Prologue to What a Scrooge
I have always had a soft spot for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.Oh, that is underselling it. It is my favorite Christmas tale. I like it more than the Christmas Story from the Bible. I can watch endless attempts to tell the tale.
I like the whole idea behind it. The ghosts, the memories, the redemptive nature of the story, the hope it tells of in our choices. It fills me with a certain joy and hope for what can be. I also think it is a “pure” horror story. Strong horror often can have a moral center, as opposed to the diluted in the modern world which often means “gory”. But A Christmas Carol is a true horror story.
Marley returns from the grave, given an opportunity to help one of his only friends from suffering his miserable fate. The ghosts are going to torment Scrooge with what could have been, what is and what might be. And Ebeneezer Scrooge? He is timeless. We see him today, unwilling to share, hoarding wealth, justifying his miserly ways.
“Are there no prisons?”
“And the Union workhouses. Are they still in operation?”
“If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
“I haven’t SQUANDERED it, if that’s what you mean by “making myself comfortable!”
We justify greed and miserly ways. We call it good business sense. It is a powerful tale, one to be reminded of every year…
So I thought I would look at nine different versions of the film. It’s fascinating to see the variety of ways the filmmakers have sought to portray Marley and the Ghosts. I hope to keep adding to this list each year…focusing on the good, the bad…but we will coubntdown to Christmas day starting tomorrow.
(The featured image is actor Tom Atkins as Scrooge. I would love to see his stage performance of this wonderful story. But that would involve a road trip to Pittsburgh)