A Christmas Carol – Five Favorites

 

charles_dickens_1858When asked to donate to help the poor for the holidays the greediest, grumpiest Grinch of all time, Ebenezer Scrooge, replies “Are there no prisons? Are there no union workhouses?”

One of the greatest characters in Charles Dicken’s brilliant library of creations  is Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s the epitome of meanness, a tower of cold unmoving steel,  dismissing Christmas with the wave of a hand and his own personal mantra, “Bah Humbug!” It’s a phrase that has become part of our everyday  language.

It was Dicken’s ability as a writer to take a wretched old geezer, full of nastiness and miserliness, and convincingly have him find redemption.

This time of the year I always try to watch at least one film version of A Christmas Carol. This year, it was the 1938 film with Reginald Owen as Scrooge. I didn’t think Owen made for a great Ebenezer, but the film is entertaining and certainly worth watching.

With all that said, below is a list of my the top five A Christmas Carol movies.

5) Scrooge (1970) with Albert Finney if for no other reason that than for the show stopping, Thank You, Very Much number.

scrooge

4) Scrooged (1988)  with Bill Murray. Enough said!

scrooged-1988

3) Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) just because Scrooge McDuck rules!

mcduck1

2) A Christmas Carol  (1984) George C. Scott’s gruff voice and demeanor are pure perfection.scott-christmas-carol-1984-george-scott-5601) A Christmas Carol (1951) Nobody does it better than Alastair Sim. The film itself is a holiday masterpiece.

ebenezer-scrooge

Please feel free to share your own favorite.

4 thoughts on “A Christmas Carol – Five Favorites

  1. I love how you wrote about Dickens’ story.

    My favourites –

    1. All my Christmas Eves have been spent with Alastair Sim as Scrooge (from my blog) “…whose transformation from “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner” to “as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew” is total and touching and real.”

    2. Robert Zemeckis’ 2009 A Christmas Carol for Disney starring Jim Carrey. A brief clip caught while channel surfing piqued my interest in something I originally dismissed. Motion Capture is not something I generally enjoy. I found this adaption both scary and moving, and Jim Carrey as Scrooge has found a solid spot in the number two position.

    3. The Muppet Christmas Carol has been a family favourite for the past 20 years. As my special needs son puts this movie on a loop this time of year, if I didn’t appreciate its humour and many charms I would go stark raving mad!

    PS: The look on Scrooge McDuck’s face when he encounters Willy as the Ghost of Christmas Present is something I look forward to every year, along with that lovely theme song.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! The Zemeckis film was good for sure and Carrey was surprisingly effective. I saw it in the theater and liked it a lot. Most likely, would have made a top ten list. Believe it or not, I have not seen the Muppets film. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  2. Great list, John. Enjoyed these all. If I’d list mine, I’d swap out ‘Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol’ for Donald Duck’s and Albert Finney’s version with Patrick Stewart’s 1999 effort. Finally, just call it a dead-heat for the top spot with the Alastair Sim classic and 1984’s George C. Scott masterwork. 🙂

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  3. It was tough selecting the number one and two choices between Sim and Scott. Deadheat works fine for me. Interestingly, the two you would switch with (Muppets and Stewart) are both ones I have never seen. Twice I have come close to watching the Stewart version and for one reason or another have not caught up with it.

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