A Christmas Carol (1951)
December 2, 1951 - 1 hr. 26 min.
Director - Brian Desmond Hurst
Writers - Charles Dickens, Noel Langley
Starring - Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison
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Read the Review by Keith Cheatham
Merry Christmas!! It’s the best and most wonderful time of the year! We are here at last! And with this wonderful day we finally reach the final Christmas Carol reviews! The biggest and the best adaptations to ever be created. While many adaptations exist, there are only two adaptations that are touted as the best.
If no Christmas is complete without a telling of Scrooge’s revelation on the spirit of Christmas, then it stands to reason that 1951’s A Christmas Carol is an annual must. This adaptation is actually a British film originally titled Scrooge, and upon releasing in the U.S. given the classic title of A Christmas Carol.
Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, staring Alisatir Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, this adaptation follows the classic story fairly faithfully with a few alterations here or there. These alterations though tend to be to add more depth to certain parts of the story however as opposed to cuts. Such as extra backstory given to Scrooge’s partnership with Jacob Marley, or Scrooge’s family with deaths that helped make him the bitter man he becomes. A bitter man brilliantly portrayed by Alistair Sim.
Sim is the living embodiment of Scrooge. Angry, frustrated and alone. Callous and greedy. He plays it so well it’s hard to imagine him ever having loved or being capable of love. This plays perfectly with his redemption as his transformation from anger and loneliness to compassionate and seeking forgiveness is all the more powerful as Sim truly sells the character. Yes, there are minor changes, but the essence of the story still rings true, with sequences that are dark, painful and sad juxtaposed to the ones showcasing the hope and love that we can all share. Making this adaptation my personal favorite.
I give 1951’s A Christmas Carol 4 out of 4 stars.