What's new

My “A Christmas Carol” marathon 2023! (1 Viewer)

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
A Christmas Carol is my favorite holiday story. Although it’s been ages since I read the book (I need to soon!) the movie versions just fascinate me. My dad got me started on what were arguably the two best versions: the Alistair Sims and Reginald Owen films. I’ve started watching as many interpretations as possible this year and welcome any additions, suggestions or comments.

#1
A Christmas Carol (1938)
Such a great film! It’s got everything the film needs: great adaptation, cast, sets and direction. It’s charming, funny and touching. And it gets its message across so well, without feeling cheesy. Highly recommended.
IMG_4103.jpeg
 

SD_Brian

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
1,444
Real Name
Brian
My personal favorite is the 1984 George C. Scott version.

That said, at the risk of being a humbug, I've seen so many versions of A Christmas Carol, both on stage and screen--not to mention performing in a stage version myself back in high school--that I think I could happily live the rest of my life without ever seeing another.
 

Harry-N

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
3,908
Location
Sunny Central Florida
Real Name
Harry N.
I would agree that the George C. Scott version is quite worthy of being among the best versions out there. I also love and watch the Sim and Owen versions every year. As a STAR TREK fan, I've also seen and admired the Patrick Stewart production, but somehow for me it just misses the mark.

We also usually enjoy a short and sweet version: Mickey's Christmas Carol.
 

richardburton84

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
941
Real Name
Jack
The 1951 version has always been a favorite but this has become our new Christmas tradition...
a-christmas-carol-goes-wrong-british-movie-cover.jpg

I have yet to see this one, but I have quickly come to like the “Goes Wrong” vignettes (their Peter Pan Goes Wrong is quite hilarious) so I shall have to seek this one out.

A favorite adaptation of mine is the Oscar-winning 1971 animated version from Richard Williams featuring Alastair Sim and Michael Hordern reprising their roles from the aforementioned 1951 adaptation.

 
Last edited:

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
#3
A Christmas Carol (1949)

Easily the weakest adaptation I’ve ever seen. Originally a 30 minute TV special, it doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. On the plus side, Vincent Price gets a decent amount of screen time as the narrator (it helps a little since it’s condensed so much). Unfortunately, the cast is pretty weak, the sets are barebones and there are no effects at all. Also, there’s no emotional connection with the characters so there’s no real joy when Scrooge mends his ways. Side note: I didn’t recognize any of the cast but a young Jill St. John plays one of the Cratchit kids. Skip it.
IMG_4110.jpeg
 

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
#4
Scrooged (1988)

Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a TV executive with no heart who’s heading a screening of A Christmas Carol starring Jamie Farr as Marley, Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim and Buddy Hackett as Scrooge. I’ll be honest: Bill Murray movies run hot or cold with me. Unfortunately in this case it happens within the same movie. Having never seen this before probably made me like it less. Several of the jokes are topical which would be lost on anyone under 40. On the plus side, it follows the general storyline of Carol with some genuinely funny scenes. But Murray is TOO unlikable and his attempts at emotional connection fall flat. I never really felt any investment in the characters. And while in 1988 the casting was probably brilliant, I don’t really care for Bobcat Goldthwait or Buster Poindexter. My friends that have watched this every Christmas love it…as a new viewer I thought it was meh.
IMG_4130.jpeg
 

Robert Saccone

Premium
Joined
Jan 3, 2000
Messages
616
I’ve seen so many and I haven’t come across one I really dislike. However one of my favorites is Albert Finney in Scrooge (1970). I also just watched An American Christmas Carol (1979) with Henry Wrinkler which I like because of its New England setting (although filmed in Canada)
 

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
#5
Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol) 1935

The first sound adaptation stars Seymour Hicks as Scrooge, a character he played HUNDREDS of times on stage. He’s very good, the film has several scenes and a lot of dialogue in common with the more famous 1938 version. This one is well done, but doesn’t place the same emphasis on Tiny Tim as the ’38 version which hampers the whole transformation of Scrooge. Also, I’d forgotten that the “ghosts“ are not shown onscreen with the exception of Christmas Present. Another drawback: all the streaming services are showing a colorized version (not horrible but not the original B&W film).
IMG_4102.jpeg
 

richardburton84

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
941
Real Name
Jack
#5
Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol) 1935

The first sound adaptation stars Seymour Hicks as Scrooge, a character he played HUNDREDS of times on stage. He’s very good, the film has several scenes and a lot of dialogue in common with the more famous 1938 version. This one is well done, but doesn’t place the same emphasis on Tiny Tim as the ’38 version which hampers the whole transformation of Scrooge. Also, I’d forgotten that the “ghosts“ are not shown onscreen with the exception of Christmas Present. Another drawback: all the streaming services are showing a colorized version (not horrible but not the original B&W film).
View attachment 206421

I once saw a print of this version years ago on a library copy of the live-action Sim version. The print quality was not very good and it also felt like there were bits missing, which really hampered my appreciation for this version. I later discovered that this was indeed the case and that there at least 17 minutes missing from the print I saw. I still need to see the longer version, but I did find the fact that 3 out of 4 spirits were not shown rather interesting (I’m not sure how accurate it is, nor do I remember if it was actually him, but IMDb apparently says that no less than Claude Rains provided the voice of Marley in this version).
 

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
#6
A Christmas Carol (1984)

I am surprised I’ve never seen this before. A really well done period piece. I loved George C. Scott as Scrooge. The rest of the cast is solid, although every Tiny Tim I end up comparing to the one in the Reginald Owen version. One thing I really enjoyed about this version is that it’s a half hour longer than the previous ones I talked about giving it a lot of room to expand and explore the characters and their motivations. Definitely worth seeing if you like the story.

IMG_4144.jpeg
 

KPmusmag

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
1,637
Location
Henderson, NV
Real Name
Kevin Parcher
I went on a binge last week my self and watched the Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, George C Scott and Patrick Stewart versions. I enjoyed all of them. I know the Patrick Stewart version falls short for some, but I love it. Also - his audio book version is really good IMO. Speaking of the book - I read that last week also as I wondered what had been embellished, if anything, in the different versions. I discovered anew that Dickens' prose is SO splendid, his command of English so impressive, and much of its music is lost on the screen, no matter how good the film is. Do read the book if you haven't in a while; it took me less than two hours and I found it quite worthwhile.
 

EricSchulz

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,583
#7
Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

“Carol for Another Christmas” was originally a TV movie from Christmas 1964. It was written by Rod Serling (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery) and directed by Joseph Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Guys and Dolls, Cleopatra). It’s probably the most provocative adaptation I’ve ever seen. It’s a loose retelling of A Christmas Carol but set against the Cold War, bomb scares, the Red Menace and the war-related death of the son of Daniel Grudge. It’s a fascinating look at war, world peace, and how we view things that do or don’t directly affect us. The cast is outstanding. Sterling Hayden, Steve Lawrence, Peter Sellers and a really chilling performance by Robert Shaw as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It’s dark, depressing, scary and compelling. It actually wasn’t shown again for almost 50 years after its original broadcast. It’s definitely NOT your typical Christmas movie.

IMG_4154.jpeg
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
356,953
Messages
5,126,990
Members
144,215
Latest member
WavyJawn
Recent bookmarks
0
Top