I have decided that watching every Elvis movie is a good idea. There are 31 movies – all musicals – in total. This project will likely drive me insane.
2. The Classic Of Christmas Classics
There are countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A different version shows up almost every decade and attempts to rehash the timeless story without making it dull. Some, like the 2009 adaptation that used performance capture, show off new technologies. Several versions are animated. Others play up the fantasy elements or place an immensely popular actor in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. One of these versions is bound to have your favorite.
And despite all of these versions, no adaptation comes close to the 1951 version, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge.
This version of A Christmas Carol (known as Scrooge in the UK) stays faithful to the source material, strays from making the film too family friendly, and feels wonderfully vivid because of Alastair Sim’s performance as Scrooge.
The cast of this film consists entirely of character actors. Sim made his mark on the stage and in bit parts in several films. A Christmas Carol is arguably his most well known film performance today.
Sim’s Scrooge is a real crank. He is angry, resentful, and just an all around unpleasant man. He doesn’t give his one employee Bob Cratchit a bonus or want to visit his nephew to celebrate the holiday.Yet after the visits from the ghosts of Jacob Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future, Scrooge instantly changes. Scrooge becomes giddy with joy and excitement, causing his housemaid to think he’s gone mad. (Sim’s laugh in this scene is infectious.) He makes amends with his family and Cratchit.
No matter how many more adaptations of A Christmas Carol there will be (you know a 3D live-action version is somewhere in the works), it is unlikely that any actor could top Alastair Sim as the best Scrooge.
I’m still on my John Huston kick. I am watching as many of his films that I can easily get my hands on. The good, the bad, and the meh. Nothing is off limits. After revisiting The Asphalt Jungle last week, I switch gears to something a little less gritty and a little more… dull.
I’m in the middle of reading John Huston: Courage and Art. It’s a great read, partially because it has made me envious of every actor/director/producer/average person who hung around Hollywood types during the classic era because everyone was screwing each other. And I mean, everyone. There are chapters dedicated to John Huston’s affairs. It’s wild and completely entertaining. It almost (almost) makes me wish I lived in 1940s.
Other than this, Courage and Art has made me realize that although I have seen many John Huston movies, I don’t remember them that well. I’m 99.9% convinced that I fell asleep through most of them. (How blasphemous!) So that’s what I did tonight – revisited The Asphalt Jungle.
Day 16, Movie 16 – A Face In The Crowd – The Movie That Predicted Today