Scrooge (1951)

This is considered by most to be the definitive film version of A Christmas Carol and I would have to agree. This version stars Alastair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge and features a cast of some of England's best character actors such as Kathleen Harrison.

The film was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and the film itself was approved by one of the granddaughters of Charles Dickens. The film was not widely known in the US until the early 1970's when it had begun to be played on PBS. Until then, the most widely popular version was the 1938 MGM adaptation starring Sir Reginald Owen.

The film represents the much bleaker vision that the original story had. Sim's Scrooge also represents a real man as opposed to a cookie-cutter "baddie" who shows no reason for being bitter and unkind and then suddenly changes his ways. This Scrooge has a past with bad circumstances and choices made along the way. His redemption at the end is understood and even The Ghost of Christmas present acknowledges that Christmas itself is about the birth of Christ and that Scrooge has refused to seek him in his heart.

This movie is the epitome of what is considered a "Dickensian" style Christmas setting.


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