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10 Bob Cratchits, Ranked from Worst to First

Every fan of A Christmas Carol has their favorite Scrooges -- whether it's George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart or Mr. Magoo.

But the role of Bob Cratchit is also crucial, and a slew of big names have taken their shot at it, with mixed results.

It can be a tough role to pull off without going overboard on either the pusillanimous workplace behavior or the Hallmark saccharine of the scenes around the family hearth.

Here are ten Cratchits, ranked from worst to first.

10. David Warner

A talented actor who will perhaps forever be best known for his role in

Titanic

, Warner's performance in the George C. Scott TV movie isn't terrible, but it's badly hampered by the set designer and director. The Cratchit hovel looks positively homely, all light and airy and clean, and you'd never think their Christmas goose was especially small until Warner mourns its supposed tiny size.

9. Rhys Ifans The scene-stealer from Notting Hill may very well have been a good Cratchit, but we haven't seen this so we can't judge. The animation looks cheap, but the cast includes Simon Callow, Kate Winslet and, ummm, Nicolas Cage.

8. Gene Lockhart

Serviceable enough in this 1938 version, just a little too hammy for our taste. Trivia note: Lockhart had a daughter named June, who went on to play the mom in the TV series

Lost in Space

.

7. Jack Cassidy

Jack Cassidy was a master villain in a couple of

Columbo

s and he had a great Broadway voice, but he isn't given much to do in

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

. At least he played a part in introducing the world to razzleberry dressing.

6. Bobcat Goldthwait

Sure, his name was Eliot Loudermilk and not Bob Cratchit, but we all know who he was supposed to be. And no Cratchit ever wielded a shotgun while singing "You Better Watch Out" as well as Goldthwait.

5. Richard E. Grant

We thought Patrick Stewart chewed a little too much scenery in this 1999 version, and the special effects could have been dialed back, but we like what Richard E. Grant did with Cratchit. But then we've always been big fans of

Withnail and I

.

4. Tony RandallThe Odd Couple

is one of the more criminally underrated sitcoms of all time; their

Christmas Carol

episode was not necessarily among their top 10, but any chance to give the show a plug is worth it.

3. Gary Oldman

The Jim Carrey/Bon Zemeckis version of

A Christmas Carol

is a schizophrenic mess: It retains a surprising amount of Dickens's archaic but wonderful language and grammar, but throws in pointless candy like a miniaturized Scrooge in a chase scene. The always reliable Gary Oldman turns in a great Cratchit, though.

2. Kermit

Come on, you gotta love Kermit.

1. Mervyn Johns

You've probably never heard of Mervyn Johns, although if you're a fan of the Ealing Studios films you've seen his work. His Cratchit in the Alastair Sim 1951

Scrooge

nails the role perfectly, delivering even the most unctuous of pious lines with a believability and vulnerability.

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