Scrooge (1951 film)

Scrooge (1951 film)

name = Scrooge (1951 film)

caption = "Scrooge" movie poster
imdb_id = 0044008
writer = Noel Langley
starring = Alastair Sim
Mervyn Johns
Hermione Baddeley
Michael Dolan
director = Brian Desmond Hurst
producer = Brian Desmond Hurst
cinematography = C.M. Pennington-Richards
editing = Clive Donner
distributor = United Artists (US)
released = October 31, 1951
runtime = 86 min.
country = UK
language = English
music = Richard Addinsell
awards =
budget =

"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 Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge and was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, with a screenplay by Noel Langley.

The film also featured Kathleen Harrison in 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 Cole as the younger version of Scrooge, Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Cratchit, Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit, Clifford Mollison as Samuel Wilkins, a debtor, Jack Warner as Mr. Jorkin, a role created for the film, Ernest Thesiger as Marley's undertaker, and Patrick Macnee as a young Jacob Marley. Michael Hordern plays Marley's Ghost, as well as old Marley. Peter Bull serves 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 Present sequence, 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, [ [ 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" [ [,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 PBS stations, 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.

Featured cast

*Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge
*Kathleen Harrison as Mrs. Dilber
*Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit
*Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Cratchit
*Michael Hordern as Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost
*Michael J. Dolan as Ghost of Christmas Past
*Francis de Wolff as Ghost of Christmas Present
*C. Konarski as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
*George Cole as Young Ebenezer Scrooge
*John Charlesworth as Peter Cratchit
*Rona Anderson as Alice
*Glyn Dearman as Tiny Tim
*Hugh Dempster as Mr. Groper
*Louise Hampton as Laundress
*Carol Marsh as Fan
*Jack Warner as Mr. Jorkin
*Roddy Hughes as Fezziwig
*Richard Pearson as Mr Tupper
*Hattie Jacques as Mrs. Fezziwig
*Patrick Macnee as Young Jacob Marley

See also

* List of A Christmas Carol adaptations

Notes and references

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