- Scrooge (1951 film)
name = Scrooge (1951 film)
caption = "Scrooge" movie poster
imdb_id = 0044008
Alastair Sim Mervyn Johns Hermione Baddeley
Brian Desmond Hurst
producer = Brian Desmond Hurst
October 31, 1951
runtime = 86 min.
country = UK
language = English
"Scrooge" (1951), released as "A Christmas Carol" in the U.S., is one of the most well-known film adaptations of
Charles Dickens's " A Christmas Carol". It starred Alistair Simas Ebenezer Scrooge and was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, with a screenplayby Noel Langley.
The film also featured
Kathleen Harrisonin an acclaimed turn as Mrs. Dilber, Scrooge's charwoman; a role found in the book, but built up for this film. Fans of British cinema will recognize George Coleas the younger version of Scrooge, Hermione Baddeleyas Mrs. Cratchit, Mervyn Johnsas Bob Cratchit, Clifford Mollison as Samuel Wilkins, a debtor, Jack Warner as Mr. Jorkin, a role created for the film, Ernest Thesigeras Marley's undertaker, and Patrick Macneeas a young Jacob Marley. Michael Hordernplays Marley's Ghost, as well as old Marley. Peter Bullserves as narrator, by reading portions of Dickens' words at the beginning and end of the film, and also appears on-screen as one of the businessmen cynically discussing Scrooge's funeral.
In addition, the film expands on the story by detailing Scrooge's rise as a prominent businessman who was corrupted by a greedy new mentor that had lured him away from the benevolent Mr. Fezziwig. When that new mentor, who does not appear at all in Dickens's original story, is discovered to be an
embezzler, the opportunistic Scrooge and Marley offer to compensate the company's losses on the condition that they receive control of the company that they work for - and so, Scrooge and Marley is born. During the Ghost of Christmas Presentsequence, the film also reveals that Scrooge's girlfriend from his younger days, Alice, works with the homeless and sick. In this telling of the story, unlike the book or most other film versions, Scrooge's beloved sister Fan is assumed to be slightly older than Ebenezer. In this adaptation it is revealed that his mother died while giving birth to him (necessitating the change of birth order between Ebenezer and Fan), causing his father to always resent Ebenezer for it. He is reminded of this by the Ghost of Christmas Past when Scrooge bitterly mentions that Fan died from complications after delivering his nephew, Fred.
The film did not attain its current popularity in the USA until the
1970s, when it began to be shown on television. Until then, the most frequently seen film version was MGM's 1938 adaptation starring Reginald Owen. The Alastair Sim version had received a favourable notice from " The New York Times" when it opened in 1951, [ [http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0DEEDB143BE03ABC4151DFB767838A649EDE The Screen In Review; Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol,' With Alastair Sim Playing Scrooge, Unveiled Here] , Bosley Crowther, " The New York Times," November 29, 1951] and a mostly negative review in " TIME" [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,889415,00.html "TIME" review] , December 3, 1951.] but otherwise had not caused much of a stir. However, in the years since its first American TV showings on local PBSstations, it has attained classic status in that country. Sim's characterisation of Scrooge, from mean and sinister to happy and generous, receives particular praise.
A colourised version of the film was released in 1989, and many of the DVD issues include it as an extra.
Alastair Sim and Michael Hordern reprised their roles two decades later, lending their voices to
Richard Williams' 1971 animated version of the tale.
Alastair Simas Ebenezer Scrooge
Kathleen Harrisonas Mrs. Dilber
Mervyn Johnsas Bob Cratchit
Hermione Baddeleyas Mrs. Cratchit
Michael Hordernas Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost
Michael J. Dolanas Ghost of Christmas Past
Francis de Wolffas Ghost of Christmas Present
C. Konarskias Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
George Coleas Young Ebenezer Scrooge
John Charlesworthas Peter Cratchit
Rona Andersonas Alice
Glyn Dearmanas Tiny Tim
Hugh Dempsteras Mr. Groper
Louise Hamptonas Laundress
Carol Marshas Fan
*Jack Warner as Mr. Jorkin
Roddy Hughesas Fezziwig
*Richard Pearson as Mr Tupper
Hattie Jacquesas Mrs. Fezziwig
Patrick Macneeas Young Jacob Marley
List of A Christmas Carol adaptations
Notes and references
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