Countdown to Christmas – A Christmas Carol (1949)

The stockings have been hung by the chimney with care. However, Saint Nick isn’t quite in the air yet. As we have near Christmas Eve, we have one three more stops to make on the 3rd Annual Countdown to Christmas. Once again, it is time to see what old Ebenezer Scrooge is up to. Will this be the year that he decides not to listen to Marley’s ghost? Or will this be the year he breaks out in song? Tradition brings me back to my favorite Christmas tale of A Christmas Carol. And, just as we’ve done the last two years, it’s time to take a look at some cinematic Scrooge offerings.Spooky Santa

Well, technically, this year’s tales of Scrooge were never shown in a movie theater, at least originally. There are actually three TV offerings that give us a few more takes on the Charles Dickens classic. So, with our underdone potatoes and undigested beef, let’s see if we’ve found a few more gems this year.

Vincent PriceToday, we start off with a short 25-minute version from 1949. Now, despite being one of the earliest TV adaptation of the Scrooge tale, I was actually quite impressed with this one. For starters, and above all else, it has the legendary Vincent Price serving as narrator. Keep in mind it is 1949 and Price hadn’t quite slipped into horror mode quite yet. But he is as charming as ever and helps save this otherwise rather droll presentation. The cast is mostly forgettable and Taylor Holmes is horribly miscast as Scrooge. He just seems too whiny and overacts constantly. You might recognize the name of Jill St. John if not her face. She is one of the young Cratchit girls and would go on to become a Bond girl in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Its short length is its’ biggest curse and we end up missing a lot of the story. And just what was up with that out-of-key singing from the Mitchell Boys Choir? Go to YouTube and catch it for free. It certainly is fun to watch Vincent Price as least once.

Scrooge 1949As some added fun, be sure to listen to Derek and Dr. Gangrene talk about this version on the 12/9 episode of Monster Kid Radio. As always, you’ll find some great conversation going on. Let them know Monster Movie Kid sent you.

Come back tomorrow as we see what two more horror legends can do with this classic tale. Yes, it’s time for Fredric March and Basil Rathbone in a 1954 musical version.

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