Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A Christmas Carol - The Movie(s)
One of my favorite Christmas tales is the venerable Charles Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol'. Every couple of years I re-read the story (and promise myself I'll finally buy the annotated version) followed by a viewing of at least one film adaptation. The version I like the most is a strange choice for me because I generally don't like musicals but the 1970 film SCROOGE with Albert Finney in the title role is quite easily one of the most amazing movies ever made. It hits every plot point perfectly and contains some of the best acting I have ever seen. Finney is brilliant as both the old, embittered Ebenezer Scrooge and his younger, less bleak self in flashbacks. The rest of the cast is superb with the most memorable supporting performer being Alec Guinness chewing every bit of scenery he can lay teeth to as the Ghost of Marley. If you've never seen it I cannot recommend highly enough seeing it as soon as possible. It makes me laugh and cry every single time. I love it!
Now, the version of A Christmas Carol that most film fans call the best is the 1951 film starring Alister Sim. I have never seen this one even though I've had many chances. I just couldn't get interested for some reason. Well, this year I plan to finally change that sad fact by sitting down with a good friend and watching it this week. He and I are both huge fans of the story and love to talk about which adaptation gets the most right and how we'd love to piece together a 'perfect' version that melds various good elements from many different sources. We're going to sit down and watch the wonderful 1938 film and then the 1951 movie to compare the multitude of alterations made for both good and ill. It'll be the last non-family night of Christmas cheer I'll have before the big day and I can hardly wait. I am such a movie geek!
What is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol? Is it a film or a television show episode? Let me know in the comments below- you might name a version I'm unaware of completely and send me into a hunting frenzy for my viewing for next December!