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Scrooge


bchieffo
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In searching the upcoming schedule for December I was dismayed to learn that my favorite version of "Christmas Carol" is not listed. It is the Alister Sims "Christmas Carol" from 1951. Why is it missing?

I think he is the one and only "Scrooge", the best by far. Anyone agree?

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Welcome to the Boards! :)

 

Yes Alister Sim is the best, he brings the right balance to the Scrooge charactor. Great timing on this thread because what I am about to say will cause you to die laughing. Last night (Nov 30) on the History Channel, they aired "The Story of Christmas" (2010).

 

While discussing the holiday, they got to the Xmas specials made during the 1960's. When the movie "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol" (1962) was mentioned, they said this was the *best* Christmas Carol / Scrooge movie ever made. I am speechless, LOL!

 

Edited by: hamradio on Dec 1, 2010 11:19 PM

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I get actors' names wrong all the time, believe me... so please don't be offended if I mention that the fine British actor who stars in the 1951 version of *A Christmas Carol* is Alistair Sim (no "s" at the end.) I've gotten actors' and directors' names more incorrect than that - and I never seem to know how to spell half of them either !

 

That version of the Charles Dickens Christmas classic is my very favourite, the best of the many that have been made. Although, yeah, Mr. Magoo's is pretty good too.

 

(Anyone remember that song, the one the rag people sing: "We're rep _re_hensible ! And we'll steal your pen and your pen_ci_ble ! Lah! Lah! Lah lah lah lah lah !"

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> {quote:title=bchieffo wrote:}{quote}> In searching the upcoming schedule for December I was dismayed to learn that my favorite version of "Christmas Carol" is not listed. It is the Alister Sims "Christmas Carol" from 1951. Why is it missing?

> I think he is the one and only "Scrooge", the best by far. Anyone agree?

 

The odd thing is it's not just TCM, it doesn't seem to be scheduled anywhere. Up until maybe two or three years ago it was available, but suddenly it's not around anymore.

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I definitely prefer the Alister Sim version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

The Tiki family sat down together and watched it last year. My goal is for TikiKid to see different versions of this story every year.

 

As a traditionalist, there are several versions I've never seen. I've been told the Bill Murray SCROOGED is quite good. I assume the MUPPET'S version is also very good. I suppose I could sit through inane MR MAGOO if people here recommend it.

 

Any others you could suggest we see for future Christmas?

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"Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" is better than one might guess. I saw it again a few years ago, having previously seen it only as a little kid in the 60s (with happy memories of it), and I was surprised at how enjoyable it was for an adult viewer.

 

The songs really help the Mr. Magoo version, and that shouldn't be any surprise -- they were co-written by the great Jule Styne, who did the melodies for Bob Merrill's lyrics. You may remember some of Mr. Styne's songs:

 

"Don't Rain on My Parade"

"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"

"Everything's Coming Up Roses"

"Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York"

"Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry"

"I Fall In Love Too Easily"

"I've Heard That Song Before"

"Just In Time"

"Let Me Entertain You"

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"

"Make Someone Happy"

"Neverland"

"The Party's Over"

"People"

"Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)" sung by Frank Sinatra

"Time After Time"

 

Even though I think Jim Backus does a good Scrooge/Magoo, my favorite Scrooge, by far, is definitely Alistair Sim. (Sim is absolutely great in other movies, too, like "Green for Danger" and "The Happiest Days of Your Life.")

 

Reginald Owen in the 1938 MGM version of "A Christmas Carol) is quite good, too, and I always enjoy Lionel Barrymore's very popular radio portrayal from the 30s and 40s. If I remember correctly, Barrymore was set to play Scrooge in the 1938 MGM film, but I believe his bad arthritis, which put him in a wheelchair, prevented it. In the trailer for the 1938 film, Barrymore endorses Reginald Owen for the role. Barrymore, of course, went on to play the unrepetent Scrooge-like character of Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life."

