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The Alistair Sim Version of Scrooge The Best

Posted by: David Kiley on December 22, 2005


Before I take off for the holiday, I just wanted to say something. There are many film versions of “Scrooge” kicking around the TV dial and DVD shelves.

I just wanted to state for anyone who would like to chime in that the 1951 British version starring Alistair Sim is the best one. More than that, choosing this version and forsaking the much cheesier 1938 version starring Reginald Owen is a sign of real taste. So, if you want to impress people, and you are asked which version you prefer, you want to say Alistair Sim, of course. The 1984 version starring George C. Scott is an acceptable answer as well, but not as good as Sim. Answering that you like the Reginald Owen version best is like telling people you think Godfather III was the best Godfather movie, or that Rocky II was better than Rocky.

The 1999 vesion with Patrick Stewart is a slight cut above the Owen version. The 1970 musical version starring Albert Finney is not for everyone, I’ll admit. But Finney is so damned good in anything, that I watch it when it comes around. The Mr. McGoo version is the only acceptable cartoon version.

The 1935 version starring Seymour Hicks is unwatchable.

One more thing…if you are making mincemeat pie or plum pudding….for pete’s sake…use real suet.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Festivus. Happy New Year.

Reader Comments


December 23, 2005 1:21 AM

What, no vote for Bill Murray's 'Scrooged'?


December 23, 2005 8:59 AM

I totally agree, as far as I am concerned there is NO other version.

Nick Vico

January 30, 2007 8:56 AM

Um, i have to say this movie was rather intrugueing...i love computers bye...:)))))


April 26, 2007 7:51 AM

Sim's first name is spelled "Alastair."


October 7, 2007 11:11 AM

The alastair sim version is of course the best, but check out the alastair sim cartoon version too

John Brassey

December 3, 2007 10:36 AM

His acting ability and attention to detail is phenomenal, and makes the film a classic.
All the rest are pale immitations.


December 9, 2007 8:01 PM

Alistair Sim version is the best, by far. You are right, the Stewart version is not bad either. If you can find it, get Patrick Stewart's reading of A Christmas Carol on tape or CD. Excellent. As for Bill Murray's, as much as I like the man's work, his "Scrooged" can be summed up in one word: "no".
Mr. Magoo's version is to the Dickens classic as Charlie Brown's Christmas is to the season: unparalleled.

Dick Westbrook

December 11, 2007 5:34 PM

I heartily agree, the Alastair Sim version is the all time best I've ever seen. Sim's portrayal is very natural and believable. Scrooge is a character that can easily be over-acted and treated as a caricature. One only needs to see Reginald Owen in the role to see a good example of this.
Sim doesn't seem to be acting, he IS a bitter, unhappy, stingy old man. But you know there are reasons he is that way. And as he revisits his past, we see those reasons, and we see the sorrow and pain on his face as he remembers the love he lost.
A close second is Albert Finney's musical version for a few reason's. First of all, because it's a mustical, it almost stands in a category all by itself. And the music and staging are great! Then, of course there's Finney's remarkable performance. You totally forget that Finney is actually the age of the younger scrooge in the flashbacks. Of course, his makeup is superb, but that's only part of it. His facial expressions and body language show a man who has closed himself off from the world, and human love and kindness. Well, I could go on all day.
I do like the George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart versions pretty well. They both turned in good performances.
I hated Kelsey Grammer's version. His performance is in the vein of Reginald Owen's, in my opinion.
Well, I'll shut up. (can ya tell this is one of my favorite stories?


December 18, 2007 3:28 PM

Does anyone know if the Alastair Sim version will be broadcast on a cable channel between now and Xmas? Can't find it listed anywhere.


December 22, 2007 10:48 AM

Yes! The only version I will watch, and do so every year when possible. But where is it in '07? I have Time Warner and have not yet seen a listing. Can anyone out there help on this, or do I give up hope? Wanted to DVR it for the kids.


December 24, 2007 11:18 AM

By far the most superior of all the scrooge films. The George c. scott scrooge is almost unwatchable.


December 25, 2007 5:22 AM

I haven't seen the Alastair Sim version listed at all, local or cable. Disappointing as just about every other one has been on. Sometimes a local station will put it on Christmas Day.


July 5, 2008 11:04 AM

It's available on DVD. Check Amazon or your favorite on line book seller


December 7, 2008 10:04 PM

This is to David Kiley. This is so funnhy if I didn't know better I would have thought that I wrote all of that, I to love the Alistair Sim version and also it has to be seen in black and white and I also love the magoo version. Now does anyone know if it will be televised this December 2008, if so do you know the date? Thank you Paticia


December 19, 2008 6:05 PM

Someone out there, please tell me what channel I can view "Scrooge" with Alastair Sim this Christmas season. He is by far (in my opinion) the best Scrooge.

Steve Thompson

December 22, 2008 6:41 AM

Alastair Sim did what truly great actors do, he temporarily suspended fact and made you believe in fiction. Alastair Sim did not simply play Scrooge, he became Scrooge as Dickens surely intended.

In short if it isn't Sim playing Scrooge... it's crap!

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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