• ERIC BUTLER

A Ghost Story Like No Other...


Every Christmas, I like to sit down with the family and watch a handful of movies that capture the spirit of the holiday season. They don't have to be Christmas movies per se, but many of them are. And mixed within all the movies there has to be a version of one of the greatest ghost stories ever told, A Christmas Carol.


For those unfamiliar with the Dickens' tale...


An old bitter miser who rationalizes his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.


Even if you've never read the book or seen the movie, you know who this bitter miser is...Scrooge. While there are many versions of the man, the one I call my Ebenezer Scrooge was played by George C. Scott. A tremendous actor who with just a look encapsulates all it means to be Scrooge. Growing up this movie ran on one of the big 3 networks (ABC I think) and I made sure to watch it - and Oliver - every Christmas season. I can't promise it will be on network TV or even regular cable but you can stream it if you have DirecTV, Starz, and it appears YouTube is streaming a free copy as well. If you haven't seen it, it is worth the watch as they capture the spirit and time of the story very well.



Of course, you may have a George C Scott phobia or a deep personal hatred for all things Victorian...so I'm going to give you a few alternatives to get your A Christmas Carol fix...


For those with a very short attention span(around 26 minutes) and Disney+(or YouTube)...


See Scrooge McDuck and all your Disney animated favorites in Mickey's Christmas Carol



If you want more of a story and more muppets than animated characters tune in to Disney+


See Michael Cain transform into Scrooge as if on a Shakespearean stage...



Okay, okay...no traditional animation and no muppets...stay on Disney+


A traditional retelling of the story but in complete CGI with Jim Carrey playing a number of roles including Scrooge.



Or maybe you'd be interested to see how the story came about? Slide over to HULU or your Showtime app and check out Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens as he struggles to come up with the story that becomes A Christmas Carol. Christopher Plummer is Scrooge.



In all honesty, if you make time for one Christmas-themed movie this season, make it this one...


However, if you just can't handle a traditional telling and need to see Ebenezer in a more modern setting...you're in luck. One of the best adaptations came out in 1988 but it's going to cost you. $3 to rent and about $8 bucks to buy - I always suggest Amazon but YouTube and VUDU have it as well...


Bill Murray plays Frank Cross - a modern Scrooge in his own way. This funny and thoughtful film follows the same structure but with some modern twists...




It's been a little over a year and I want to say thanks for hanging out this crazy 2020 and hopefully, we'll all have a much better 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone out there...


Last year I entered a 350-word flash fiction Christmas story contest. It wasn't selected so if you are interested in a dark fantasy Christmas story about an elf names Alabaster Snowball you can check it out here...

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