A Christmas Carol
is easily one of the most
adapted pieces of literature
In fact there probably hasn’t been a year where a new variation of the story hasn’t been produced–whether it’s a movie, a TV special, a very special episode, a cartoon or something else. As a result, our memories are filled with literally dozens upon dozens of Ebenezer Scrooges–each one having a special significance to someone out there.
For example, during the past couple of years I’ve noticed how much affection many of my younger friends have for 1992’s A Muppet Christmas Carol–a movie I’ve never seen because it was released when I was precisely the wrong age for me to want to do so. But I can appreciate how–despite it’s initial commercial and critical failure–it’s grown to become a classic for folks of a certain age, who regard Michael Caine as their Scrooge of choice.
Another variation that didn’t impress critics when it was initially released, but now has a large and loyal fanbase is Richard Donner’s 1988 update, Scrooged, which transformed the character into a craven and unscrupulous network president named Frank Cross–a character written to highlight Bill Murray’s greatest comedic strengths.
Cartoon wise, there’s been Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capped follow-up to The Polar Express, which put Jim Carrey in the role, as well as a Disney adaptation that gave the part to Scrooge McDuck–a character explicitly inspired by Dickens’ character. And then there was the time when the role went to Qunicy Magoo:
But for many folks the definitive Scrooge came in 1951 when Alastair Sim took on the part in low-budget British adaptation that nonetheless captured the pure spirit of the story in a way so few have:
However, thanks to the my exposure to it at an early, impressionable age, MY Scrooge–the one I see in my head whenever I think of the character–was inhabited by Albert Finney in Ronald Neame’s and Leslie Bricasse’s 1970 musical adaptation.
Of course, I’ve barely even scratched the surface of all the Scrooges out there (anyone else remember Henry Winkler’s in An American Christmas Carol?), so there’s a very good chance I haven’t mentioned your favourite. Well, that’s what comment sections are for! Have at it!