Balladeer’s Blog’s Twelfth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues! My previous three examinations of “lost” Carols went over so well here is one more blog post about them before the big wrap-up tomorrow with a different Carol.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1950) – This production of A Christmas Carol was shown on the BBC on December 25th and December 27th, 1950. Bransby Williams starred as Ebenezer Scrooge, John Ruddock played Bob Cratchit with Robert Cawdron as Nephew Fred.
As for the ladies, Shirley Hose, Patricia Fryer and Barbara Murray appeared as Belinda Cratchit, Fan and Belle. The Cecil Sharp Folk Dance Society also performed.
With virtually nothing to go on, here’s the word from Leslie Staples of The Dickensian regarding this two-hour production:
“We are proud to claim the first presentation of a full-length Dickens dramatic adaptation on television … a two-hour adaptation of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Day, followed by another performance for the children on 27th December.
“Mr Williams put everything we have learnt to expect of him into his presentation of Scrooge. Besides being a fine piece of characterization, it was a great feat of endurance, under the hot and tiring studio lights for one who has attained the grand age of 80, culminating with his appearance with Tiny Tim on his shoulder.
” … We were sorry to learn that during the second performance Mr Williams was taken ill, but as would be expected from such an artiste he betrayed no sign of it. It is with great pleasure that we hear that he has made a good recovery.”
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951) – Sir Ralph Richardson starred as Scrooge in this half-hour NBC-TV production as part of Fireside Theatre. NOTE: This is NOT the radio version with Ralph Richardson which is still available.
Arthur Treacher was Christmas Past, Alan Napier played Charles Dickens doing an intro & epilogue, and Mary Lee Dearring portrayed Belinda Cratchit. Tiny Tim was played by Robert Hay Smith. Per Billboard, Dickens’ great-granddaughter Gypsy Raine appeared as Mrs Fezziwig.
Richardson’s Scrooge leered at his Nephew Fred’s housemaid when he showed up for Christmas Dinner, apparently ruffling some feathers among critics.
In this quickie half-hour version of the Dickens tale just the basics were squeezed in, apparently, with a memorable touch coming in during the transition scene for the final two Ghosts. Scrooge was shown holding the hand of the Ghost of Christmas Present and then quickly shown instead holding the hand of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
FOR MORE VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/