25 Films Of Christmas: A Christmas Carol (1984 & 1999)

Posted: December 9, 2013 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
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A Christmas Carol has always been one of my favorite stories. Yes, it is a tale of redemption with a happy ending but, it’s so dark on its way to that happy ending. My first experience with the story was probably Disneys’s A Christmas Carol way back in the day which obviously toned it down a bit but still got the point across. Sometime back in my early years of grade school, one of my teachers showed our class the 1984 George C. Scott version of the movie, and I was in love. I’ve come to appreciate Mr. Scott for his talent, but back then I just knew I liked the movie. Some years later, the TNT network premiered an original version of the story starring Patrick Stewart and yet again, I was enamored by it.

A Christmas Carol is the story of a very wealthy, and very cheap, asshole named Ebeneezer Scrooge. He is a genuinely foul guy who is hated by…well, everyone. On Christmas Eve after coming home from “work”, and basically ruining everyone’s day every chance he got, some funky things start to go down. He is visited by his dead former partner telling him he will be visisted by three spirits over the course of the night and that if he doesnt change his ways he will die and end up in shackles for eternity. Scrooge blows it off and goes to bed and soon enough, the fun begins. Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visit and show him different things sufficiently scaring the shit out of him along the way. Needless to say, he comes out of the experience a changed man and starts spreading the cheer.

I love this story in general but in particular, these two adaptations. They tell the story so well and with so much emotion and depth, and it doesn’t hurt that they capture the darkness really well. The season doesnt feel official until I watch at least one of these movies. On a side note, I read the Disney version to my son last night for the first time. To see his eyes light up as I got deeper into the story and did all the voices really got me in the spirit more than I already was. Hopefully he will love it as much as I do. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays for whatever you celebrate this time of year from my family to yours.




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