Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



I knew that A Christmas Carol had been made a lot of times, but I hadn’t realized just how many. The IMDb lists 32 feature-length movies. There are dozens of shorts, dating back to 1908. It has been made in many languages. Ebenezer Scrooge has been played by Fredric March, Ralph Richardson, Jim Carrey, George C. Scott, Alastair Sim (in 1951 and still the best, in my opinion), Patrick Stewart, Reginald Owen, Michael Hordern, Michael Caine (with the Muppets), Rich Little (impersonating the entire cast), Vincent Price, and Scrooge McDuck, to name only the most famous ones. There are no less than two versions in development right now, and 2019 will bring a TV series, so it seems. There are dozens of animated versions, long and short, with one featuring Kate Winslet and another voiced by Tim Curry, with Whoopi Goldberg, Michael York, and Ed Asner.

There are a lot of “modern-day” versions, including Scrooged,with Bill Murray, or a movie called It’s Christmas, Carol! There spoofs, like one of my favorites, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, where Blackadder starts out as the kindest man in London, but after the visits of the ghosts becomes the nasty fellow we all adore. One I came across and would actually like to see is A Christmas Carol + Zombies. Really! Somebody called Claudia Sulewski plays Edna Scrooge, who is chased by zombies that washed up from England. Leftovers from Shaun of the Dead, maybe? As for TV episodes … it might actually be easier to list the TV shows who did not have a take-off of the Dickens classic. There are dozens, going all the way back to The Kraft Theater in 1947. I didn’t even know they had television in 1947, the year of my birth!

I’ve seen at least a half dozen of the films made from this story. I liked most of them. So, what about this one? It’s not very good, sad to say. The makers tried out some interesting ideas, and some of them work, up to a point. But the technology just wasn’t there to achieve the results they were looking for. Only the Ghost of Christmas Present appears as an actual figure. The others are shadowy visual effects. Marley’s Ghost is seen only on the doorknocker. Many, many scenes are omitted. Scrooge’s sister and Fezziwig are totally gone. This one is of interest only to cinema historians.