Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Carol: Variations on A Theme.

illustration by Arthur Rackham

You can never have too many versions of Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL - right? I've found five to like, though of course, the favorite is always the one with Alastair Sim. There's just something delightfully scurvy about Sim's portrayal of Ebeneezer Scrooge. It seems to please just about everyone.

1) Number One on most any list of Favorite interpretations of Dickens' classic. Though in this poster, Tiny Tim doesn't look very tiny. I wonder that Scrooge can continue to hold him up.

2) After much consideration, I've considered that the George C. Scott version is my second favorite. But then, I'm a HUGE fan of Scott. He doesn't do the best English accent, but that doesn't seem to matter. He looks the part and he's such a talented actor that he wins me over in the end with his joy at rediscovering his humanity

3) My third favorite has Reginald Owen as Scrooge. This is an earlier version than the Alastair Sim one and nearly as good.

4) Patrick Stewart as the only Ebeneezer Scrooge with sex appeal. Stewart can't help himself. I really do enjoy this version.

5) The Muppets Christmas Carol starring Michael Caine as Scrooge and the Muppets as everybody else.

What's not to like?

Any Christmas movie even partially narrated by Rizzo the Rat is okay by me.


  1. Hurray for the Muppets! And I can't BELIEVE I have never gotten around to Patrick Stewart's Scrooge, even though I've known for ages that he did one! I'm really going to have to watch that one before the end of this holiday season. I was actually quite impressed with the new Disney version with Jim Carey, much more so than I expected. Still, George C. Scott is my all-time favorite. This was a great post!

  2. These are all my favourites too! i also like the BBC version with Michael Hordern. It's only just over an hour long but doesn't miss too much out.

  3. George C. Scott gets my vote. Perfect Scrooge. But...Patrick Stewart is so easy on the eyes...
    Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks, JNCL! I tell you, it's been a while since I saw the Muppets one and I'm having trouble remembering much of it. Have to definitely see it again.

    Don't miss the Patrick Stewart version. It's terrific.

  5. Lyn: I've never seen the BBC version. Now you have me curious...

  6. Peggy: I'm so glad I'm not the only one around here who appreciates Patrick Stewart's...uh, good looks. He's the first sexy Scrooge. :)

    But I do love the George C. Scott version as well.

  7. YAY for the muppets. My toddlers have muppet fever, and so we will be watching this one over the holidays.

    What about the animated retelling of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey? I liked that one (mainly for Colin Firth hehe).

  8. Bella: Much as I adore Colin Firth...

    I'll be watching one or more of these over the next few days and not missing Jim Carrey one tiny bit. Ha!

  9. I think I've seen both the Alastair Sim and the Muppet version of "A Christmas Carol" a hundred times over the years. :)

    I wasn't awre of the Patrick Stewart version...I must correct that very soon!

  10. Oh Pat, yes, you must. ;) It's readily available.

  11. I LOVE the Patrick Stewart version. (and Yvette, I'm with you, I don't miss not seeing Jim Carrey). And mentioning Carrey...give me the animated, original Grinch any day. Sorry...didn't mean to hijack. :-)

  12. Oh..And Mickey's Christmas Carol is a good one as well...

  13. I never mind you posting your opinions, here, Bev. Especially when I agree with you. Give me the original animated Grinch any old day.

    "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch...!"

    I can't remember when I last saw the Mickey version, Bev. I'm adding it to my to-do list. If I can find it. :)

  14. Rizzo the Rat???? ha ha ha.

    Have a very happy Christmas.

  15. I'm going to try and see the Patrick Stewart version this Christmas. A fine actor. He's also one of the most consistent voice overs. In fact, there's nothing out there he hasn't lent his voice to, and he really does lend it.

  16. My niece lives on the Lower East Side and recently went to a show of A Christmas Carol somewhere in her neighborhood that told the story using bits of most of these movies. She enjoyed it and, from her description, it sounded like fun. I admit that I haven't seen most of the films you mentioned. Looks like I have some catching up to do.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for an interesting blog.

  17. Glad it gave you a laugh, Mystica. :)

    A Merry and a Happy Christmas to you and your family.

  18. Prashant: NO ONE and I mean, NO ONE can utter the word 'futile' with as much ferocity and clarity. Ha! That wonderful voice is amazing.

    I think you'll enjoy his version of A Christmas Carol.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  19. Joan: You're very welcome. This is an ongoing fun project for me and I'm pleased when someone else enjoys it as well. :)

    That version your niece saw sounds like a fun evening. You could probably use some sort of computer program to cut up these pix and make your own version as well.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Joan. AND a Great New Year.

  20. Have you ever heard of Dickens' great-grandson who tours?

    I heard him on the radio this morning and he was so interesting, acting out parts of the story, and telling about Charles Dickens. His favorite version? The Muppets! Just like me. :<)

  21. No, I don't think I have, Nan. Sounds intriguing.

    I will check our your link. Thanks for the tip.

  22. The Reginal Owen version is my favorite. I've yet to see the one with Alastair Sim. My library doesn't have it (what a surprise!). As for Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott, I could only handle just a bit of both. I thought Stewart and Joel Gray were horrible. Scott was a little better, but not much. The Muppets were enjoyable, but I don't like musical versions of this story. If the truth must be known, I would rather read the story than watch it.

  23. I watched the George C. Scott version last night just before I went to sleep full of Christmas excess...I enjoyred it. But I'm a BIG fan of George C. Scott.

    I must disagree, on this day after Christmas, with your assessment of Patrick Stewart. He makes for an updated Scrooge and I didn't mind him one bit. :)

    We must agree to disagree, Kathy. In the meantime, I hope you and your family had a great Christmas.

    Now comes all the hoopla directed at the end of one year and the beginniing of another.

    Phew! I'm exhausted....! But in a good way. :)


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