I just found out that the Ethics Alarms link to the text of “A Christmas Carol” is suddenly bad, and being momentarily unable to figure out how to fix it (not that more than a handful of readers ever used that link, or any of my links for that matter), I’m embedding the whole 1951 movie version of the tale, the one starring Alistair Sim, as my penance.
This was the version I first saw when I was knee-high to Robert Reich. Mant aficionados of “A Christmas Carol adaptations think it is still the best. Because the movie is in black and white and has been superseded by so many other versions, it is hard to find it on TV except for the streaming services. Even the much inferior version starring Reginald Owen (with the entire Lockhart family, including young pre-“Lassie,” pre-“Lost in Space” June, as the Cratchits) is shown more than the classic Sim film. Now “A Christmas Carol” is most likely to be available, sort of, in the cynical form of Bill Murray’s “Scooged.” It’s not the worst version—the musical starring Albert Finney wins that booby prize (“Thank you very much! Thank you very much!” Yecchh.).
I have to confess that my personal choice for the best adaptation goes to the 1984 George C. Scott version, if you don’t count “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” and you probably shouldn’t. Nonetheless, Allistair Sim is mighty good, and if you’ve never seen him as Scrooge, you owe yourself the experience.
Here he is…