When it comes to favorite Christmas tales on the screen, there are probably two. There’s no confusion about the first, because there is only one It’s a Wonderful Life. In fact, Frank Capra’s classic is so expertly wrought that no one has even attempted a big screen remake. The second is a little more problematic, because there have been many worthy takes on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Case in point, we’re actually going to take a look at a few of them this month. In 1984, George C. Scott humbugged to memorable effect in a made-for-TV adaptation. Albert Finney sang and danced his way through the title role of 1970’s Scrooge. Even Mr. Magoo, the Muppets, Blackadder, Captain Picard and Mickey Mouse have taken their shots (with varying degrees of success). But widely believed to be the best-loved and most-remembered version of A Christmas Carol has to be the 1951 edition of Scrooge, with the inimitable Alastair Sim as London’s cruelest miser.
Sim, a veteran of British stage and screen, started his motion picture career in the mid-’30s and ended it in the early-’70s. In between, he appeared in over fifty films, but the role that has given him true immortality is that of Scrooge. Sim is not just one of many actors to play the part — for everyone who has seen the crisply-made black-and-white production, he is the definitive Scrooge. Everyone else, from George C. Scott to Bill Murray, is an impostor. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Scrooge (1951)’