This story of the meanest man in town who awakens to the power of kindness is considered a staple of the holiday media diet. When it comes to picking a film adaptation of Dickens 1843 classic, you have a lot of options to choose from. And once somebody picks their chosen rendition of the tale, most people are vehement about defending their film as the one true to their version of the story.
The film I grew up with (and thus the one I consider to be the quintessential, true classic) is the 1951 version starring Alastair Sims as the cold-hearted miser Scrooge.
I think that Sims himself is a huge part about why this version is so wonderful. When Scrooge is reawakened on Christmas Morning, you can really feel his manic joy. In this scene, you believe in Scrooge's transformation, and I don't think any other actor has ever really owned this performance like he did here.
This version is also a fantastic period peice, from top to bottom, and I really think it's the "A Christmas Carol" that stays truest to Dickens' original text. All the witty little 1840's jokes are kept intact, and are still funny and understandable. And this film really delves into the complex relationship between Scrooge, his sister and his nephew, which I think is a key to understanding the miser.
Want more proof this version is awesome? A woman whose name is actually Hermione stars as Bob Cratchet's wife!
But like I said, everybody has their own version of the story that they like best, and this is mine. Which is yours?