Of all Charles Dickens' writings, A Christmas Carol has been most frequently adapted for the screen. This 1935 version stands tall beside the other first-rate Dickens adaptations of that same year, David Copperfield and A Tale Of Two Cities. If the present American reputation of Scrooge is less than these, it's only because miserable prints cut by a quarter of the original length have circulated in recent decades. Scrooge is regarded in England as one of the outstanding films of its era, and this DVD edition at last restores its full length in very good quality. Scrooge is notable not only for Dickens' beautiful story but also for superb performances, a vigorous script, excellent pacing, persuasive settings, costumes which utterly capture 1843 London, and impressive moving-camera photography with atmospheric lighting reminiscent of German expressionist cinema. Sir Seymour Hicks, an age-appropriate Scrooge, first played the role on screen in 1913; indeed, the career of this distinguished actor-writer-director, on stage from 1877, almost overlaps Dickens' own. Hicks' performance is simply first-class; he also co-authored the screenplay and he inhabits Scrooge thoroughly, subtly and radiantly. The other characters are secondary compared to Scrooge but all are impeccable: Cratchit is played by Donald Calthrop, familiar from his roles in several Alfred Hitchcock's British films; Maurice Evans is Scrooge's poor nephew; and rotund Oscar Asche is unforgettably fruity as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Director Henry Edwards was honored for his work with a prize at the 1935 Venice Film Festival, but we also detect the gifted hand of production supervisor John Brahm, a veteran of German theater and cinema and later director of other fine films, including the similarly atmospheric The Lodger. Whether this will be your favorite Scrooge among the available productions is only for you to say, but it is a noble contender and a film which we think would made Charles Dickens proud.