Scrooge (1951)

Scrooge (1951)

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst

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, George Cole as Young Ebenezer Scrooge, John Charlesworth as Peter Cratchit, Francis De Wolff as Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff), Rona Anderson as Alice, Carol Marsh as Fan Scrooge, Brian Worth as Fred, Miles Malleson as Old Joe, Ernest Thesiger as The Undertaker, Glyn Dearman as Tiny Tim, Michael Dolan as Spirit of Christmas Past

I hesitate to add to the avalanche of praise bestowed, on this site,

on this perfect picture, the definitive Scrooge of all time, which I

have watched, spellbound, every Christmas since I was three

years old and will continue to watch as long as I am breathing. I

endorse the review already placed here by "jackboot"; and I have

also been particularly touched by that small scene between

Scrooge and the maid, with not a word spoken, that "Seashell 1"

mentions. Two points I would like to underline here which I have

not seen mentioned by others: First, this is about the only

"Christmas Carol" movie that remembers to be a GHOST story as

well as a Christmas story. The superb camera work by
Pennington-Richards and the powerful score by Richard Addinsell

help to make this movie rather scary in places, as it should be.

Nowhere else have I seen the grim bleakness of the grimier side

of Victorian London so immediately conveyed. The scene where

Marley's ghost is caught out in the snowstorm with a multitude of

other wailing spirits is truly horrifying; and there are many such

moments, such as the one where the Spirit of Christmas Present

suddenly reveals to us the personifications of Ignorance and

Want; they really scared me as a kid, and they should scare us all

as adults now. Secondly, and above all, I think that the reason why

Alastair Sim succeeds so brilliantly here in a role which has

defeated so many is that he was chiefly a COMIC actor. Ebenezer

Scrooge has from the beginning an underlying humor which

makes him human; by allowing it to come out he makes the

transformation plausible, by making you understand that this

humor was dormant in him all along, just waiting to be awakened.

It just isn't Christmas without Sim.

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