We know you’ve been wondering it since you were a child, and the results are in. The answer is no, Oliver Twist would not have needed more gruel, thus asking for more would have been unlikely. Thus, he never would have been kicked out of his orphanage and set on an adventure filled with thieves and murderers eventually coming out on top and being reunited with relatives.
Take that, Dickens!
Just in time for Christmas, scientists figured out that recipes of gruel that have been lying around since the first have of the 1800s actually provided good nutritional value and had a pretty decent serving size. You may know Dickens’ work from his attempt to rob a famous magician of his stage name with his book David Copperfield.
Until recently, Dickens was regarded by historians as the creator of the modern Christmas. As recently as a few years ago, he was given credit for instilling the spirit of giving to others and creating the Victorian version of Christmas that spread throughout the Western world. Today, we know his Christmas books, A Christmas Carol in particular, were nothing more than communist propaganda.
Think about it, an old rich business owner against a worker who demands health benefits and paid vacation. Much less the fact that a welfare state must be created to support Tiny Tim, or the ghosts of Christmas, which are obviously Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin.
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)’