Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Christmas Carol

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Dickens...

I have his complete works and I'm pretty sure I've read everything that's in print...

...and one of my very favorites is A Christmas Carol - I feel like I have known Scrooge and the Cratchits all my life - I just love it's hopeful look at themes so important - Loving your neighbor and caring for the poor - combined with man's need for redemption - Dickens always calls us to a higher level of humanity - A Christmas Carol has been adapted many times over in film - here's a pretty complete list - now on to my favorites...

As a child of the 70s this 1971 animated cartoon adaptation may be the first one I remember seeing...'s told by Michael Redgrave and has the voice of Alastair Sim as Scrooge - it's very good and the entire thing is available on YouTube...

..but like his books - I have watched many, many versions of A Christmas Carol or Scrooge as some of them are called - PBS will often show at least one of the older versions every year near Christmas - I first watched this old Black and White version when we lived in a little apartment in Asheville - it didn't matter that it was in Black and White because the only TV we had was a little 13 inch Black and White from our dorm days...
This one was called A Christmas Carol and it's from 1938 and starred Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll, and Terry Kilburn.

If I had to pick a favorite film version - this would probably be it - it was originally in Black and White but has been colourized here - and the full version is out there on YouTube. It's called Scrooge - it's from 1951 - starring Alastair Sim, Meryvn Johns, Michael Hordern and Glyn Dearman.

Oh - I don't know - maybe this is my favorite film version - it's a musical called
Scrooge from 1970 starring Albert Finney, Sir Alec Guinness, Edith Evans and Kenneth More. - and the entire movie is on YouTube as well
My favorite song from this musical version - Thank you very much! I often sing it to my family - "Thank you very much - that's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me..."

They sing it once earlier at the scene of his 'future' funeral and then they sing it again here at the end after he cancels everyone's debts...

George C. Scott even starred as Scrooge in this 1984 version called A Christmas Carol - it's very good - just not as good as the older versions

Then in 1988 we had a different take on the story with Scrooged starring Bill Murray, John Forsythe, Karen Allen, Carol Kane, and Bobcat Goldthwait. ... I liked this one quite a lot at the time - that was during the days of video stores and VCRs and we rented this one and watched it more than once...

Then just a few years ago (right on the tail of his Star Trek fame) - Patrick Stewart starred in A Christmas Carol in 1999 - I watched this one on regular network television with commercials and everything - it's very good as well - just not my favorite...

And now we've just been to see the newest - Disney's animated version of A Christmas Carol...
...I enjoyed the movie as a familiar old friend - there were some things that I didn't particularly like - the too long chase scene where Scrooge is pursued by red eyed black horses and the ghost of Christmas future (something to think about with young children) - but then the ghost of Christmas future is always scary - I'm sure I'll watch it again as the opportunity arises (I'll watch any version if the opportunity arises)... now we're in the mood for Christmas as we've had our Christmas Carol 'fix'...


  1. well, you're certainly a nut for "a christmas carol" aren't you?

    i'll watch them at work tomorrow when i won't interfere with anyone else's internet tonight!

    love, k

  2. You weren't kidding, you really do like it. I think you should teach a class!

  3. Snap, I love Dickens and I think 'A Christmas Carol' is splendid.

    When the children were young, my husband read to them every night when they went to bed. Each Christmas he read 'A Christmas Carol' to them on the run up and 'The Night Before Christmas' on Christmas Eve. They loved it, and still talk about those bedtimes.

    I've seen some of the versions you posted, and I'll look at the others. However, my own favourite is 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' I think they really catch the characters and the essence of the story.

  4. how about any live theater versions?

    i've seen it done by high schoolers and i've seen performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis - if you EVER get the chance to see it there - they do it every year and it is amazing. i know you would enjoy it!

    i'll be watching your posted versions throughout the next few days. :)

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  6. The Muppets version of this movie is my favourite.