Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vertical viewing—A Christmas Carol

It seems so obvious, but I've never done a vertical viewing of my favorite holiday film—A Christmas Carol! Charles Dickens wrote a terrific story (and even coined an adjective!), which of course has been adapted into dozens of films, both for TV and the big screen. My vertical viewing* is only going to cover a few of of these films, and I've gotta lead with my all time fave—the 1951 version with Alastair Sim. He just plays a super grumpy Scrooge! For comedy, Bill Murray in Scrooged is just hilarious, though Carol Kane steals the show as ghost of Christmas Present. George C. Scott and Reginald Owen both play excellent Ebenezers, nice and grumpy. I generally dislike most musicals but I admit to liking the Scrooge film with Albert Finney, which only has minimal singing and nothing too sappy. Each of these Scrooges and each of these films has me smiling by the end, and tonight on the Turner Classic Movies, several of these Christmas Carol films will be showing. Have your Bailey's and hot chocolate ready!

A Christmas Carol

the 1951 version with Alastair Sim
the 1988 version (called Scrooged) with Bill Murray
the 1984 version with George C. Scott
the 1938 version with Reginald Owen
the 1971 version (called Scrooge) with Albert Finney

*Vertical viewing defined by me—In wine tasting, there is a term called vertical tasting—sampling one wine varietal from the same producer from several vintages. So I call it Vertical Viewing when I watch and compare several different versions of films. It's great to really get into the storyline and compare the acting and the strengths and weaknesses of each film. 

Click on "vertical viewing" label below for other vertical viewing suggestions!
Or click to read my vertical viewing posts of Emma, Anna KareninaCyrano de Bergerac and Shakespeare's Tempest!

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