Movie Poll: Who’s your favorite TV/film Ebenezer Scrooge?

Christmas Movies Poll

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  • Pamela Dodd Hunn

    Reginald Owen is the original Scrooge and as far as I’m concerned, the original almost always is superior to any copy. I do, however, miss seeing “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” which doesn’t seem to be played on TV any longer. Loved the song about “razzleberry dressing”!

  • biermeister

    You forgot Scrooge MacDuck

  • Howard Roller

    Alistair Sim is by far the best Scrooge. He is the only one who is convincing as Scrooge before and after his visitation. It is also the most faithful version of the Dickens story. Reginald Owen is disappointing (MGM originally wanted to use Lionel Barrymore, whose radio broadcasts are legendary). However, the biggest mistake is the casting of Gene Lockhart as Cratchit. He mostly played loathsome characters and this image interferes with the sympathy Cratchit should engender. Mervyn Johns is much better. Having Scrooge bring the Xmas goose himself and show up at Cratchit’s is quite wrong and necessitates leaving out Mrs. Cratchit’s condemnation of Scrooge before dinner. It also eliminates the wonderful scene at the office next day when Scrooge pretends to fire Cratchit for lateness, giving the dumbfounded lackey a raise instead. I could go on, but enough said. This version is most inadequate, even Seymour Hicks’ cheapo version is more faithful at only 78 minutes.

  • Steve in Sedona

    I always liked Bill Murray in “Scrooged.”

  • John Goodwin

    Ah, it is a joyful Christmas season to see the artistry of Alistair Sim vindicated. People who don’t think he is the best Scrooge are people who have not seen the film.

  • Bandyman

    Alistair Sim is the scrooge that i remember from my childhood and the one i prefer to watch to this day. His portrayl of scrooge is by far the most convincing.

  • Bob Maffit

    You for got Kelsey Grammer which I would have picked and really enjoyed

  • Bob Maffit

    you left out Kelsey Grammer musical version which I would have voted for.

  • robert medina

    As a person who had the book read to him every Christmas by my father, I consider myself a large and true A Christmas Carol fan. Howard Roller is totally correct. Sim’s depiction of Scrooge is without a doubt the best and most true to Mr. Dickens. Stave Five is done to perfection and has got to “make glad” your heart.

  • Larry Petersime

    Couldn’t vote. There was no place for a write-in. Henry Winkler was absolutely the best by far as Scrooge. Been trying for years to find a copy of that performance. Was done in the late ’80’s.

  • Martin Stumacher

    With all due respect to those who did not select Alistair Sim, watch it once, twice and you will be convinced that Sim and Tiny Tim are the spirit of Christmas. Mervyn Johns and Hermione Baddley were absolutely wonderful. It’s a thrill to watch it annually.

  • James Sedares

    Sim is great. His version is darker and more true to Dickens. However,I prefer Owen because the MGM magic works its charm and it is the most “holidayish” version by far.
    Also, Ronald Colman on an old Decca 78 recording set is truly superb. That is my favorite rendition, by far.

  • BDavisFan

    Sim, absolutely no question. I watch it at any time of the year I want, not just Christmastime. It’s portrayal of true repentance is encouraging.

  • RJ

    The Scrooge that I have really come to enjoy over the years is the 1970 release starring Albert Finney. Even though it is a musical, the essence of the story was still there. Because of how young he was at the time of filming, he was able to pull of the difference in ages between the old and young Scrooge.

    I thought the sets were incredible which I believe were built on stage, and the music played into the story line very well. The choreography was exact and tight, being able to pull off dance routines in that close of quarter with that many people I’m sure took a lot of practice and timing.

    The part of the movie that I thought was different was where Scrooge was sent to hell by the Ghost of Christmas Future. Seeing how his life was going to end up if he didn’t change his ways. Now granted I haven’t seen all of the Scrooge movies out there, but I really thought this was interesting. Because I have never seen this part until this version of Scrooge. Maybe because of time these scenes were edited out for TV, but Turner Classic Movies always plays the entire version of this movie with no edits.

    I still try to watch all of the different types of Scrooge movies when I can because I like all of the many interpretations from the actors that they give Mr. Scrooge. But this one will always be my favorite.

    So “Merry Christmas” Mr. Scrooge…
    “Bah, Humbug!”

  • Jim

    Alastair Sim’s magnificent performance gets closer to Charles Dickens than any other (have never heard Lionel Barrymore’s broadcast, but I’m sure it was outstanding). In fact, Sim would probably be Dickens’ choice, too.

  • Movie Maniac

    I think Alistair Sims’ performance eclipsed the others before and remains the definitive performance and film version. I rank Mr. Magoo’s version as second best. Since it’s never aired anymore, I own the DVD and watch it every year. The songs are memorable and it still hold up beautifully.

