Every Christmas I drive Someone to distraction with my various versions of “A Christmas Carol”.  Spo-fans know I love Dickens. ACC is not his best work, but it is his most popular. There are multiple productions of this tale.  Every generation gets the Scrooge it needs or wants, so their style and emphasis differ.

Alison Sim remains my favorite.

Positive: Admittedly it adds a lot to the original story, but what is included is helpful to the plot.  This version contains one of my favorite expressions – “The din would resemble and orchestra of scorthced cats”.
Negative: the Cratchitts are sacchrine, especially Tiny Tim.

George C. Scott

Positive – They get the Ghosts rights. Christmas Present gets centre stage for once, as he should.  The Crachitts are more believable and palpable. There is more story about his nephew, which drives home his need for reconciliation with his dead sister.

Negative: Mr. Scott looks like Mr. Scott, not Mr. Scrooge. The scene where Scrooge’s things are pawned is less ghoulish than most.

Patrick Stewart

Positive – more accurate costumes

Negative – too much emphasis on Scrooge’s avarice rather than his self-isolation from wounds (after all it was made in the 90s). Mr. Stewart snarls too much.

James Carey

Positive – I like how the Children of Man transform to sociopaths, illustrating the dire consequences of denying their existence.  There is no ‘actor’ to get in the way of seeing Scrooge as Scrooge.

Negative – there is a silly chase scene where a tiny Scrooge, mouselike, must run around for the sake of some 3D usage.

 

There are a few cartoon versions (Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Magoo come to mind).  I remember as a child a cartoon version of ACC with the voice of Alister Sim. It was dark and gloomy – a real ghost story. It gave me the frights.  It has the scariest Marley’s Ghost ever !

I think there is a Muppet Scrooge but forget it !

 

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