A.O. Scott‘s video essay about Brian Desmond Hurst‘s A Christmas Carol (’51) says everything I’ve always felt and believed about it. This British-produced adaptation of Charles Dickens‘ classic novel is by far (a) the most emotionally affecting, (b) the best acted, (c) the spookiest and (d) the most atmospherically correct of the lot. You can sense the mood and aroma of 19th Century London in every frame, line, garment and setting.

And no ghost in any other film has ever howled quite like Michael Hordern‘s Jacob Marley — here‘s the mp3.