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This telling is point for point accurate to the book and there are no fancy contrivances or twists to make it different. Still, it’s possibly the most compelling of the standard “A Christmas Carol” adaptations. Sim has such an emotive face that you can’t help but be drawn in, even during the scenes where he’s playing it a bit heavy. His eternal sneer is truly a thing of beauty and fright.

Sim’s joy upon his second chance doesn’t feel too overdone, and this film is considered by many to be the best “Christmas Carol” adaptation — for good reason. We see it all here, Scrooge’s journey from young man to old, his business acumen and ruthlessness, his disbelieving journey to redemption, and finally his great joy set the pattern for subsequent high-brow performances. Even his final scene, telling Cratcxhit to get another lump of coal in the office, is repeated in other winning performances.

He shows true fear, drops to his knees begging for forgiveness, and giggles like a schoolkid. If it wasn’t for Alastair Sim’s Scrooge, we may not have the Ebenezer we all know, despise, and love today.

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