NOTE TO READERS: This is a review of the long-ubiquitous edited version of the film, which is about 60 minutes or so with various chopping. The short version is a staple seller at dollar stores. The 78-minute version is available at Google Archives, probably YouTube, and finally played on TV, airing on Turner Classic Movies last night (Dec. 19, 2013). The likely shorter version airs tonight on UEN Channel 9 as part of Sci Fi Friday.
This very creaky British version of Dickens' A Christmas Tale can't hold a candle to the 1951, 1984 and 1999 versions, but it's better than the 1938 Hollywood adaptation. It stars Hicks as Scrooge. The British actor had the part down pat. He had played Scrooge for decades on the British stage. Nevertheless, he plays Scrooge as a crochety old crank, which is one of your reviewer's pet peeves. I prefer Scrooge to be played as a smug, self satisfied superior sort, such as Sims, Scott and Stewart portrayed Dickens' miser in other adaptations. The result is that Scrooge's experience is a startling comeuppance for him. Like Saul of Tarsus, he's literally brought to his senses and scared straight through divine interference. But with an old crochety Scrooge, all he goes through seems like a scolding that a child would take from an elder.
-- Doug Gibson