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Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) (1951)



Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 4

The 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless classic is perhaps the most faithful film version -- and Alastair Sim's performance as Scrooge is not to be missed.


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

The 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless classic is perhaps the most faithful film version -- and Alastair Sim's performance as Scrooge is not to be missed.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 53,204

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Movie Info

Widely considered to be the definitive of the many film versions of Charles Dickens' classic novel is this 1951 British adaptation, starring Alastair Sim (entitled "Scrooge" in its U.K. release). Sim plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a London miser who, despite his wealth, refuses to make charitable contributions and treats his sole employee, Bob Cratchit, as an indentured servant. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who was as selfish as Scrooge

Nov 3, 1998

United Artists

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (4) | DVD (8)

A sturdy 1951 British mounting of the Dickens tale, with Alastair Sim contributing a definitive Scrooge.

December 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Dickens' frank sentimentality calls for broad treatment, Brian Desmond Hurst's direction is too often heavy as well.

December 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comment (1)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Other Christmas Carols need not apply.

November 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You have what Scrooge himself might call 'Ho-hum-bug.'

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What we have in this rendition of Dickens' sometimes misunderstood Carol is an accurate comprehension of the agony of a shabby soul.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At a reasonably short 85 minutes, this is nevertheless a complete experience, and the strength and depth of its drama makes it the most memorable of any adaptation of the tale.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This faithful adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a rare beast indeed, a genuinely affecting melodrama.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This is easily the best screen version of the much loved yuletide tale.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Lashings of festive cheer and a fair dollop of fine performances will leave you in the mood for mince pies and a renewed sense of seasonal goodwill to all men.

December 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The classic book brought to life.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

One of the handful of best Christmas movies ever made.

December 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

For many decades, this 1951 production was considered to be the best adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and it is easy to see why: it features excellent production values and a wonderful performance by Alastair Sim as Scrooge.

December 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique

If I dare to say it, a more dramatically successful work than Dickens's novella.

November 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Of the many film versions, this one from 1951 with Alastair Sim as Scrooge is the most faithful to the spirit of the book.

November 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Moves through a brisk 86 minutes with just enough time to linger on poignant moments.

December 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comment (1)
Combustible Celluloid

A bland, stodgy movie.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Alastair Sim's performance in Dickens' hoary holiday classic provided one of the defining moments of his career; the result is the definitive filming of the story, breathing life into the familiar plot while earnestly hewing to the author's vision.

December 4, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Sadly this 1951 rendition has aged terribly.

December 11, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Most agree that Alastair Sim's 1951 spin as Scrooge is the best, and truest to the novel.

October 24, 2004 | Comment (1)
Kansas City Kansan

The story is a timeless classic and this is the best direction translation the cinema has provided thus far.

July 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Dickens' most often filmed work benefits from the always engaging Alastair Sim.

February 20, 2003
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Audience Reviews for Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)

It's a classic. The performances are wonderful and the atmosphere is suitably eerie and memorable. It loses a few points, though, for dragging in the middle, but besides a dip in energy, the film still resonates with all who see it as a beautiful and timeless achievement.
December 23, 2012
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Perhaps not a definitive version, as there never could be one for this story. However, this is probably the most well rounded version. Great performances, especially from Sim, help to create a believable and emotionally taxing experience. The other high point of this film are the bits that are added. The book is expanded upon, with earlier scenes of Marley and Scrooge including an embezzling scam that shows their ruthless business technique. It all makes for a dense and almost perfect adaptation.
December 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

many still consider this the definitive film version of a Christmas carol, and in many ways it still is. alastair sim is brilliant as srooge, doing a great job of selling each emotion and change of perspective. despite this films reputation as the definitive version, its surprising that this version also adds more to the story than most versions. especially during the visions of scrooges past, this film contains quite a few scenes not found in the novel or any other film version, thankfully each of the additions work really well to create a complete and compelling version of this wonderful story.
December 13, 2009
danny d

Super Reviewer

this movie made me incomparably happy. christmas classic.
June 7, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Ghost of Christmas Present: If he's like to die, he better do it and decrease the surplus population.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
    1. Tiny Tim: God bless us everyone.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
    1. Jacob Marley: Mankind should have been my business!
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
    1. Ebenezer Scrooge: It's all humbug, I tell you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
    1. Ebenezer Scrooge: There's more of gravy than of grave in you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Eine Weihnachtsgeschichte (DE)
  • Scrooge (UK)
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