Merry Christmas from Edinburgh

Our own dear Alastair Sim as Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I think you have to be careful with this bit, because Scrooge is apt to appear INSANE, as if his ordeal of the previous night has cost him his marbles. Edinburgh’s own Sim boldly wades in, throwing caution to the winds, and loons it up like a good un. Better to be interesting than…not.

Scrooge is clearly not Scottish in the Dickens, or at any rate there’s no mention of it, but the miserly nature of the character seems to fit with Sim’s casting (he reprised the role in Richard Williams’ animated version), and later we get Uncle Scrooge McDuck, cementing the connection.

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7 Responses to “Merry Christmas from Edinburgh”

  1. Sweet. And I feel warm towards television schedulers now, too, for all the work they used to do introducing us to movies. Even Leslie Halliwell, who as film buyer for ITV and Channel 4 cut films, pan-and-scanned them, even dubbed them, but he showed more good stuff in a week than is typical now in six months. God bless ’em, every one.

  2. I sat and watched this only just a few nights ago after not having seen it in years. Alastair Sim is utterly fantastic as Scrooge. I realize that as Dickens adaptations go this one may pale some next to those of Lean’s, but witnessing Scrooge’s transformation at the end as performed by Sim was delicious in its nuance. And a very impressive cast, I noticed young Pip, Anthony Wager, hanging the sign for young Scrooge and Marley’s partnership. John Steed AKA Patrick Macnee is the young Jacob Marley, dear Ernest Thesiger is the undertaker (I’d know those nostrils anywhere) and there’s even a brief glimpse of Peter Bull.

  3. Kevin Mummery Says:

    I just saw this one again recently, and was struck by how much Alec Guinness owes to Sim for his portrayal in The Ladykillers…he should have gotten a royalty or something, it’s like Guinness was channelling Sim (although he was still very much alive in 1955). Although Scrooge is not specifically described as being Scottish in the book, in the film I think I saw a bagpipe hanging on the wall at his home. Also, he walks past a haggis merchant on his way to nephew Fred’s, and if you scrutinize the film extra carefully you can just make out Nessie in the scene at old Fezziwig’s counting house. And Fezziwig is clearly wearing a sporran when he hands out the bonus checks.

  4. Heh!
    Check this:
    https://dcairns.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/i-understand-you-have-rooms-to-let/
    As a kid I thought that WAS Sim at first, in The Ladykillers. On the one hand, Guinness’s explanation that he based Prof Marcus on critic Kenneth Tynan seems fair enough — he smokes in the same distinctive way, and the grin is similar. But this scene suggests another influence.
    Interestingly, I’ve never seen anyone else impersonate Sim, whose eccentricities would seem to be a gift to the mimic.

  5. Alastair Sim is no doubt the best Scrooge up to that point. Sim is a very private man and he even declined the knighthood because it may impinge too much on his private life, and I don’t blame him. Sim’s body was donated to medical research after he went Home to be with the Lord. My best guess is his body was cremated and there was no services and no memorial.

  6. My friend Lawrie had a Sim autograog: all the cast signed them for Green for Danger, but apart from that, Sim always refused autographs, so it may have been unique. No idea where it is now.

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