 

(Speaking of repentence, it always bothers me a little bit when someone uses "Scrooge" as a negative term, as I just did. I know what they mean, of course, but that usage completely overlooks the fact that Scrooge becomes a kind, generous character at the end of the story. Same with the Grinch -- shouldn't both names really be positive terms?)

 

Edited by: BingFan on Dec 2, 2010 10:43 AM

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Another fan of the Mr. Magoo version here. I agree the songs are what makes this version special. It sticks to the story, basically, (I think they have the first two ghosts' visits switched) and the Magoo nearsighted jokes are kept to a minimum. I cry just about every time I've watched it.

 

Bill Murray's Scrooged is pretty good if you're a fan of his.

 

I've only seen the Alistair Sim version once, but the Reginald Owen film is also quite good. I haven't seen George C. Scott or Albert Finney versions although I've heard that both are well done.

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I think most of the cinematic Scrooges add some interesting angle to the part. Alistair Sim and Reginald Oven are kind of "the originals" so of course they're great. But I love the crotchety nature of Albert Finney (Scrooge, 1970), the fact that he never cleans anything because it's too expensive, and how he thinks he is the most generous person on earth. Then there's George C Scott (1984) who is just frightening, which make it necessary to bring in the more frightening aspects of the book. I even love Michael Caine (Muppet Christmas Carol 1992) who brings this great dignity to the part, and for whom you have enormous sympathy. And of course, the Scrooge in Mickey's Christmas Carol (1982) brings his Scottish accent, which is always fun. Mr Magoo, of course, brings blind humor.

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Although I admit the Alastair Sim 1951 version is probably the best (of the pre-1960-era versions, not caring to see any made later) my favorite would be the 1935 version starring Seymour Hicks.

 

I'm also a big fan of the Mister Magoo version, but don't like to compare it to the "live-action" versions. But it's a very good and faithful telling of the story and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it.

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George C. Scott's version of the story is my favorite, followed by Magoo! In spite of hating both Jim Carey and the wretched motion-capture process, I loved last year's IMAX 3D version. With the exception of one bad decision, it is fairly perfect. Frankly, I really haven't met a version of the story I didn't like.

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I want the 1971 Chuck Jones Cartoon version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, with Alistair Sim reprising the voice of Scrooge some 20 years later. This version has completely disappeared. So has the 1969 Cartoon version that ran on CBS during afternoons between Thanksgiving and Christmas throughout the 70's. These are the best animated versions by far, and neither is around and largely haven't been for at least 25 years.

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My favorite Scrooges are:

 

Alistair Sim because his film is the best, hands down.

 

Lionel Barrymore - the best performance as Scrooge EVER, though only on radio. Sadly, his arthritis prevented him from doing the MGM film. Reginald Owen was ghastly. Jack Dawn's makeup made him look more like Humpty Dumpty. Barrymore's make up (and performance) were perfectly Scrooge-like when he played Potter in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (albeit without Scrooge's ultimate revelation).

 

Jim Backus as Mister Magoo. A great, surprisingly authentic adaptation with a terrific score and a fabulous Royal Dano as Jacob Marley. "Winter Was Warm" is a very beautiful song, wonderfully sung by Jane Kean.

 

Seymour Hicks. Perhaps the creepiest version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I have a gorgeous 16mm print of the 60 minute version and an excellent video copy of the complete 78 minute release. The early 30's cinematography really oozes Dickensian London.

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Thank you, thank you for the introduction to Seymour Hicks. I just watched it on line and it is wonderful. Not as great a transition as Alistair Sim, but a very fine performance nevertheless. I learn so much from brilliant movie buffs like you.

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I live in Kentucky. I definitely don't need to see more hicks.

 

A few years ago, I was listening to a college radio station and heard not only Barrymore's CHRISTMAS CAROL, but the famous DRAGNET show as well. That just may have been the high point of the season!

 

Edited by: redriver on Dec 3, 2010 7:27 PM

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