  • Pat

    I’m with whoever said “Bill Murray”. Yes,it’s an updated version, but I think Dickens would have liked it. Also Scrooge McDuck. Isn’t it wonderful that Charles Dickens wrote such a timeless story that it can be re-told in so many ways?

  • Wes Halik

    You Also Forgot ” SCROOGED” with Bill Murray

  • Tlynette

    It’s actually a tie between Reg Owen and Alistair Sim for me. Reggie was far more crotchety, and Al was just plain snarky!! I love them both so well, though, that I have to see each one every year, or my season is off!!

  • Gary Cahall

    Larrypetersime, the Henry Winkler Scrooge outing was a 1979 made-for-TV film, An American Christmas Carol, and is not currently available on home video.

  • Gary Cahall

    To all you Scrooged fans out there: Bill Murray’s performance didn’t make our cut on a technicality, as he didn’t actually play the Ebenezer Scrooge character. Who out there would have voted for Buddy Hackett from Scrooged’s show-within-the-movie?

  • Babs

    To me…..George C. Scott stands out as Scrooge!!!



  • DeMeio

    Alastair Sim, of course.
    And the colorized version is an added bonus.

    Does anyone remember a film that starred William Holden called “The Christmas Tree”? A heart-breaking story that has apparently never made it to video.
    Another video lack is the TV movie of “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread” based on the book by Cleveland author Don Robertson.

  • DeMeio

    Sorry! I’ve been corrected. The Don Robertson book was “The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened” and it featured Jimmy Walker.

  • Jeanette

    Alastair Sim as Scrooge? Sorry,there is no replacement for this wonderful Brit.MERRy CHRISTMAS!!!!

  • Spencer

    Where is, Bill Murray ? Seriously ?

  • Bryan

    I was tossed between Sim and Owen; I loved both versions so much! I went with Mr. Owen, but not because he was necessarily the best, just hard to choose between the two!! I love this movie and watch it every year!

  • Kevin

    An American Christmas Carol is the one with henry winkler.

    An American Christmas Carol is available on dvd. found it in seconds

  • Beverly Gilliam

    Alistair Sim is remarkable as Scrooge…
    All the versions are good ones but Sim stands out above them all…Has anyone out there seen Rich Little as Scrooge??…This is my second favorite..
    Rich plays all the characters.. he is out standing..

  • Richard Finn

    Alistair Sim has my vote. But I also enjoy George C Scott’s rendition of the miser turned benefactor. Scott was excellent, but the production itself was not as complete as the one that starred Sim.

  • Mhari

    I agree that Alistair Sim is the best Scrooge, but I must give kudos to Patrick Stewart. I happened to be fortunate enough to see him perform “A Christmas Carol” as a one-man show in New York some years ago and was thrilled that he (and Hallmark) made the movie. But to see Patrick in a one-man show doing all the parts was thrilling.

  • Mike Oldfield

    Yes…I would agree that Alistair Sim is terrific.
    However, I would argue that George C. Scott comes a close second. Scott’s performance is much more subtle and yet he gets the message across.
    Also, the George C. Scott version done in the 1980’s has much better production values and on-location filming. My one complaint about the
    Alistair Sim version is that Tiny Tim is so tall, healthy and robust looking that he could be a champion football player !

  • Lorraine

    Absolutely agree with Howard Roller (very fine film review btw, Mr. Roller) and others here that Alastair Sim is and will always be the definitive Ebeneezer Scrooge, his performance matched by a stellar cast. One of my favorite moments is when Sims as Scrooge scares the wits out of the bedraggled Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Dilber) who cannot comprehend his transformation. When finally he convinces her that his change of heart and generosity is not madness, her face lights up and she shrieks joyfully “Merry Christmas Mr. Scroooge! In keeping with the situation!!”

  • Lorraine

    Can I add a few additional thoughts? Having agreed that Alastair Sim represents the best ever film Scrooge, I’d like also to give a nod to three other Scrooge performances that over the years I’ve developed an enormous fondness for:

    Jim Backus as Magoo/Scrooge in the animated classic “A Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol”. To this day the sweetly piercing “Alone In The World” makes me cry, the rousing “The Lord’s Bright Blessing” warms my heart, and the rollicking “We’re Despicable (Plunderer’s March)” makes me laugh out loud. Great device as well of placing the Dickens story within the format of a Broadway show.

    I grew up watching local television holiday broadcasts of the 1970 musical “Scrooge” and came to enjoy Albert Finney’s version of the character. He gives Sim no serious competition really, but I do agree with reviewer RJ that Finney’s youthful Ebenezer is much more believable given that he was a young actor when he played the role. And some of the musical numbers remain wonderfully memorable, standouts being the jubilant “December the 25th”, the light and lovely “Happiness” and the darkly poignant “You…You”.

