Face your inner Scrooge with these classics.
Of the many Christmas stories that are re-told every year from the Nativity to 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', there's one that strikes a chord in everyone regardless of faith or age. CHARLES DICKENS published 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843 just days before the big day, and since then the heartfelt moral behind it has remained strong.
Jim Carrey stars in 2009's 'A Christmas Carol'
It's all about a wealthy but unpleasant man named Ebenezer Scrooge who only has one thing to say about Christmas: 'Bah, Humbag!' If you weren't aware of the story (somehow), he is visited on Christmas Eve by four ghosts determined to show him the error of his ways so that he doesn't die a lonely and bitter old man. Understandably, it has inspired countless stage productions, TV adaptations and blockbusters - and here's just a few of the best.
1. A Christmas Carol (2009) - This is probably the most recognisable of adaptations today. It's a Disney animation starring Jim Carrey in his second Christmas movie after 2000's 'The Grinch' (a film of similar subject matter), as well as Gary Oldman and Colin Firth and it has been directed by Robert Zemeckis who also did another Christmas favourite: 'The Polar Express'.
Alistair Sim got to play Scrooge twice
2. Scrooge (1951) - An older but still lovable version was written by Noel Langley who also co-wrote 'The Wizard of Oz' screenplay. It also stars the BAFTA nominated Alastair Sim who is also known for 'The Belles of St. Trinian's' and 'An Inspector Calls'.
Bill Murray became our modern day Scrooge in 1988
3. Scrooged (1988) - Arguably the world's favourite modern-day re-telling is 'Scrooged' starring Bill Murray. It's an Oscar-nominated tale of a bitter and greedy television executive currently heading up a TV adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol', who is consequently visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Directed by Richard Donner ('Superman', 'The Omen', 'Lethal Weapon').
The Muppets did Christmas better than anyone
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - A guilty pleasure if ever there was one, this 90s adaptation was directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson's son Brian Henson and starred Michael Caine.
5. Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) - An animated classic that never fails to put that classic Kate Winslet soundtrack hit 'What If' into our heads. Featuring the voices of Simon Callow, Winslet, Nicolas Cage and Michael Gambon.
Patrick Stewart appeared in the UK's best TV adaptation
6. A Christmas Carol (1999) - A favourite British TV movie that re-surfaces every year is that one with Patrick Stewart from 'Star Trek'. He's not the only highlight though, this Primetime Emmy nominated film features other British greats like Richard E. Grant, Celia Imrie, Dominic West and Trevor Peacock to name but a few.
George C. Scott's 'A Christmas Carol' was nominated for an Emmy
7. A Christmas Carol (1984) - This Primetime Emmy nominated TV movie starred Oscar winner George C. Scott and was directed by Clive Donner (who coincidentally shares the same surname of the 'Scrooged' director).
This Scrooge is the nicest man in England
8. Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) - Without doubt the funniest comedy sketch of the story ever written is the BBC 'Blackadder' version with Rowan Atkinson as Ebenezer Blackadder and Tony Robinson as Mr. Blackadder. The hilarious thing about this is the fact that it's like a reverse of the original story, with a jolly nice proprietor of a moustache shop turning into a bitter and greedy man when he realises that being nice isn't getting him anywhere.
9. A Christmas Carol (1971) - It may be just a short TV animation, but this project directed by Richard Williams and featuring the voice of Alastair Sim (once again) won an Oscar for it's depiction of the festive story and is always worth re-visiting.
Because sometimes music tells it best
10. A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004) - A musical version of the classic Dickens tale has been put to stage many times over the years, but it ventured to the small screen in 2004 in a televised musical starring Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ruthie Henshall.