Ebenezer Scrooge malcontentedly shuffles through life as a cruel, miserly businessman; until he is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve who show him how his unhappy childhood and adult behavior has left him a selfish, lonely old man.
- Ebenezer Scrooge: Alastair Sim
- Bob Cratchit: Mervyn Johns
- Tiny Tim Cratchit: Glyn Dearman
- Young Ebenezer Scrooge: George Cole
- Fred Scrooge: Brian Worth
- Jacob Marley: Michael Hordern
- Mrs. Dilber: Kathleen Harrison
- Alice: Rona Anderson
- Jorkins: Jack Warner
- Spirit of Christmas Past: Michael Dolan
- Spirit of Christmas Present: Francis de Wolff
- Fan Scrooge: Carol Marsh
- Mrs. Cratchit: Hermione Baddeley
- Peter Cratchit: John Charlesworth
- Old Joe: Miles Malleson
- The Undertaker: Ernest Thesiger
- Fred’s Wife: Olga Edwardes
- Fezziwig: Roddy Hughes
- Mrs. Fezziwig: Hattie Jacques
- Miss Flora: Eleanor Summerfield
- Laundress: Louise Hampton
- Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come: Czeslaw Konarski
- Mr. Snedrig: Eliot Makeham
- First Businessman / Narrator: Peter Bull
- Second Businessman: Douglas Muir
- First Collector: Noel Howlett
- Second Collector: Fred Johnson
- Mr. Rosehed: Henry Hewitt
- Mr. Groper: Hugh Dempster
- Boy Sent to Buy Turkey: David Hannaford
- Alice’s Patient: Maire O’Neill
- Mr. Tupper: Richard Pearson
- Young Jacob Marley: Patrick Macnee
- Samuel Wilkins: Clifford Mollison
- Martha Cratchit (uncredited): Moiya Kelly
- Fezziwig’s Lad (uncredited): Tony Wager
- Novel: Charles Dickens
- Adaptation: Noel Langley
- Casting Director: Maude Spector
- First Assistant Director: Denis O’Dell
- Director of Photography: C.M. Pennington-Richards
- Editor: Clive Donner
- Original Music Composer: Richard Addinsell
- Conductor: Muir Mathieson
- Associate Producer: Stanley Haynes
- Producer: Brian Desmond Hurst
- Art Direction: Ralph W. Brinton
- Sound Recordist: W. H. Lindop
- Camera Operator: Cecil Cooney
- Set Decoration: Freda Pearson
- Hairstylist: Betty Lee
- Makeup Artist: Eric Carter
- Costume Design: Doris Lee
- Production Manager: Stanley Couzins
- Boom Operator: Fred Ryan
- Costume Design: Constance Da Pinna
- r96sk: My first time watching this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ work – thoroughly enjoyed it!
I’ve previously only watched the Disney animated film and the 2019 television miniseries with Guy Pearce. I also like both of those, they each have things that are inferior and superior to this 1951 film.
Alastair Sim is the best Ebenezer Scrooge of the three, I loved watching him from start-to-finish. Sim’s facial expressions are terrific throughout, while his happiness later on is infectious. A top performance!
None of the others massively standout, unlike the aforementioned productions, but George Cole (young Scrooge) is pleasant, as are those who play the ghosts. Other positives include the score, the tension building and the arc of the lead character – given the fact that they make him horrid at the beginning.
The special effects haven’t aged well, but that’s to be very much expected almost seventy years on – in fairness, they look pretty good for ’51. Elsewhere, I found that some of the camera shots are held for too long, while I also wanted more reactions of Sim when he was seeing the past/present/future – sometimes they chose to stick on the ‘event’, rather than showing Sim.
Those aren’t major criticisms at all, just small ones. All in all, ‘Scrooge’ is a very good film – one well worth a view!
- Peter McGinn: I read a review by a critic which stated this is the best adaptation of the oh so familiar story of Charles Dickens’ Scrooge. Not because of advanced production value or cutting edge special effects. In fact, this movie is definitely low tech, being from 1952 as it is.
But now I agree with that assessment. There are three elements that in my mind elevate this production to the top of the pile. The first is the setting and the mood of the film. This felt like Dickensian London to me, the rough streets and dense atmosphere through the fog and just the look of the people.
The story was also handled with a deft touch. It has been a long time since I have read the novella by Dickens, but this story felt closer to the original. I like the details they added sometimes when Scrooge was with the Christmas ghosts. For one example, when it showed the people selling Scrooge’s belongings, they spoke at some little length, about their lives and about Scrooge. And then later that scene illustrates how much Scrooge has altered, for he interacts with the woman he saw selling his curtains and gives her a raise.
Finally there is Alastair Sims as Scrooge. He gives a multi-layered performance I appreciated more and more as the story went on. He convinced me during his second ghost that he might want to change but probably wouldn’t. He wasn’t there yet and needed the third ghost to get him over the top. His final conversion felt convincing to me, the little and big laughs of his were evidence of a man who knew he had been spared a final tragic chapter in his and others’ lives.