At the beginning of the month, Robert Pope asked me which version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL is my favorite and why?
My absolute favorite version is the book by Charles Dickens, but I know that's not what you meant. Most of the versions, even the ones that I don't find to be rewarding overall have at least some element to them I that I like a lot, and often times better than the way that same element is presented in a superior adaptation.
Overall though, the movie version of A Christmas Carol that I like best is Scrooge, the 1951 adaptation starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. I haven't seen it (or any other version of A Christmas Carol) in a number of years, but this is the one I turn to most often. Sim is great as Scrooge, and the whole film has a feel to it that seems like it comes from an earlier age. It also has Ernest Thesiger precisely cast as the undertaker and Patrick Macnee, surprisingly, as the young version of Jacob Marley. The whole cast is good and so are the ghosts.
I'm also very fond of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962), which when you eliminate the songs, the razzleberry dressing, and the songs about razzleberry dressing is a very serious and stirring adaptation and the ghosts -- all of the ghosts are really creepy.
Finally, I also really loved the Doctor Who "A Christmas Carol" from 2011, which is a very loose adaptation which still hits all of the main plot points of the Dickens story even though it's set on another planet, features suspended animation, sharks that swim through the air and Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. It's a very moving story with Michael Gambon as the Scrooge character and is also one of my two favorite episodes of the current Doctor Who series.
I'm curious to know what Robert Pope's favorite adaptation is (or anyone else who might want to chime in in the comments below).