My all-time favorite Christmas film to date is still ‘Scrooge’ (1951)

I used to watch it every year for many years. But these past several years or so, I try to remember to watch it, and at the right moment. Comfy and cozy, with snacks and a drink of what you fancy. I can still, barely, remember watching it at my grandmothers house for the first time. I miss Christmas times at my grandmother’s house way back when. Anyway, while I get set up to watch, you guessed it, Scrooge, Here are a few trivia tidbits I lifted from IMDb, you can find the whole sha-bang at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044008/.

Scrooge (1951) Trivia tidbits…..

The word “humbug” is misunderstood by many people, which is a pity since the word provides a key insight into Scrooge’s hatred of Christmas. The word “humbug” describes deceitful efforts to fool people by pretending to a fake loftiness or false sincerity. So when Scrooge calls Christmas a humbug, he is claiming that people only pretend to charity and kindness in an scoundrel effort to delude him, each other, and themselves. In Scrooge’s eyes, he is the one man honest enough to admit that no one really cares about anyone else, so for him, every wish for a Merry Christmas is one more deceitful effort to fool him and take advantage of him. This is a man who has turned to profit because he honestly believes everyone else will someday betray him or abandon him the moment he trusts them.

Although this film is widely regarded as the best film version of Charles Dickens’ story, it is the only one which omits Scrooge’s famous line: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart”. Alastair Sim would eventually get a chance to say it however, when he reprised his role in the animated A Christmas Carol (1971) which also featured Michael Hordern returning as Marley.

Michael Hordern was not on set when the “Marley’s Ghost” segment was filmed; he was added in later through the use of an optical printer. He only appears together with Alastair Sim in the two scenes at the end of the “Ghost of Christmas Past” sequence, the latter of the two being the scene where Jacob Marley dies. This was also true of Michael Dolan, who played the Spirit of Christmas Past; he never actually played any scenes on the set with Sim.

In the novella, the Spirit of Christmas Past carries an extinguisher, a small funnel which was used to put out candles. This was eliminated for the movie version, although the Spirit does appear more or less solid, depending on the scene, to correspond with the description in the book.

Although the word “Scrooge” means a stingy person now, in Charles Dickens’s time, the word was a slang term meaning “to squeeze.”

The song that Mr. Jorkin whistles after offering Scrooge a job is “The Lincolnshire Poacher”, wherein a poacher sings how much he loves unlawfully entering property and hunting and trapping the game there. Poaching can also refer to the hardball business practice of hiring an employee away from a competitor. Jorkins is trying to do exactly that with Scrooge. In Jorkins’ next scene, he has succeeded.

When Scrooge gives his housekeeper a Christmas Bonus and increases her wages to ten shillings a week, she runs down the stairs exclaiming in joy “Bob’s your uncle!” This phrase commemorates British Prime Minister Robert Cecil’s appointment of his unqualified nephew, Arthur Balfour, as the Chief Secretary of Ireland, in 1887, 17 years after Charles Dickens had died.

In an early scene, Scrooge refuses Samuel Wilkins’ request for a Christmas postponement, by saying “You’d still owe me £20 you’re not in a position to repay if it was the middle of a heatwave on an August Bank Holiday”. This refers to a law enacted in 1871, after Charles Dickens’ death.

Mr. Jorkin quotes the line “Curfew shall not ring tonight” as if it is a well-known phrase. Although Rose Hartwick Thorpe wrote the poem “Curfew must not ring tonight” in 1867, the line (a misquote of the title) did not become popular until around 1900.

From, the ledger dates and costumes etc., it is clear that the film is set in the time period of the original book by Dickens (published on 19th December 1843). On a wall in the home of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, however, hangs a print of “Monarch Of The Glen”. Landseer did not even paint the original, from which the print came, until 1851.

Towards the end of the film, after Scrooge’s reformation while he’s looking at himself in a mirror, a member of the crew is twice seen reflected in the mirror as well.

Enjoy folks, Cheers!
TDN

Advertisements

2 responses to “My all-time favorite Christmas film to date is still ‘Scrooge’ (1951)

  1. Pingback: Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim [video] | First Night Design

  2. Pingback: The Ghost of Christmas Past – Thoughts on “A Christmas Carol” Part IV | Winston Scrooge

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s