Friday, 25 December 2015

A Reluctant Seasonal Post.

I watched the 1953 Alistair Sim version of Scrooge again tonight for about the hundredth time. No other film comes close in its capacity to keep me watching, so I thought I’d list its pro and cons.


1. It’s about Christmas.

2. The middle section dealing with the ghosts of past, present and future drags mightily, and the special effects are risible even by 1950s standards.

3. There are far too many religious references in it.

4. Tiny Tim. He’d be OK if he was a snotty-nosed, obstreperous little tyke called Charlie, but the combination of alliteration and mawkishness has to be the all-time literary disaster. And it’s my opinion that the line ‘God bless us every one’ should have been edited out by the publisher on a non-negotiable basis, Dickens or no Dickens.


1. Alistair Sim. Brilliant.

2. Kathleen Harrison (Scrooge’s housekeeper.) Never fails to engage, whatever she does. Her line: 'A Christmas present? For me?' touched the strings admirably where the TT creature failed miserably.

3. Marley makes an excellent ghost.

4. The pre-visitation Scrooge is compellingly hard.

5. The post-visitation Scrooge is delightfully dotty.

6. It’s about a man being rescued from a dark place. That’s the clincher. Stories of people coming out of the dark and into the light never fail to move me. (Pity it had to be at Christmas.)

*  *  *

And talking of God (sort of, briefly) I have a trivial question for you Germans out there:

You know how there’s a trend these days for people to liberally scatter ‘OMG!’ all over emails, YouTube comments and so on? Do Germans liberally scatter ‘GIH!’?


Anonymous said...

I, too, have seen this movie about a hundred times. Alistair Sim must have been in great shape. Notice how he does the polka at the end?

JJ Beazley said...

I thought he looked in pretty great shape when he was chasing his housekeeper through the apartment and down the stairs on Christmas morning. In fact, that scene is my favourite in the film. It's surprisingly modern in the way it mixes energy, humour and pathos, and he and Kathleen Harrison worked brilliantly together.

JJ Beazley said...

By the way, Nancy, do you think you might have a quiet word with your pesky daughter and encourage her to start posting to her Tumblr again? It's one of my favourite diversions.

Anonymous said...

I will when she returns from across the pond.

JJ Beazley said...

The pond? You mean she's escaped to civilisation?!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but she's on her way back to the land of Trump. Said to tell you she'll post to Tumblr soon.