By Angie Georgeff
The big day is fast approaching, and time is in short supply. I made considerable headway toward pruning my overgrown stack of books-to-be-read during October and November, but now I’m taking a break from reading to watch holiday movies. Of course, I watch a lot of movies with my family every December, but the ones I watch by myself, for myself, are “Little Women” and “Love Actually.”
I asked our staff and volunteers which movie is their holiday essential. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” took the prize, followed by “A Christmas Story,” “Home Alone,” “The Polar Express” and “any version of A Christmas Carol except the one with Kelsey Grammer.”
That last response piqued my curiosity. How many filmed versions of Charles Dickens’s beloved classic are there, anyway? I searched “Christmas Carol” at IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, and learned that there are 200. I knew there were a lot, but I’d expected the number to be more like 20.
The total is remarkable since Dickens’s novella was published in 1843, 174 years ago. Photography was in its infancy and moving pictures decades in the future, but the story’s appeal quite obviously has endured.
The earliest version listed on the website’s database was released on Dec. 9, 1908. Only 15 minutes long, silent and in black and white, it starred Shakespearean actor Tom Ricketts as Scrooge. Ricketts, who was born only nine years after Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol,” is best remembered for directing the first movie filmed in Hollywood. A second adaptation followed in 1910 and others are still in development.
We recently received a shipment of DVDs, which are currently being cataloged and processed. They include a variety of titles, from animated features suitable for the entire family to more adult fare.
Unfortunately, there were no new versions of “A Christmas Carol” in the box, so we’ll have to make do with the eight iterations we already have—at least for this Christmas season.
‘Tis the season for wish lists. Every day Santa gets lists from good boys and girls, and frequently we get requests, too. That is why we keep lists of the books, audiobooks and DVDs that our patrons want. This week we are compiling lists of books to order for our children’s and teen collections.
As always, if there are titles you would like to add to our wish lists, please call the library at 743-6533. We value your input!