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.
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Widely considered to be the definitive of the many film versions of Charles Dickens' classic novel is this 1951 British adaptation, starring Alastair Sim (entitled "Scrooge" in its U.K. release). Sim plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a London miser who, despite his wealth, refuses to make charitable contributions and treats his sole employee, Bob Cratchit, as an indentured servant. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who was as selfish as Scrooge in life and has been condemned to an eternity of wandering the Earth in shackles. Marley informs Scrooge that he's to receive a trio of spirits that night who will take him on a journey through Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. As Scrooge encounters each apparition, he is taken on a tour of his life and realizes what a wretch he is, transformed by greed from an idealistic youth into an embittered ogre. Infused with a new, cheery outlook, Scrooge sets about earning his redemption.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
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