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Scrooge & Co.'s Holiday Films

Everyone has a favorite holiday movie, and it's the time of year when those seasonal videos get the prime spot on the shelf.

Just for fun, Early Show Entertainment Correspondent Mark McEwen asked the New York cast of A Christmas Carol to name their favorites.


There are at least 20 filmed productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, starring everyone from Alastair Sim to Mr. Magoo.

Sim's personification of Scrooge was the one that affected Tony Roberts the most. Roberts is on-stage right now as Ebenezer Scrooge at Madison Square Garden.

"They showed us the Alastair Sim Christmas Carol in school, I think, in about the third grade. And it was on a little small screen. It was very scratchy and grainy, and it was hard to hear, but it was terrifying," says Roberts.

Didi Conn (Frenchy in Grease) plays the Ghost of Christmas Past. The first time she saw A Christmas Carol was two months ago, says Conn laughing.

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"[The] first time I heard of the name Scrooge was [when] my old boyfriend used to call his father that," she says. "But actually I have a 7-year-old son. So we watched the Scrooge Magoo," she adds with a chuckle.

And Reginald Vel Johnson (Family Matters) plays the Ghost of Christmas Present.

"I remember the Alastair Sim version," he says. "You know, but like I said, my favorite is [the] Mr. Magoo's version," Vel Johnson notes, adding, "But this is a timeless story. And any version really would touch your heart just like all the rest, you know," he says.

"And particularly this one, I must say. Not because I'm in it, but there's just something about it when Scrooge gets the wakeup callÂ…. We all get it, you know. We all feel that sense of giving and that giving is better than receiving, you know. And that's the lesson that we learn from it," he adds.

Vel Johnson's Die Hard is also set at Christmas time, though most people probably would not think of it as a Christmas film.

"That was the genius idea of Joel Silver, you know, to do that," he says. "And I remember that song: '[Oh] the weather outside is' piping in the end when all this stuff is flying and everything. That was my big break, you know, so to speak," he notes.

And among his memorable holiday films are The Grinch That Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. "That was my favorite, the little puppet thing. That was my favorite show - still is to this day. I gotapes of that, you know. I sit there by myself and watch that quietly," he adds.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the one to rent at the video store, says Johnson with a chuckle. "This will give you joy for the whole entire season, I tell you," he adds.

And while the grownups on the set enjoy a range of old-time classics, the children have a more modern favorite: Home Alone was their pick.

"I liked it when the robbers, like, got hurt," says one kid, laughing.

"The first one is my favorite. Because all the robbers, like, got hurt," adds another.

But with these kids, it doesn't all begin and end with Macaulay Culkin. A Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a popular Christmas film, and one girl notes Bill Murray's Scrooge "was hilarious."

"I think Christmas is for everybody," says Roberts. "I don't think it matters how old you are or how young you are. I think there's always a better part of you that you can call upon, and there's a spirit of forgiveness. And those are truths that last, I'm sure, until the day you die."

A Christmas Carol, at the theater in Madison Square Garden, plays through December, with three live shows a day. And that old standard, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is out in DVD and is flying off the shelves.






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