Today! Because I’m too old and beyond hope! Go and redeem some younger, more promising creature –
A Christmas Carol (1951)
Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst
Starring Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Michael Hordern, George Cole, Rona Anderson, Kathleen Harrison, Francis De Wolff, Brian Worth, Peter Bull, Patrick Macnee
The greatest Christmas Carol ever filmed, 1951’s Alastair Sim take feels like a much longer film than its 86 minute run time. Hell, the Jim Carrey motion capture thing from ’09 is 96 minutes (and you feel every second of that thing). But while a short film feeling longer is typically not a good thing, the ’51 Carol benefits grandly, as it actually took the time to expand on elements teased in the novel and never explored in any prior film version. This also might not necessarily be seen as a positive aspect of a typical film adaptation – just straight adding things to a plot – and especially one with a story widely regarded as one of the best ever told, but the additional material feels so organic, so Dickensian, that unless you are really a Christmas Carol scholar – films or novel – you may not notice.