Favorite Christmas Movies: A Christmas Carol (1951)

alastair-simAt last count, I can think of 15 movie versions of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”, including parodies such as “Blackadder’s Christmas Carol”… but as far as I’m concerned, nothing has ever been able to surpass the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. My Christmas is always made happier by watching that movie, because it’s all about growth and kindness, love and forgiveness – all the values that Christ came to teach us; and that Christmas has come to embody.

Besides, Sims’ Scrooge is such a brilliantly sour and withered soul, and when he finally sees the light, his joy is absolutely infectious. The scene where he can’t stop laughing, and dances about saying he’s as giddy as a schoolboy always makes me laugh for joy along with him.

The movie is rich in small treasures… the scene where he rubs his hair and frightens Mrs. Dilber… the rollicking polka music… I even like it when Fred’s over-genteel wife quavers: “Deah, deah Uncle Scrooge… You’ve made Fred so very, very Heppeh…”

1951 “A Christmas Carol” Trivia

Here’s a piece of 1951 movie-version trivia I haven’t yet found on the net…

Now, I may have got the actress wrong, but I’m pretty certain it was the one who plays Martha, Bob Cratchit’s eldest daughter… Apparently she was in the throes of stomach flu while they were filming the Christmas Dinner scene, where Cratchit wants to toast Mr. Scrooge. She so vividly described her misery trying to sit through filming that day, I’ve never forgotten it, even if I have (in my usual merry fashion) got a few facts wrong here and there.

What The Boy In The Snow Actually Says, When Scrooge Tells Him To “Go Buy That Turkey”

According to the Imdb movie database, the boy says: “Walker!”, which Imdb describes as a colloquialism meaning “get lost”, “take a hike” or “yeah, right”. They go on to talk about someone called Hookey Walker from an 1841 book called Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.

They’ve got the meaning right – a term of derision and disbelief – but by the time my sister and I started going to school, the expression had mutated to “Wotcher”; and to me it sounds as if this is what the boy is actually saying – which would be an anachronism!

It’s remarkable that a movie can be so rich in sentimentality while dealing with such horrendous current issues, in the book’s original context, as child poverty, alcoholism, workhouses and destitution. These were all realities of Dickens’ time – and they haven’t gone away, for millions of people. That’s something I never forget, while I’m smiling mistily at dear old Alastair Sim.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogplay
  • Add to favorites
  • FriendFeed
  • Propeller
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Buzz
Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.