Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I am not a romance/romantic comedy kind of girl; I'll take a good old mystery or ghost story any day.  And the telling of ghost stories, especially on Christmas Eve is a long tradition most popular in Victorian England.  Obviously the most famous is A CHRISTMAS CAROL, by Charles Dickens.

And not only do I love reading ghost stories but I love a good ghost story movie too.  And my favorite tradition is watching (what I think is the best, and many critics agree) the 1951 British version A CHRISTMAS CAROL/SCROOGE starring Alister Sim.
This version is said to be the best interpretation of the original novella by Dickens.  I first watched it as a young child and have watched it every year since (but only in black and white.) 
A few years ago, TNT developed an new version starring the very handsome Patrick Stewart.
This 1999 version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL,  also stars one of my favorite actors Richard E. Grant.  And like the 1951 version it is filmed in England and pretty close to the original story.
And it doesn't hurt that Patrick Stewart is quit handsome, oh wait did I already say that?
But another new favorite, and it is NOT on DVD (boo hiss boo) is by the very talented Rod Serling.
A CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS.  This 1964 adaption was aired on ABC and was the first in a series of televised programs to promote the United Nations.  It was sponsored by Xerox.  Since 1964 it had not been televised again until TNT was able to show it again in 2012.  I was able to see it that year after reading an article about it in the local paper.  And AMC has continued to air it and it is available On-Demand.
It is directed by the very talented Joseph L. Mankiewicz and has a star studded cast including Peter Sellers, Ben Gazzara, Sterling Hayden, Steve Lawrence, Pat Hingle and the handsome Robert Shaw.
If you have the opportunity to watch it, you really must.  Although it is a modernization of the famous story by Dickens, no one can tell a story like Rod Serling.
And when I want to read a good Christmas ghost story I pull out this book, that I stumbled on in a used book store several years ago SPIRITS OF CHRISTMAS:TWENTY OTHER WORDLY TALES.
Oh, and if you have never enjoyed this wonderful Victorian tradition, this may be the year to start, we will be treated to a very rare Full Cold Moon this Christmas.  We have not had one in 38 years and the next one is not until 2034.  It will peek December 25 at 6:11 a.m. est.  And since we are having a wonderful warm spell right now, I know I will be out there enjoying.
And one last reminder.  Don't forget to visit the the NORAD Santa Tracker Thursday.
And a special thank you to the men and women of North American Aerospace Defense Command
 for helping to keep us safe and providing this wonderful program.

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