From the Video Shop: Scrooge (USA Title - A Christmas Carol)

Neil Turner

1951 - United Kingdom - 86 minutes

Writer - Noel Langley from the novel by Charles Dickens

Director - Brian Desmond Hurst

Internet Movie Database User Rating - 8.0/10 - Link to IMDB

My Rating - 5 of 5 Stars

I am not alone in stating that this filmed version of A Christmas Carol is by far the best so far. There is no color and there are no extraordinary special effects - what there is is a well-told tale with superior acting, great sets, atmospheric photography, and a goodly number of chills and chuckles.

Alastair Sim is Ebenezer Scrooge. His performance as an evil, unforgiving miser is so frigid that it makes your blood run cold. His transformation into the loving, caring Scrooge is a joy to see. He perfectly captures a man who wants to express his newfound joy, yet is fearful of the attitudes of those with whom he wishes to reconcile.

Second only to Sim's performance is that of Kathleen Harrison as Mrs. Dilber, Scrooge's cockney maid. All of her scenes in the film are delights to behold.

Two actors in the film who are probably the most familiar to today's audiences are Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Cratchit and Patrick Macnee as Young Jacob Marley. Fans of the television series The Avengers will recognize Macnee as John Steed.

If you have never viewed this version of the tale, I strongly recommend it. Hopefully, it will become a regular holiday treat in your home as it is in mine.

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Harvard Square Commentary, December 25, 2006