The Stingiest Man In Town

Finally – at last – The Stingiest Man In Town, the legendary 1956 musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Basil Rathbone, has been found by its copyright owner New York based Showcase Productions.

Let me first of all thank Mr. Alexander W. Kogan, Jr. of Showcase Productions for allowing me to break this news.  And most importantly, on behalf of Dickensians everywhere, let me thank Mr. Kogan for his tireless efforts over the years to locate this treasure from television’s fabled Golden Age – and for his desire to make it available to the home video marketplace in as timely a manner as possible!

The Stingiest Man In Town will be available for purchase on DVD on Thursday, November 10, 2011.  It is being distributed by Video Artists International and will be an exciting addition to its already impressive catalogue of unique performing arts video.

To order your copy (or copies!) contact information for Video Artists International, also known as VAI, is listed below.  Or simply visit their web site at www.vaimusic.com

Video Artists International
109 Wheeler Avenue
Pleasantville, NY 10570

Toll free within the U.S. or Canada by phone:
1-800-477-7146

Outside the U.S. or Canada by phone:
914-769-3691

Fax: 1-914-769-5407

The Stingiest Man In Town DVDThat’s it for now.  But follow this blog for more information and details on The Stingiest Man In Town.

When I was conducting research for my book in the late nineties, I was able to see a partial copy of Stingiest Man at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  And an opportunity to see even a portion of this most elusive adaptation was basically a dream come true – but it only whetted my appetite for more!

Thankfully, I have recently been privileged to receive a sneak preview of the complete version and can state without hesitation or qualification that it is an outstanding production whose lofty reputation is richly deserved!

If you are even remotely interested in Dickens adaptations in general, and in particular adaptations of his “Ghostly little book,” then Christmas 2011 is going to be very special indeed.  And what a way to kick off 2012 and the Dickens bicentenary!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Alan Giangregorio October 17, 2011 at 1:29 am

What a great find!!! To see Sherlock Holmes singing about A Merry Christmas! Would this production be in color? I wonder if it will be also available on Amazon. Thanks again for your Dickensian Dedication . from Alan G. Co- President of the Dickens Fellowship Boston Branch

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Dino Everett October 20, 2011 at 6:46 am

What a brilliant beginning. I cannot wait for more posts, and information from you Fred.

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John J. Hills October 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

This is really good news – I mean learning that you and your CD media exist. It’s like meeting Carleton E Morse.

I’m sure I saw the same DC production but don’t remember any effect.

As far as starting with an “and” – it’s fine and “something up with which we won’t mind having to put.”

Best wishes and good luck – I look forward to all of it.

John

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Hazen B. Markoe November 29, 2011 at 2:29 am

I would also like to mention that THE STINGIEST MAN IN TOWN can also be purchased through Amazon.com. It’s coming out tomorrow, November 29th and I pre-ordered it. I’m also a film buff with a fairly big selection of various Charles Dickens adaptations as well, including A CHRISTMAS CAROL, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and OLIVER TWIST. (Please check my blog listed above for a review I posted about one of the more intriguing versions of OLIVER TWIST, entitled BOY CALLED TWIST which places the story in modern day Cape Town, South Africa and is a surprisingly faithful version of the story.)

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Fred Guida November 29, 2011 at 2:50 am

Thanks for your message. I certainly agree about BOY CALLED TWIST. I gave it a mention in one of my postings (AN OPEN LETTER TO HOLLYWOOD AND THE BBC). It is a grewat film; I hope do devote an entire posting to it in the future.

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Joe Munzenrider May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I was 16 when I saw “The Stingiest Man in Town” broadcast. Purchased the (still excellent quality) soundtrack when it was released. It became an essential part of Christmas for us (8 kids in the family). In 1966 we did a staged performance at Carroll College. Thereafter, we had access to the music, and each of the Munzenrider kids to this day can sing the entire score from beginning to end. It has been passed down to our next generation. Can’t express my delight in discovering the VAI DVD of the original production. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am a professional musician (organ, harpsichord) but few musical works imprinted themselves in my being quite the way “Stingiest” did. Shocking – after all these years – details that I recalled when watching the DVD.

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Christine Stouffer August 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Clearly this is the Holy Grail of Christmas Carol performances. I can’t thank Mr. Guida enough for staying on the scent of this elusive item. Like many of you, I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s with an LP of these songs which my whole family enjoyed every year. I never really thought about the actual show until many years later when videos became available, and I felt cheated that we weren’t able to see it on video or DVD. I, too, have seen part of it (the second half) at the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio History) in NYC. I was there recently and saw that they now have the whole program with the release of this DVD. Fantastic find … I had even contacted NBC ten years ago and they said it was long gone … so to find these masters now is great. Thank you Fred Guida and all those who made it possible.

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