A Christmas Carol: My 2 Favorite Movie Adaptations

I think the movie “A Christmas Carol” aka “Scrooge” at times, may be the most remade film in history.  I have not seen most of the modern versions and don’t care too.  Two classic versions of the movie are inscribed on my memory and remain my favorites.

I’m kind of posting this for Gen X’ers and Millennials who may have never encountered these older versions.

A Christmas Carol (1938) - This is the version that dominated my childhood from pre-school on, on my local television station played this every year at Christmas time and I and all my friends watched it religiously each year.  Young children like repetition and familiar things so us kids ate this up.  And it’s a good version for young children, scary but evened out by just a touch of Hollywood schmaltz to make it not too scary for kids.  Reginald Owen does a fine job as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart is very good as Bob Cratchit.  Leo G. Carroll is good as Marley’s Ghost.

Scrooge (UK), A Christmas Carol (US) (1951) - This is a grittier, grimmer, darker version.  As Art, as a movie, it is a better adaptation.  Several critics think this is the best version ever made.  British actor Alastair Sim plays Scrooge to perfection, the supporting cast is far stronger than the American 1938 film, and the script more detailed, deeper, richer.  The grimness might not be for small children but for adults it makes the happy ending all the more enjoyable.  Foe adults, if you are only going to buy one version this is it.  Pro Tip: DO NOT get the colorized version.

Brad Enslen @bradenslen


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