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A Christmas Carol — The Top Five Versions

posted by Nell Minow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story and I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by top-notch dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Albert Finney, former Miss America Vanessa Williams, former Fonzie Henry Winkler, and former Saturday Night Live star Bill Murray. I love them all. But here are my very favorites, the ones I try to watch every year.

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5. Mickey’s Christmas Carol Who better to play Scrooge than his namesake Scrooge McDuck? And who better for the part of the unquenchable Bob Cratchit than Mickey Mouse? This compilation DVD includes other Christmas goodies “The Small One” and “Pluto’s Christmas Tree.”

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4. The Muppet Christmas Carol has the distinguished actor Michael Caine as Scrooge and the equally distinguished Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. Special mention of A Sesame Street Christmas Carol as well.

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3. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. The voice talent is outstanding, with Broadway star Jack Cassidy (father of teen idols David and Shaun) as Bob Cratchit and of course Jim Backus as Mr. Magoo, in this version an actor playing the part of Scrooge. The tuneful songs were written by Bob Merrill and Jule Styne, who later went on to write “Funny Girl.” (The legend is that their song “People” was originally written for this movie.)

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2. A Christmas Carol This MGM classic features the top stars of the 1930’s. Watch for future “Lassie” star June Lockhart as one of the Cratchit children — her real-life father Gene Lockhart played Bob. (He also appears in another Christmas classic, as the judge inMiracle on 34th Street.)

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1. A Christmas Carol This is the all-time best, with the inimitable Alistair Sim as Scrooge. There has never been a more embittered miser or a more jubilent Christmas morning rebirth. When he orders that turkey for the Cratchits and walks into his nephew’s celebration at the end, everything Dickens hoped for from his story is brought to life.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Toby Clark

    I have to recommend last year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, with Michael Gambon as the Scrooge-equivalent Kazran Sardick.

    • Nell Minow

      Anything Dr. Who does is worth watching, Toby, thanks!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Toby Clark

    Well, I wouldn’t go that far – Timelash, The Keys of Marinus, The Horns of Nimon, Time and the Rani, Fear Her, Planet of the Daleks, The Chase – but anything by Steven Moffat at least.

    • Nell Minow

      Toby, as usual, I defer to your expertise!

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