As a younger child in the 1960's there were a number of things which were synonymous with Christmas. It was as if they were prerequisites to the
First, shortly after Thanksgiving, Dad and I would embark upon the time honored tradition of getting out the Christmas decorations. The most
memorable element of this was the readying of the Christmas lights. It was a tedious affair to be sure. The strings of lights would be unboxed (not
the cheap plastic ones like today, but the ones with glass bulbs). We'd check them to see what lights needed to be replaced, which as I recall was
quite the frustrating chore (all the more entertaining with all of the colorful language). After the lights were strung our attention turned on
getting a tree. I always loved the smell of the fresh cut pine while hunting for the perfect tree. The tree would sit, undecorated, in the house for
a week or so, after which some minor decorations would be placed.
Then, about a week or so before Christmas my Grandmothers would show up (my Grandfathers had passed, one before I was born and one shortly after).
Then the preparations for Christmas would begin in earnest, at least from Mom's perspective (as if they hadn't already from my and Dad's perspective,
what with the whole Christmas lights and tree thing).
On the day before Christmas Eve the baking would begin. Each grandma had their specialty. Grandma Bea (the Angel) would make pumpkin pie, and the
Grinch (Grandma on Dad's side) would make "Monkey Meat Pie" (mince meat). I called it that because I honestly believed it had actual monkey meat in
it. I believed this because it was what Grandma Grinch had told me when I was younger, as she trundled off...cackling.
Oh sure, there was the whole stumbling around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols and what not. I couldn't sing for crap, so I never really
cared to learn the words really. I'd just sing random stuff, off-key, when I didn't know the words. No one seemed to care much, they were probably
all half in-the-bag anyway.
But enough about all of this! By the time Christmas Eve rolled around there was one thing we always did...always...without fail (well, aside from the
church thing). Every Christmas Eve there were several programs on TV that were "required viewing". Of course there was the epic tale of Dr. Seuss'
The Grinch, and then A Charlie Brown Christmas. (Frosty the Snowman with Burle Ives was optional). Those shows were mostly for the kids. But there
was one program which was not optional under any circumstances...Charles Dickens', A Christmas Carol. And (if you've read this far without falling
asleep, or smashing your monitor), this is what this
rant is about...A Christmas Carol.
Now, the 1843 Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, has been made into countless movies and Broadway productions over the decades starting with
Thomas Edison's silent film version from 1908. However, one version stands out above all others. And it was this
version which always ran,
, on Christmas Eve. The version I refer to is the 1938 adaptation by Hugo Butler, and starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer
For those whom have never seen it, the 1938 version is by far the
quintessential version of A Christmas Carol. As a kid, I can remember it as
almost more scary than fun. When the ghost of Jacob Marley showed up, we might as well have been watching Frankenstein or Dracula (in black & white
of course). It made you sad, and then mad, and then reflective on your own life (as the original Dickens tale intended). No other version before or
since, at least on film anyway, captured it quite the same way the 1938 version did.
In my research of A Christmas Carol I have found (33) different adaptations in English in existence (I'm sure there are more). I have seen them all
(yep, every one). And, as I have stated, no version did it better than the 1938 version. And it was this version which was 'required viewing' in my
house as a kid. In fact, it was required viewing in the home of every kid I knew...and every-one I knew.
After I left home, as most kids did back then at some point (unlike today), to venture out on my own life, many years had passed since I watched what
I term "the original" A Christmas Carol. About five or six years ago on Christmas Eve I decided to see if it was on. Well, it wasn't. Since then
I've searched high and low (across all 800 channels of nothing on) to no avail. It is as if it has been erased from history. Why? Was there
something politically incorrect about it?
You can find all manner of hokey links on U-toob which want you to download some virus to get it, but you can't find the actual movie. It's not on
TV, and it's almost "obvious" or "intentional" that it's not on TV. Again, WHY?
A person can find oodles of the 1935 version which is NOT the same, and lord knows you can find about 100,000 of 1984 version with George C. Scott,
but you won't find the "original"
Perhaps it truly IS a "conspiracy"...a Christmas Conspiracy. Imagine that!
Now normally, I would post a link, but I'm not
going to post something requiring some hokey (and suspicious) download and/or subscription. I
refuse to do that. I've only been able to find one single source to the original (and it's a crummy one, but at least you can see the movie).
So, without further adieu...the "original" 1938 version...
ETA...after numerous attempts to embed the video, it's not working properly for some reason. Another freaking conspiracy with this dang movie!
Soooo....I will just have to post the link...
Hope you enjoyed my "rant"
Oh, BTW...just try
to find the "original"...I DOUBLE DAWG DARE YA!!! (of A Christmas Story vintage...for you young'ns)
edit on 12/24/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)