Christmas film playlist
- Eddie Harrison
- 4 December 2009
A quick look at your advent calendar will confirm the coming of the annual festival we know as Christmas, and what better way to celebrate than to gather the whole family around Ye Olde Computer Screen to enjoy a selection of online clips to fuel the festive urge?
Not in the mood? Humbug. Let’s start in a minor key, with Jon Voight playing Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal in the 1974 version of The Odessa File (tinyurl.com/22jdc5). Driving through the snowy streets, there’s not much spirit in evidence for the heavy-hearted Wiesenthal, despite the tuneful serenading of Perry Como and his Christmas Dream on the soundtrack. If you’re feeling just as miserable this year, don’t despair …
So let’s effect your miraculous conversion from cruel curmudgeon to close compadre of all with the complete 1951 version of A Christmas Carol, with the late, great Alastair Sim as Scrooge (tinyurl.com/8yywvn). OK, so maybe it’s not in 3D or IMAX in the way that the new-fangled Jim Carrey/Robert Zemeckis version is, but there’s simply no denying that Charles Dickens works better when acted out by real people rather than computer-generated zombies. Just as good is the animated Christmas Carol made by animator Richard Williams, whose 25-minute long version of the story (tinyurl.com/y9uymo5) features Sim as another fearsomely good Ebenezer.
Feeling more jolly about the season now? Then let’s deck the halls with another joyous miser, this time played by Albert Finney in the 1970s version of Scrooge. Clearly the forerunner of Monty Python’s ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ musical number from The Meaning of Life, this clip features Finney and Anton Rodgers, the latter looking uncannily like David Cameron, leading a group of Victorian street-urchins through the streets of London singing Leslie Bricusse’s infectious song of gratitude for the act of gratitude itself, ‘Thank You Very Much’ (tinyurl.com/ycveam2).
Available in two versions, with and without Finney as a dancing Santa (tinyurl.com/ycc6ny5), the story of Scrooge is enough to make you prance down the street, stopping only to spontaneously purchase a huge gobbling turkey for the next poverty-stricken child that crosses your path. So settle down by your roaring fire, gather your loved ones around, and let the Christmas dreams commence … (tinyurl.com/2ubb25)