A Christmas Carol (1951)

Genres - Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Fantasy Adventure, Holiday Film  |   Release Date - Oct 31, 1951 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Scrooge is remarkable for staying faithful to Charles Dickens's classic story as it remains fresh and vivid, even upon repeat viewings. The entire cast is excellent, but it is the great performance of Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge that distinguishes this version from several other adaptations of this work. Sim creates a complex characterization, and, in the film's many flashback scenes, the audience is given a compelling view of the character as he evolves into the not-so-lovable curmudgeon visited by ghosts. Indeed, such complexity is necessary for the story to have its full impact, as the viewer must feel both sympathy and disapproval for Scrooge, a difficult combination for an actor to convey. The crisp, black-and-white cinematography of C.M. Pennington-Richards is also a major asset. This is one of the most convincing of all recreations of Dickens' England, with almost no condescension to sentimentality from director Brian Desmond Hurst.