Thursday, 5 December 2019

The Best Movie Version Of A Christmas Carol Is…?

DC Editor Adam writes…


So what's your favourite screen version of A Christmas Carol? Here are two to get you going…



Scrooged with Bill Murray (1988)

Bias alert. This is my favourite version.

Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a cynical TV exec who has forgotten how to keep Christmas in his heart.

Murray's selfish streak makes Daffy Duck look like Mother Theresa. He is hell bent on winning the TV ratings war at Christmas and when the trailer for his version of Scrooge – packed with violent imagery – causes an elderly viewer to have a heart attack, he is thrilled.

Murray is relentlessly horrid throughout the movie, brilliantly so. The movie is set in New York, but the spirit of London's bleak and empty old Scrooge is alive and well in Murray's performance. And his ghosts are terrific. David Johansen as the Ghost of Christmas Past drives a 1957 yellow cab and rolls the pugnacious vowels of the old-school New York accent with aggressive glee - in abusing a slow driver, he bellows "Get back ta Joisy ya moh-raaahn!". Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present may look like a fairy from the Christmas tree but she packs a punch - a literal punch – as she takes it upon herself to knock some sense into the wicked Cross before it's too late.

Here's the trailer…






A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge (1999)

As well as starring in this 1999 made-for-TV version, Patrick Stewart has adapted and performed in a one-man show of Dickens' beloved 1843 tale in the West End.

He is a terrific Scrooge, but the supporting cast is also something to behold in this straight-ahead faithful-to-the-book version. Richard E Grant's scrawny and consumptive Bob Cratchit is heartbreaking. Saskia Reeves is as quietly noble a Mrs. Cratchit as you will ever see. Fruity old Desmond Barrett is a fecund spirit of Christmas present.

Moment to watch out for... When Scrooge wakes on Christmas morning to find himself redeemed, he laughs heartily... or tries to. It has been such a long time since he used his laugh that it takes a while to get started. Stewart spins comedy gold out of the moment, wheezing and spluttering like an old jalopy on a cold morning before bursting into joyful life.

Here's the scene…




So what's your favourite screen version of the tale?



•••


My Public Scheduled Tours for December 2019


5th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

5th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

6th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

7th December – Marylebone – 2pm Bond Street Tube

7th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

19th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

19th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

20th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

21st December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

23rd December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)

26th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

27th December – Hidden London – 11am Monument Tube (Fish Street Hill Exit)

28th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

28th December – The Beatles & Bob Dylan In 1960s London – 10am Temple Tube

30th December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)





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