A Christmas Carol

A quick holiday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black!
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In past years I have managed to avoid asking for donations for Behind the Black during the holiday season. My finances however now compel me to do a short one-week fund-raiser, from November 11 to November 17.
I do not use Twitter for ethical reasons, which I have been told cuts down on traffic to the website. So be it. Furthermore, Facebook has clearly acted in the past two years to limit traffic to Behind the Black, almost certainly for political reasons. So be this as well. Finally, I do not post outside ads, as I have found them annoying to my readers and not that profitable to me.


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Note that for this week only I am also having a sale on the purchase of the last 20 hardbacks of Leaving Earth. (Click on the link for more information about the book, which was endorsed by Arthur C. Clarke himself!) This award-winning out-of-print book is now only available as an ebook, but I still have a handful of hardbacks available, normally for sale for $70 plus $5 shipping. For this week only you can buy them, personally autographed by me, for $50 plus $5 shipping! Just send me a check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to the address above, with a note saying that the money is for the Leaving Earth hardback.


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An daytime pause: For me, this version, starring Alastair Sim, remains the best of all the many adaptions of Charles Dickens classic short novel. Always worth seeing during the holiday season. As I wrote last year when I posted it, “I watched this again and felt like weeping, not because of the sentimentality of the story itself but because it is so seeped in a civilized world that increasingly no longer exists. There was a time when this was our culture. I fear it is no longer so. As noted by the Spirit of Christmas Present, ‘This boy is ignorance, this girl is want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy.’”

May all my readers have a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year.



  • eddie willers

    My favorite is the Mr. Magoo version.

    Still can sing most of the tunes.

  • eddie willers: The Mr. Magoo version is one of the forgotten classics. I loved it as well, and was sad when I found it difficult to track down some of the songs on youtube. They are there, but hard to find, and somewhat cut up.

  • wayne

    Try this one, a very clean transfer and complete.

    “Mister Magoos Christmas Carol”

  • wayne

    “A YouTube Carol”
    Steven Crowder and CRTV

  • Wayne: I should’ve known you would find something in an instant. When last I looked, sometime last year, I could find nothing.

    This would make a good post for next Christmas, assuming it’s still there.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.,
    The Alastair Sim ‘Christmas Carol is, quite good. Nobody does Dickens like the British.

    A Christmas Carol
    1971 – animated
    “Animated in the style of 1800s engravings by the great Richard Williams Studio. Featuring the voices of Alistair Sim, Michael Redgrave, and Michael Hordern reprising his 1951 performance as Marley’s Ghost . Animation by Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, among others. Produced by Chuck Jones. This film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for 1972.”

    –I’m TV-Baby! But not ‘everything’ exists at YouTube, there are distinct gaps in Time & Genre.
    Depends on who owns Mr. Magoo, as to whether it gets pulled down for copyright before next Christmas.

    Given that I think Social/Mental-Hygiene Films & Propaganda-shorts, are (can be!) High Art, I really don’t like Mr. Magoo and the animation style grates on my eyes. I tolerated him as a child, ‘cuz we only had one TV set and 3 channels. Haven’t watch a Magoo cartoon in literally 50 years.

    Yow– It’s 8 degrees in Michigan (negative 5 wind-chill) and we had a solid 6 inches of snow today.

  • Wayne: I myself never liked the Mr. Magoo cartoons, at all. However, when they did the Christmas Carol they essentially dropped that shtick and had Magoo play Scrooge straight. It worked, and made for a good adaption. And the music was especially good.

    Today was sunny and in the 70s here in Tucson. Diane and I went on a hike with friends, to the top of Mount Wasson.

  • Rob Floyd

    ‘Muppets’ is still my favorite. Michael Caine playing it straight the entire time just knocks it out of the park for me. Also, I had coffee coming out of my nose today when I watched the Youtube Christmas Carol earlier today! Color me irreverent, but a good laugh seems to be inline with the point of the Season. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you Mr. Zimmerman!

  • Michael Dean Miller

    Love this version with Sims.
    Ever notice the stage crew in the mirror on the wall the morning after the spirits worked their magic?
    You can see them two seperate times.
    I noticed this in1968.
    Had a lot of spare time as a kid in the 60’s….. man!
    Merry Christmas to All.

  • Phil Berardelli

    From my earliest memories, the splendid 1938 MGM version of “A Christmas Carol,” starring Reginald Owen and Gene Lockhart as Scrooge and Cratchitt, has been my favorite. Many actors have been able to portray the angry and misery Scrooge, but no one has been better capturing his redemptive morning. It’s an immortal performance.

  • wayne

    Michael Dean Miller–
    -That, is a new one on me—most excellent eyes!

    Pivoting slightly– check out “Foreign Correspondent (1940),” near the end, in the airplane when it’s crashing, the camera jerks upward and you can clearly see stage-lights above the ‘cabin.’


  • Alex Andrite

    Yesternight Christmas was just right , a mystery in all of its Glory.

    Christ Is Born !
    Glorify Him !

    That is the proclamation of Orthodox Christians during this Season.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  • BSJ

    Thanks for your link wayne!

    I own the 1951 Sim DVD and after we watched it this year, I was looking through Sim’s filmography and noticed the listing for his 1971 credit. It didn’t dawn on me to look it up on the web…

  • Phil Berardelli

    Just noticed a typo above: I had meant to write “miserly.”

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