What is the best Christmas movie ever?
I have a ritual at Christmas time of trying to catch the Christmas movie classics so as to get into the Christmas spirit. On Christmas Eve, we always have A Christmas Story on TBS, which is excellent and just leave it there on the TV playing to a blazing fire in the fireplace. A few days before Christmas, I like to catch It's A Wonderful Life, with Jimmy Stewart. A great feel good Christmas movie.
By far though, I love the versions and variations on A Christmas Carol, the Dickens masterpiece. There are several versions from the original made in 1938 or more recent versions with Patrick Stewart or even Scrooged, with Bill Murray which I feel is a very entertaining adaption. The most recent rendition I know of is the animated version starring Jim Carey. There are a few cartoon versions as well, although I don't think Donald Duck plays well as Scrooge. But my absolute favorite of all is the 1970 musical, Scrooge, staring Albert Finney.
Sure, many of the actors (especially Finney) can't sing well and they do a thing called "talk singing".... but it works for me. Albert Finney IS Ebenezer Scrooge. From the miserly bean counter who abuses poor Bob Crachet to the denials throughout his journeys with the ghosts up to the final transformation to Father Christmas - Finney captures Scrooge perfectly. Dickens probably weeps.
The classic includes a great performance from Sir Alec Guiness as Jacob Marley, Scrooge's former (and also miserly) business partner who had died seven Christmas Eve's past.. Marley takes pity on Scrooge and gives him a chance at avoiding his grave fate of haunting the earth bound in chains with other miserable ghosts. Guiness's brief appearance and antics as he walks in and sits down beside instead of on a chair he pulls towards him are priceless. Luckily, he doesn't sing. For a 1970's film, the special effects are pretty good and help to make the ghosts and hauntings more believable. Even though Scrooge feels Marley is "just a bit of undigested potato" up until he is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future. Then he fears he's learned his lessons too late.
"Scrooge" brings home for me the spirit of Christmas and the feeling that we can always begin again and embrace a better side of ourselves. That Christmas should be about kindness and family because that matters more than wealth and preservation of wealth. It makes me believe that those who have left us would only want us to enjoy this time of year even when we miss them dearly. It lets one embrace that joy of giving and caring for family so needed and so often forgotten by the commercialized holiday.
The movie used to play all the time during this season but the 1970 version gets less air play each year. Luckily, they released a DVD with remastered color and sound. You can watch the classic "uncut" at your own pace at your own choosing without commercial interruption. You can catch it now on YouTube even (see link below). "Scrooge" is a movie that should be watched by the entire family during every holiday season. I usually force the kids to watch it just like my parents did to me!
Watch Scrooge on YouTube
- SCROOGE 1970 Version Albert Finney...The BEST Version EVER!.avi - YouTube
This is the CLASSIC version of Scrooge with Albert Finney which was the BEST Scrooge ever released! Why they don't show it on TV anymore is completely baffli...