    And finally I remember with pleasure George C. Scott’s 1984 portrayal of Scrooge, the only one that in my view gives the great Sim any kind of run for his money. I must say the same for David Warner’s Bob Cratchit; Warner had so impressed in a long career of oddball and villain roles that the warmth and vulnerability he brought to the character of Cratchit was revelatory. The moment when he breaks down over the death of Tiny Tim (“My child! My little, little child–!”) is almost too much to bear.

  • Elizabeth

    What about Jack Palance’s ‘Ebenezer’ – a bit different and a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

  • Joanne

    “Ah, it is a ponderous choice!” The adult in me says Sim is the quintessential Scrooge. The kid in me loves Michael Caine in The Muppets Christmas Carol! It’s a great entree for kids and, well…it’s silly!

    I confess, I also own Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol.

  • Chrissy S

    I agree with Howard Roller all the way that Alistair Sim is THE BEST Scrooge and that movie depicts the story most accurately. It presents the stark reality of the cruelty of those times, especially for the poor and the weak, and changes the heart of anyone who watches it. I wish they’d show it more at Christmas, but especially on Christmas Eve.

  • Roger Z

    Michael Caine doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he did this with Muppets. But watch it sometime and concentrate on his acting. He is superb and brings a real feeling of emotions to the role, especially when you consider he is dealing with Muppets instead of reacting to other ‘human’ actors.

  • Carl W. Jacobson

    Alistair Sim was probably the best.

  • Daisy

    My favorite is probably Alistair Sim, but George C Scott, Patrick Stewart, Bill Murray and Scrooge McDuck run right behind him. They are different, but they are all still Scrooge : a good man who lost his way and became bitter and misanthropic until he rediscovered himself on a Christmas Eve. While we’re at it, let us NOT forget Jimmy Stewart, whose classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is yet another variation on the Scrooge story.

  • gliznorph

    I’m a fan of “A Christmas Carol” in all of its forms, but I waffle between George C Scott and Patrick Stewart as my favorite Scrooge. The Sim version is a classic of course, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the animated Jim Carrey version when I saw it for the first time this season. I believe that the first one I ever saw was Mr Magoo.

  • Gary Clure

    Bill Murray, “Scrooged”.

  • jpp452

    Alastair Sim’s landslide is well deserved. There IS no other Dickensian Ebenezer Scrooge.
    If a second-place vote could be cast, mine would be for Jim Backus — miserly, funny, pathetic, happily enlightened. On the edge but never over-the-top — just exactly what this beautifully produced animated musical needed.

  • Gord Jackson

    I think Alistair Sim, indeed the entire cast of the 1951 version nailed it spot on!

  • Martin Stumacher

    Without a doubt, Alastair Sim! A Christmas season is not a holiday unless you watch Mr. Sim’s role as Scrooge. In fact 24 hours ago I took out my DVD and shortly after TCM featured it. The entire cast was wonderful. Truly a classic.

  • Charlie Ray

    I can’t believe that Reginald Owen is voted higher than George C. Scott! The Owen version is entertaining (though scrubbed clean of any of the darker elements of the story) but it doesn’t begin to compare with the Scott version, and their acting is certainly not in the same league.

  • rodahaco

    I’ve watched all but 3 of those listed and enjoyed each interpretation, I still like Mr. Sim the best….he set the bar pretty high.

  • Fred55110

    I, was torn between the Jim Backus version and Patrick Stewarts version, oddly enough for different reasons. Jim Backus?Mr. Magoo was the first time I, could stomach “A Christmas Carol” as a child. The Patrick Stewart version for my money is the best adult version, and for my money is kind of the point here because we can debate who’s best and why and still walk away from this thinking we were right all the while.

  • Penny’s pal

    The nastiest Scrooge of all — and therefore the most impressive “conversion” — was Seymour Hicks in the 1935 “Scrooge.” I saw it for the first time on TCM last week. It may not be the best version of “A Christmas Carol” (I still prefer the relatively recent George C. Scott version) but certainly has the Scroogiest Scrooge.

  • The Blue Carbuncle

    Traditionalists certainly can’t go wrong with Alistair Sim. We watch his version every year. However, my favorite is Michael Caine. If you look beyond the fact that he’s dealing with muppets, (although that in itself takes a bit of acting talent), his interpretation of Scrooge ranks among the best in my book.

  • williamsommerwerck

    The problem with Scrooge //as a character// is that his conversion is unbelievable — he goes from one extreme to the other. The only convincing conversion is Michael Caine’s. His Scrooge is a deeply embittered human being who has suppressed the good side of his nature, and takes out his bitterness on everyone else — but he is not fundamentally malicious. (Like Alberich, he has renounced human affection to attain power.) His conversion is plausible and not overdone.

  • Rob in L.A.

    I’m a little surprised that my personal favorite cinema Scrooge, Alastair Sim, is at the top of the poll (my favorites seldom make the top of any poll). But I’m surprised in a BIG WAY that his lead (at least as of today) is so commanding (47% to #2’s 16%)!