Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!: A Christmas Carol (aka Scrooge) (1951)

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been one of the most frequently adapted works in literature, as there have been numerous stage productions, as well as feature films and television specials over the years.

One of the most celebrated adaptations was released in 1951 in England under the title, "Scrooge", with Alastair Sim in the title role. The movie was released here as "A Christmas Carol", as American exhibitors felt that it was an easier sell to moviegoers under the book title, not realizing that nearly 20 years later, there would be a musical version of "Scrooge" with Albert Finney in the lead.

I'm sure you all know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge, whose hard heart may have been the inspiration for Dr. Seuss' Grinch, for all we know, has turned his back, shall we say, on Christmas, and it takes the intervention of the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, and three additional spirits, to change his miserly ways. Keep an eye out for a couple of players better known to American audiences in later times. Hermoine Baddeley, who joined the cast of Maude late in its run, plays Mrs. Cratchit, and Patrick Macnee, a decade before The Avengers, appears as Marley in a flashback sequence when Marley & Scrooge first met.

You would think from reading reviews that Sim would've been up for the British equivalent of the Oscars for his performance, but I know not that he earned any nominations in England or the US.

Rating: B.

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