My Latest Book

My Latest Book
By Jim Manago, Biographer (Shirley Booth, Huntz Hall, and Kay Aldridge)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"Can You Forgive The Pig-Headed Old Fool For Having No Eyes To See With Nor Ears To Hear With All These YEARS?"

One of my favorite moments that stays with me Christmas and throughout the year is found in the 1951 film Scrooge. I am speaking of the great Alastair Sim version. That film is so well-acted and moving. If I can confine my point to just one scene, then I would pick the very touching and tender moment when repentant Scrooge visits his nephew. The scene works so well in capturing Scrooge's change of heart, especially with the song "Barbara Allen" being sung, but effectively stopped mid-verse when Uncle Ebenezer walks in.
Scrooge asks his nephew's wife, "Can you forgive the pig-headed old fool for having no eyes to see with nor ears to hear with all these years?" The sense of exhilaration captured here is phenomenal! It just does not get any better than that!

Of course, many of the best scenes and dialogue were not from Dickens' original "A Christmas Carol" story. They were the wonderful brainchild of the now forgotten screenwriter/novelist Noel Langley. He was born on Christmas Day in 1911, and died on November 4, 1980. 

It's Langley that made several adjustments and additions to the Dickens story. Langley wrote in the cinematic style that Dickens also wrote in (of course Dickens was doing this before cinema was even invented). What Langley brought to the story blends well with Dickens' story and it helps to flesh out Scrooge and the other characters. I am sure that this is part of the reason why the 1951 adaptation of the Dickens story is so endearing.  

Langley's contribution lives on in the definitive version of Charles Dickens' immortal tale.  




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