A Christmas Carol

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

In the years since Charles Dickens first penned A Christmas Carol in 1834, it has become a timeless classic. Within months of its appearance, it was adapted for the stage. It was one of the first stories to be produced as a feature-lengh motion picture when Thomas Edison invented the motion-picture projector and made it possible for an entire crowd to watch a movie as though it were a stage play. Every generation re-creates the wonder of A Christmas Carol and reinterprets the story of the miser who has a change of heart.

In this reinterpretation of the classic tale, George C. Scott (Twelve Angry Men, Patton) breathes new life into the character of Scrooge, showing him not as a cardboard villain but as a man whose meanness grew out of lonliness and chronic rejection. Thus his regeneration through the ministry of the three ghosts (Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come) is less a total transformation than a rediscovery and re-nurturing of the wounded soul that had hidden itself under an armor of gold.

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Alternatively, you may prefer a reinterpretation of the classic story in a modern setting. Scrooged stars Bill Murray as a ruthless TV executive who learns a lesson in the process of putting on a production of A Christmas Carol

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And for the child in all of us, there is Dr. Seuss's animated reinterpretation of the classic story, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. An ancient and misanthropic hermit who seeks to spoil the festivities of the gentle Whos instead learns that Christmas does not depend upon material things, but rather upon the inward spirit of giving. Through their refusal to have their joy ruined, he instead grows and in the end joins in the very festivities he sought to ruin.

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Review posted December 16, 1998