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Monday, December 3, 2012

What is it about Scrooge?

I love the works of Charles Dickens. Always have and always will.  The man did not have an easy life, especially childhood and perhaps that is why his characters are so memorable, or his writings because he could draw on so many experiences.

He was born in 1812 and sent to school at the age of nine. However, his father and (I think) the family was imprisoned for debt while Charles was sent to work in Warren’s blacking factory.  A few years later he was able to return to school.  He began is writing career as a journalist from which fame would soon follow.  Dickens is known for many wonderful stories such as Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, along with others that first appeared as monthly installments in various papers and magazines publish from 1836 to 1861.   I sometimes wonder what he would think of his books still being so popular this day in age, and that in some schools they are even required reading.    

There could be arguments made as to which is the most popular of Dickens’ work, but at this time of year none seem as famous as A Christmas Carol.  There are a number of movie versions but these are probably the more popular ones: 

Scrooge (1970) with Albert Finney
A Christmas Carol (1984) with George C. Scott
Scrooged (1988) with Bill Murray
A Christmas Carol (1999) with Patrick Stewart

But, we can’t stop there, other famous characters have also embraced Dickens:
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
The Jetsons Christmas Carol (1985)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

I’ve also seen various renditions of this classic on different family networks, one being my favorite channel this time of year—Hallmark! (yes, I love the sappy Christmas movies and have this channel on practically 24/7) .  Some have even put a female in the roll of Scrooge, and others are a modern take.

 But right now, one if my favorites is A Christmas Carol: The Musical staring Kelsey Grammer.  The story is the same, but it has some great music.  This is probably my favorite from the show:



This month one of the theatres I volunteer at is performing A Christmas Carol: The Musical. It opens on December 7th and I love seeing everything come together.  Often I find myself sitting and watching when I should be working, constantly in awe of our local talent.  I wish I could show you the little girl who sings this song in our production. It moves me every time.  For this production I also happen to be in charge of hair and makeup. I love working on historical pieces and this one has been especially fun because I get to be creative for all those ghosts who show up with Marley and the Spirits from Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Which is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol and why do you think this story remains so popular?  If you are not a fan of A Christmas Carol what is your favorite Dickens story?

Jane Charles
a/k/a Amy De Trempe



21 comments:

  1. Great post, Jane!

    I think A Christmas Carol is still so popular for a few reasons...

    1 - It mixes Christmas with ghosts (which are really more prevalent at Halloween)
    2 - It's a story of redemption, that it's never too late. I think that speaks to a lot of people.
    3 - It's kind of the original "Christmas spirit" tale.

    As for favorites... I grew up with the Albert Finney version (and while Kelsey Grammar could use some redemption in real life - he's currently on my list along with Tom Cruise of people I just cannot support with my own money - I, personally, don't want any part of anything he's involved with)

    BUT my favorite is the Muppet's Christmas Carol. To this day I can hear "Light the lamp, not the rat. Light the lamp, not the rat!" and I will giggle uncontrollably.

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    1. Ava,

      You have me giggling too now. I had forgotten about "Light the lamp, not the rat." I get what you are saying about Grammar (and I am sure a number of people feel the way you do) and I hadn't watched this version until I agreed to work on this local production. I simply love the music in it and our Scrooge is awesome :).

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  2. Good one, Jane!! How can you not love the story of Scrooge? It's an elemental tale--turning from the dark to the light. My favorite kind!

    I love the version with Patrick Steward. Probably because I just adore Patrick Stewart. :-) That voice! Plus, unlike Kelsey Grammar, he seems to totally rock in real life.

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    1. Deb,

      As for Scrooges, Patrick Stewart is my all time favorite. I will watch anything he performs in.

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  3. Jane,
    I love the classic version of A Christmas Carol. When I was about 4 years old, my mom bought a record - yes, the old fashioned vinyl kind - with the audio version of this story. I was mesmerized. I listened to it over and over again for years. There were sound effects added, too. I think I liked the record more than the movie, because I could use my imagination.

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    1. Samantha,

      I never knew it was on a record but now I am going to look for the audio version. I love my audiobooks - lol.

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  4. I'm not really a fan of A Christmas Carol. I prefer Miracle on 34th St. (original black and white version). I've seen the George C Scott and Patrick Stuart versions of ACC but I have to say my favorite is Mickey's Christmas Carol. Mickey can make any story worth watching. ;)

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    1. You've just made a friend, Beth. Jane LOVES Miracle on 34th Street.

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    2. Miracle on 34th Street is always a must watch for me this time of year.

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    3. I'm with you, Beth! I prefer lightness to dark, even if the dark one has redemption :) Plus, that actor was a darn good Santa!

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  5. Jane,
    Oh, love this! My absolute, most adored, wonderful, favorite version of A Christmas Carol is The Muppet Christmas Carol. A-DORE.
    Scrooge (Michael Cain): And that is why I'm going to raise your salary.
    Miss Piggy (Mrs. Cratchett): And that is why I'm going to raise you right off the pavement...what?
    LOL! Love it! A pig after my own heart. :)

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    1. I'm beginning to think I am the only Lady Scribe who finds the muppets infinitely creepy! Even when I was a kid I couldn't watch them...

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    2. No way, Erin!! Really?!? I heart them!!

      -Jerrica

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    3. I heart them too. Kermit was my favorite. And Fozzy Bear.

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  6. Andris,

    You have me laughing. I haven't seen The Muppet Christmas Carol in a few years. I am going to have to find it so I can enjoy it again.

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  7. This is so bad but I loved the movie Scrooged with Bill Murray. :)) My favorite Christmas movie, however, is White Christmas followed by A Christmas Story. :)

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    1. Oh, Marquita! A Christmas Story is amazing! I do like White Christmas, but I like Holiday Inn better. (Did you know the song White Christmas was first heard in Holiday Inn - both starred my fav Bing Crosby.)

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    2. I didn't know that. So cool! I love Holiday Inn, too, but White Christmas is my fav. :))

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    3. Marquita,

      I enjoy Scrooged as well. Actually, I think it is safe to say there isn't a version I haven't liked. However, I am not a big fan of White Christmas or Holiday Inn. I don't know why because I usually love movies from this era, but these have never been favorites of mine.

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  8. I looooove Muppets Christmas Carol!!! Brilliantly done! I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Jim Carey semi-animated Christmas Carol, though! I thought I would hate it, but it's actually quite brilliant as well. The 3D effects made it look like it was snowing in the theater!!!

    Jerrica :)

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    1. I haven't seen Jim Carey's version because I have never been a fan. But, if you liked it, I will give it a try. But, all of these mentions about the Muppets, I need to find that movie so I can add it to my holiday viewing stack.

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