turns around to beg for mercy and stares straight into the bony face of his future. The fright causes him to lose balance and tumble into what is now an open grave. The film then takes this scene farther, by having Scrooge experience a little of his pending punishment right then, as he falls down a chasm til he ends up in Hades. The Disney short animated film version done years later was inspired by this scene and did their own take on it.

"And a partridge in a pear treeeee!"

This musical version of the story is my second favorite, right after the 1951 Alastair Sim version. Dickens knew that there was no better time for a ghost story than at Christmas, and he crafted the granddaddy of them all.

"Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?"

Next time, another sinner sees the Face of Death!

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