Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - A Christmas Carol

My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the MGM 1938 production starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge. The husband and wife team of Gene and Kathleen Lockhart played the Cratchits and their young daughter, June, played one of the Cratchit daughters. Terry Kilburn was cast in the role of the beloved Tiny Tim.

Although this version of the film has been converted into color, I still prefer the original black and white production the best. Although not as faithful to Dickens' original novella of the same name, in my opinion, this version captures the era of the mid 1800s in which the story takes place.

My next favorite verison of A Christmas Carol is Scrooge (1951), one of the best-known film adaptations. This one stars Alastair Sim as Ebenezer and he was an evilly, crabby Scrooge.

The one thing that bothers me about this adaptation is The Ghost of Christmas Past sequence shows that Ebenezer's mother died while giving birth to him which meant that, unlike the book, Ebenezer is younger than his sister Fran. The death of his mother caused his father to resent Ebenezer which he is reminded of by The Ghost of Christmas Past when Scrooge bitterly mentions that Fran died from complications after delivering his nephew, Fred.

This film has also been re-released in color, but I have no preference between the color or black and white.

Last, but not least, I also love Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol - a musical adaptation. This is also my hubby's favorite.

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol was the first animated holiday special ever produced specifically for television (1962), and the only one until Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was first shown in December 1964.

Mr. Magoo was cast as Scrooge and he was voiced by Jim Backus. This version varies significantly from the novella because it was filmed to fit a one-hour time slot. The Ghost of Christmas Present appears before The Ghost of Christmas Past, and no reference is made to Scrooge's nephew Fred or his sister Fan.

I enjoy the theme song, "Ringle, Ringle", about "coins when they mingle", sung by Backus. I also like when Joan Gardner as Tiny Tim sings about "razzleberry dressing" and "woofle jelly cake."

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