There have been more than twenty film and TV versions of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (including the Muppets’ take on it, The Muppet Christmas Carol), with everyone from George C Scott, Jim Carrey, Patrick Stewart, Tim Curry (in an awful animated version) and Michael Hordern taking on the role of miser Ebenezer Scrooge. The best version, and the best known, is this 1951 British production, in which Alastair Sim stars as Scrooge (and does it better than anyone before or since), who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past (Michael Dolan), Christmas Present (Francis De Wolff) and Christmas Yet to Come (C Konarski) one fateful Christmas Eve, in the hope that the apparitions will make him change his mean ways.
With a cast that includes George Cole (as young Ebenezer), Michael Hordern (here playing Jacob Marley) and Hattie Jacques, this is cracking stuff, both as a terrific introduction to Dickens’s classic ghost story (the ghostly bits aren’t suitable for very young eyes), and as a movie to get you in the Yuletide mood. Avoid the colourised version that’s available, and revel in the rich black and white movie the way it was meant to be seen.
Is Scrooge suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The ghosts may scare young children, as may the scene in the graveyard.