Weekend Film Recommendation: Two Adaptations of A Christmas Carol

Alastair Sim and Michael Hordern collaborated on both live action and animated versions of A Christmas Carol, both remarkable films

scrooge-2RBC Weekend Film Recommendation is on holiday break this week, but here are two previously recommended movies well worth revisiting at this time of year:

Scrooge: Alastair Sim and Michael Hordern lead a perfect cast in the best live-action adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol — The best animated adaptation of the same story is eerie and utterly original. Wonderfully, it features Sim and Hordern among the voice actors.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans and drugs. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and scholarly articles, and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), the San Francisco Chronicle and other media outlets. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is usually in London, where he is an ad hoc policy adviser to the national and city government, an honorary professor of psychiatry at Kings College, a senior editorial adviser to the journal Addiction, and a member of The Athenaeum. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area or London, he is usually in Washington D.C., where he serves as a frequent science and policy advisor to federal agencies, and where he has served previously as an appointee to a White House commission and several Secretarial task forces. From July 2009-2010, he served as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area or London or Washington D.C., he is usually in the Middle East, where since 2004 he has volunteered in the international humanitarian effort to rebuild Iraq’s mental health care system. This work has taken him to Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to teach and consult with Iraqi health professionals and policy makers.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Film Recommendation: Two Adaptations of A Christmas Carol”

  1. How this wicked, blasphemous, sacrilegious tale became so popular in a supposedly “Christian” culture is inexplicable. In Luke 16:19-30 we read about the rich man who neglected poor Lazarus at his gate and was later in torment in Hades while Lazarus rested in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man asked that Abraham send Lazarus to warn his brothers of what awaited them if they behaved as he did, but Abraham said that if his brothers did not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither would they listen to someone rising from the dead; there is no point in sending such a warning. That is the clear and unmistakable lesson of this passage. He who hath ears, let him hear.

    But Dickens was having none of this; no, he decided that he could improve on the gospel and wrote this tale of a rich man hearkening to such a warning and being redeemed thereby. Let us all flee from Dickens’ story as from a deadly plague, or we will surely be tormented ourselves in Hades for our disbelief in the authentic Word of God.

      1. Agreed! Patrick Stewart was outstanding, and I think he hugged the original story a bit more closely than most other adaptations.

        But of course, I admit my favorite animated version is Mr. Magoo’s version. I love the songs most of all….

  2. There are a couple of recordings – cassettes – of the story in full that are great listening, notably in a sufficiently long car ride during the holidays. Unfortunately both of them decided to hide deep in the Christmas supplies this year and have not been found, so I can’t give you the names of the readers (who read all parts very persuasively) – both of them are far more convincing than Mr Sim, in my view – and I have seen a few minutes of Mr Sim’s version this year (hard to avoid if one turns on the TV at all). If they show up as we put away the decorations etc that we did manage to find, I’ll mention them here. Highly recommended. (Brits, of course.)

  3. The Muppet Christmas Carol is lovely. Also wonderful is a TV version in which David Warner, who generally plays the devil or Jack the Ripper et al played a sad-eyed Bob Cratchit.

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