Monday, December 19, 2011

What the Dickens?

TCM is showing Scrooge tonight at 10:15 PM. You can probably guess that it's a movie version of Charles Dickens' classic story A Christmas Carol. The difference about this one is that it's a musical version, starring Albert Finney as Scrooge; Edith Evans (whom you saw in Fitzwilly) as the Ghost of Christmas Past; Kenneth More (Sink the Bismarck) as the Ghost of Christmas Present; and Alec Guinness as the ghost of Jacob Marley. It's also the third version of the Dickens story to air this month on TCM, after the 1938 Reginald Owen and 1951 Alistair Sim (no S on the end) version. These are by a good ways not the only three versions of the film. IMDb lists the very first as having been made all the way back in 1901. I've also mentioned the film The Passions of Carol, which I've never seen before. Apparently it's an adult film retelling the story. More interesting is that it's apparently gotten a restoration. (If you do an Internet search, you'll be able to find where you can find it on DVD.)

Charles Dickens is one of the more adapted writers out there. However, it's a bit difficult to figure out exactly who has been most adapted for the big screen, largely because IMDb lists movies and TV shows together. Dickes has 323 works listed, although many of these are TV adaptations by organizations like the BBC. The obvious choice for most adapted writer would be William Shakespeare, with an astonishing 857 adaptations. An interesting question would be what other writers come near the top of the list. My first thought in that regard was Edgar Rice Burroughs, since he created the character Tarzan. But then it's only his character being adapted, not so much actual books (although Burroughs wrote some 20 or more Tarzan books). I knew there were a lot of Tarzan movies, although I'm a bit surprised to see the number of Burroughs adaptations is under 100. Burroughs wrote a lot of other stuff besides Tarzan, and apparently a work based on his works about Mars explorer John Carter is scheduled for release next year.

I wonder what other authors would be near the top of the most-adapted list.

No comments: