Friday, November 26, 2010

A Christmas Carol

I was 6 or 7 the first time I saw Alistair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge. My family and I lived n Sebastian Place in Halifax and we just got our first television the fall of 1956. CBHT, channel 3 in Halifax, was the only television station at that time. It was the Christmas holiday andDad had given my brother, Danny, some money to buy me and him some fish and chips from Willman's Fish and Chips shop. DAnny rode his bike there and back and we settled in front of the TV for the broadcast of A Christmas Carol. I remember that the ghosts scared me, and I didn't like Tiny Tim. The movie was terrific and became for me the iconic Christmas movie. Every Christmas since that time I have watched that movie. Most of the time I watched it with my dad. We always became teary eyed at the same spot and made fun of Tiny Tim's "God bless us, everyone." When I became a dad my daughter and I watched it every year. VCRs became affordable early in my dadhood and I bought a copy of A Christmas Carol to watch. I did it mainly because the movie was broadcast later and later every year and I wanted my daughter to enjoy it with me.
There have been several remakes of this Christmas classic and most of them had better acting than the emotive Alistair Sim. George C. Scott as E. Scrooge, is probably the best portrayal done. I still like the 1951 version best of all because of the memories it evokes. I enjoy "A Muppets Christmas Carol", Walt Disney's "Mickey's Christmas Carol", and even Bill Murray's "Scrooged."
"There is more of the gravy than the grave in you," says Ebeneezer to Marley's ghost. Scrooges missed promise to his sister Fan, and the realization that his anger is misdirected are priceless lessons for all. When in "Mickey's Christmas Carol", the spirit of Christmas Present cannot pronounce "pistachio" and says "green gravy", my daughter and I laughed so hard that the milk I was drinking at the time came out through my nose.
I was fortunate to teach Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" to my students for many, many years and it became a more meaningful lesson when the availability of the movie occurred and I was able to incorporate it into my lessons.
I need to buy a copy of the Alistair Sim version because I gave my copy to my daughter in Vancouver. Last year i saw that the movie was being broadcast around 8 PM my time. I called my daughter and, even though there was a 4 hour time difference, we agreed that she would watch the video while I watched the broadcast at the same time. I know it seems maudlin, but I felt we were watching at the same time and felt a synergy over the expanse of distance. Christmas season won't be the same without spending a joyous couple of hours with Alistair and company. I have watched it every year since 1956. I would be a sad loss not to see him again this year.
Merry Christmas and a "Bah, Humbug!" to all. LOL

1 comment:

  1. So glad you found a copy of your movie and can enjoy it again and again with your daughter, and who knows, perhaps someday with a grandchild. A lovely tradition Mr. S.