That’s right, gentle reader, it’s fast approaching Christmas. Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, and today it is the single most filmed Holiday story ever. There are over 12 film versions, of one sort or another. There have also been literally hundreds of adaptations for various television shows over the decades. My favorite was always the Sanford and Son episode where grumpy Fred meets with the Christmas Spirits, who bear a striking resemblance to a certain “Big Dummy”. Fred soon learns the true meaning of Christmas, a secret that most of us have, hopefully, known for years. For me, the best film version of the tale is the 1951 version with Alistair Sim as ol’ Scrooge. No other beats it for atmosphere.
Since that time a lot of Holiday films and specials have come and gone. Some have gone on to become classics, while others are best quickly forgotten lest we are tempted to lose our Christmas spirit. Here at the Sassani home there are two that have become as much a part of Christmas tradition as trees and eggnog. I simply adore A Christmas Story. I always loved Darrin McGavin, and he’s perfect here as the “Old Man”. He even offers us a Kolchak moment as he’s reading the paper and lets out one of his Kolchak sounding “It’s Neeeews”. The story is a simple one that each of us has experienced at some time or another. For Ralphy it was a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, but all of us have chased that elusive gift we coveted with all of our hearts. The narration is perfect and is presented by Jean Shepherd who wrote the original source material, “In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash”. Shepherd can also be seen as the man who tells the kids to go to the back of the line to see Santa. Coupled with the Boris Karloff rendition of The Grinch, we watch these Holiday classics each and every Christmas Eve. One of these years I’ll even get it in Blu-ray.
So what are your favorite Christmas films or specials? Let us know and share some of your holiday film memories and traditions in our comment section below. A movie can be the perfect excuse to spend quality time with your own loved ones.
From all of us here at Upcomingdiscs we wish you the best of the coming Holiday Season.
(And don’t shoot your eye out, okay?)
Follow this song link to a Christmas Song I composed a few years ago, called Passage.
It’s a musical Christmas card from us to you: