Scrooge (1951) – Ace Mini-Review

Starring: Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley
Written by: Noel Langley
Book by: Charles Dickens
Directed by: Brian Desmond-Hurst
U.K., 1951

How good is this movie?

A classic adaptation of a classic story, and a staple of my Christmas viewing. Alastair Sim’s performance is, admittedly, a bit overwrought, and it takes some getting used to. But this is a comedy, and Scrooge has always been something of a clown. The film is funny and heartwarming and even frightening in places. I don’t know if it’s objectively better than other adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but it’s the one I know best, and I love it!

How ace is this movie?

An important point of contrast in the movie is between the empty, single life of Scrooge and the happy marriages of Bob Cratchit and Fred. In fact, Scrooge’s bachelordom is explicitly portrayed as one of the tragic consequences of his greed and misanthropy: his girlfriend, Alice, breaks up with him because of the way he has “changed towards the world”. Unlike her book counterpart, Alice ends up an old maid, suggesting that Scrooge was her One True Love who robbed both himself and her of the chance of marital happiness. However, Alice’s single life is not empty, as she has devoted herself to helping others. And Scrooge himself eventually finds fulfillment, not through romantic love, but by becoming more caring towards his nephew, his clerk, and his neighbours.

3.5 Stars; 3 Aces

Merry Christmas!

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