The Book Group: A Christmas Carol

A look back on some of the many films and TV programmes inspired by Charles Dickens’s timeless tale.

As well as the earliest surviving version from 1901, we welcome two more silent adaptations including Charles Rock’s 1914 portrayal of the curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, along with Alastair Sim’s classic 1951 performance in Scrooge TV adaptations and Christmassy curios include an edition of Omnibus where Marcel Marceau presents the story in (how else?) mime, while Dickensian characters mingle on a snowy set in Charles Dickens’ World of Christmas (1974). And for those who snarl “Bah! Humbug!” at the very idea of festive cheer, the suitably acerbic Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988) will provide the perfect antidote.

Five to try

Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost (1901)

Surviving footage from the earliest known Dickens adaptation.

A Christmas Carol (1913)

Seymour Hicks recreates a role he played thousands of times on stage, and would later reprise on screen in 1935.

Scrooge (1951)

The definitive Scrooge? See Alastair Sim’s bravura performance and judge for yourself.

Marcel Marceau’s A Christmas Carol (Omnibus) (1973)

Our favourite Victorian miser is brought to life by the legendary French mime artist.

A Christmas Carol (1977)

Michael Hordern stars in this BBC Ghost Story for Christmas.

Related links

Back to the top