Every Christmas season I watch a version of A Christmas Carol. My all-time favorite is the 1951 Scrooge, starring Alastair Sims, with George C. Scott’s 1984 adaptation a close second. Last week, though, we watched for the first time the 2019 FX re-telling of the classic story, starring Guy Pierce. I enjoyed it very much. It’s quite different than the other two—more somber and foreboding, darker. A baleful spirit hangs over almost every moment. Liberties are taken with the Dickens’ tale, but such has always been the case with the cinematic and television presentations. Pierce’s Scrooge is truly despicable, and his redemptive turn at the end lacks the exuberant joyfulness exhibited by Sims and Scott. This is most definitely an adult story, which (God willing) I look forward to rewatching in a couple of years.
Last week I also discovered the 1971 animated version of A Christmas Carol. Clocking in at 25 minutes, it won an Oscar for best animated short film. Scrooge is voiced by the same Alistair Sims who starred in the 1951 movie. This too is well worth watching, but you might want to put the kids to bed first. The Muppet Christmas Carol it ain’t.
Who is your favorite Scrooge?