This movie fills me with joy. I'm not a Christian, but this film has been a holiday tradition in my family since I was small. We would watch it every year, with the record playing as we decorated the tree, and I still find its magic palpable. Wonderful songs, many of them, and wonderful performances--two fantastic physical performances from Finney and Guinness. All the spirit of the holiday--no religious trappings.
Most decidedly not Oliver! (as much as it tries) and more like Lady Bountiful in the usual over-burden of musicals of this period with lavish production values that fall over themselves to impress. It doesn’t have the panache of the earlier Reed/Bart film, despite some effectively realised moments, but with this source material it cannot quite fail.