Thursday, December 02, 2010


Hang onto your bed curtains, and let the Scrooge-fest begin!

As our reality television world gets weirder by the minute, I'm shutting off the news and Biggest Loser to settle in with all things Christmas Carol-y. Last night I pulled out the first in my Scrooge collection, 1938's A Christmas Carol. Yes, it's black and white, and yes, the Tiny Tim is over-actingly sweet (as they always seem to be, eh?), but there's much to love about this version. Why, Ann Rutherford alone, as that minxy little Ghost of Christmas Past, is worth your while.

I have a great stack of Scrooge movies, starring the likes of Mr. Magoo, George C. Scott, Bill Murray, Alistair Sim, and Miss Piggy. I'm a stickler for all the famous lines: "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." Or "'If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."  And "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me." Sometimes the scriptwriters have played a little fast and loose with the quotes, but for the most part they pop up in every version.

Between now and December 25, I'll pace my viewings to make sure I see all of the renditions over the course of the holidays. And I'll watch any version (yes, even Ebbie with Susan Lucci) except for the ones with Patrick Stewart and Kelsey Grammar. Beyond that, I'm game for whatever wacky casting - live, cartoon, claymation - you throw my way.

I've asked this before, but I'll ask again: What's your favorite film/TV version of "A Christmas Carol"? Or are you just a big humbug who thinks Christmas is a poor excuse to pick a man's pocket every 25th of December? Hm?


Joy Des Jardins said...

Even though I love Bill Murray, I have to say that the 1938 version is still my favorite. That one just holds a special place in my child's memory bank...and it's still wonderful to watch it today. No Bah Humbug here Mary... Hugs, Joy

Penelopepiscopal said...

Alastair Sim version, hands down. I just love the scene where he tells Marley he's just a little bit of undigested beef. And also his "giddy as a schoolboy" scene. His transformation is so well-done and while the supporting cast are all good they don't take away from Sim's performance that the point of the story is his transformation.

The kids would probably say A Muppet Christmas Carol. And I do love that, too, because Kermit sings Only One More Sleep 'Til Christmas and the penguins' skating party etc.

Have fun with your film fest!