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December 19, 2012

Courtney Caughey-Stambul: The Many Faces of ‘A Christmas Carol’

NEW CASTLE — We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the greedy and grumpy money lender featured in the Charles Dickens novel, "A Christmas Carol."

Over the years, we have become familiar with Scrooge and his story, not only due to the classic writing, but in part to the many film adaptations of the work.

While the novel was originally published in 1843, the first film adaptation of the book didn't appear until 1901. Titled "Scrooge" or "Marley's Ghost," not much information is available on the piece. However, you can still view most of the film on YouTube. It's like watching a play that has been recorded. To view it, CLICK HERE.

In 1910, "A Christmas Carol" was brought to life again, this time by director J. Searle Dawley. The silent short, just over 10 minutes in length, manages to squeeze in the most important elements of the Dickens novel, holding true to the story we love. Produced by The Edison Film Manufacturing Corp., the short includes impressive special effects for its time period, much like the film, "Santa Claus," which I discussed in a previous post. To watch the clip, CLICK HERE.

Jumping ahead to 1938, director Edwin L. Marin led a full-feature adaptation of the novel. Running just over an hour, 1938's "A Christmas Carol" is still popular today. AMC regularly runs the film. Produced in black and white, this version of "A Christmas Carol" is one of my personal favorites.

In addition to the 1938 adaptation, "A Christmas Carol" produced in 1984 and starring George C. Scott, also is one of my favorites. Scott plays an excellent Scrooge. He was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his role as the miser. If, by some chance, you have never seen "A Christmas Carol," I would recommend this film for your first viewing.

A year prior to 1984, Disney took a stab at adapting the Dickens story, producing "Mickey's Christmas Carol." As a child, "Mickey's Christmas Carol" was my absolute favorite Christmas movie. Only 25 minutes long, the animation grabbed my attention and held on to it. To watch the opening to "Mickey's Christmas Carol," CLICK HERE. I still get excited!

In 2009, Disney produced "Disney's A Christmas Carol," starring Jim Carrey. It was released in 3-D. I haven't seen the film, but would like to soon.

So tell me, which film adaptation of Dickens' novel is your favorite?


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