Most of you have seen it, but if you haven't, this is the real thing:
All honor to Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol -- the recent replay of which was sadly truncated to remove the theatrical framing device. (Did NBC think revealing it to be a stage production starring trouper Quincy Magoo would limit its appeal? Maybe they worried somebody would find the fun over Magoo's blindness offensive.) And there are things to like in many other versions.
But this production with Alastair Sim is in a ripe melodramatic style that I imagine Dickens would have appreciated. It is decidedly not modern. Michael Holdern's Marley's Ghost is eerie as much for his Delsarte presentation as for his predicament -- moaning, keening, "Lon Chaney big." (He even presses the back of his wrist to his forehead and he's not kidding.) The lower- and middle-class characters are perfect expressions of type, individuated only by the ingenuity of the actors, who have this sort of thing down cold. And Sim is for me the only Scrooge. His style is big, too, but so is his insight: That Scrooge is at bottom a terribly frightened man whose unsociability and hardness were formed as defenses against pain. He spends half the film in abject terror and dejection. In some versions Scrooge seems to be educated by his Spirits, with some shocks thrown in to underline the lesson, but Sim is emotionally flayed by his, and the Scrooge that's revealed is wonderfully child-like ("I'm as light as a feather! I'm as giddy as a schoolboy!"); in fact, he's sort of a jokester. (The little fright he gives Mrs. Dilber by ruffling his hair on the staircase is one of many sublime moments.) This is redemption through repentance, and appropriate for the feast of Christ.
If that's not your style, there's always Kurtzman. Or have both -- what the hell, we embrace multitudes. Merry Christmas!