Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Favorite Version of "A Christmas Carol"?

Well, certainly the 1951 version is a classic.  Alastair Sim makes a marvelous Scrooge. Delightful, really. However, I've always had one little gripe about this version. Actually, it's a big gripe about a thing that should be little but isn't.  Tiny Tim.  In this version, he's a very tall-y Tim, and it annoys me.  Scrooge should not look as if he's about to fall over from the weight of Tiny Tim.

The 1962 Mr. Magoo version? Okay, it's not really in the running, but I had to mention it because when I was four, it was in the running and even that badly animated Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come gave me nightmares.

What about the 1984 George C. Scott version?  Yes, yes, the score is heavy-handed and downright silly in a few spots (such as when Belle tells Ebenezer she hopes he'll be happy in the life he's chosen and the music pounds us over the head with the significance of what is to come) but I can forgive it all its flaws because of Scott.  I think he's the quintessential Scrooge.  And I love David Warner and Susannah York as the Cratchits in this one, and Tiny Tim is actually tiny and very cute and I adore him.  This version wins the "brings me to tears" tally, and it's my number one.   We just watched this one with the girls on Sunday night, and they loved it.

What about you?

12 comments:

Christine M said...

I have the same gripe about the 1951 version that you do. Tiny Tim is not tiny!

I think our family's favorite is the George C. Scott version - though my kids have a special love for the Muppet's version.

Shirley said...

Ever since I re-read the story a few years back, I would have to say that the 1999 Patrick Stewart version is moving ahead of the GCS version in my list (something I never thought possible)... it is the closest to the storyline of all of them.

Theresa said...

Our favorite is the Albert Finney musical version called "Scrooge". It's silly and sappy and the music positively drives you insane when it inevitably gets stuck in your head, but we LOVE IT!

Danae said...

Absolutely, the George C. Scott version. The ghost of Christmas future is so frightening, and the whole movie is completely true to the book. Although....I agree the Muppets version is fun! :)

Emily said...

Surprisingly, the Muppet Christmas Carol is really good. It actaully quotes from Dickens' book, with Gonzo as Charles Dickens, and tells the kids at the end to read the book, which I always find heartening. And Michael Caine as Scrooge is really touching.
My personal, nostalgic favorite is "Mickey's Christmas Carol", simply because that's the first one I saw as a kid.

Rochelle said...

I have to admit to a sentimental liking for the Magoo version, because it introduced a then nine-year-old bookworm to the book. And that song the Cratchits sing at their Christmas dinner can still choke me up, especially the line:
"A Christmas far more glorious than grand."
Now there's something to think about.

Babs said...

I can only watch the GCS version every few years. Too intense at times for me. It gave my children nightmares when it was first broadcast. My sentimental favorite is Magoo. The music was first rate. I went to a children's matinee when I was in my thirties, just to see it on a big screen.

This year we watched "Scrooged" with Bill Murray. Obviously not faithful, but we still enjoyed it.

It is quite amazing how many versions have been made of this tale.

linda68701 said...

Definitely the Patrick Stewart version. We have a copy if you want to borrow it.

Amy said...

It's the Muppet Christmas Carol for me! Michael Caine as Scrooge is perfect, and the comic relief of Gonzo and Rizzo helped my son watch it for the first time because it took the edge off of the "scary ghosts come for you in the night" aspect of the story!

Red Cardigan said...

Muppets here, too!

I think what we love about it are the literary references, the tongue-in-cheek humor, and the way that the story is still told rather authentically, even with songs and dancing Muppets.

Karen E. said...

Clearly we need to see the Muppets and the Patrick Stewart versions. :)

Barb, sfo said...

I have a soft spot for Mr. Magoo. Just can't help it. In fact, the song "I'm All Alone in the World" has been stuck in my head ever since I thought of Mr. Magoo. And it's been DECADES since I've seen that cartoon.