Sunday, May 26, 2013

A movie mystery solved!

Like all right-thinking people, I believe that Alastair Sim's version of  "A Christmas Carol" is the best version of the story on film.

There's one mystery fans of the film have long wondered about:  who played the maid who takes Scrooge's coat when he comes to Fred's house for Christmas dinner?

She has no lines, but everyone who watches this scene is charmed by her sweet expression and the way she momentarily steps into the action, encouraging Scrooge, who hesitates on the doorstep.  There's always that second where we think that his courage might fail him, and he could go away without opening the door.  She gives him this little smile and nod, to say, "Go on, it'll be alright."

Well, the mystery is solved!  A blogger named Dickensblog discovered that her name at that time was Theresa Derrington, and "A Christmas Carol" was her last movie role before she retired to marry and raise a family.

It was interesting to read her memories of the 1-day shoot; Sim was a bit of a jerk to her, but I've read his biography and he WAS demanding when it came to acting, so that doesn't really surprise me much.  He had no patience with anything second-rate; his daughter once blew a scene and came over to him after to apologize.  He told her he didn't want to hear apologies; he just wanted it never to happen again.  That's the way he was when it came to acting, but in other respects he was a charming, easy-going man.


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