The Little Match Girl (1954)
Article 5913 by Dave Sindelar
Featuring the voice of John Nesbitt
What it is: A non-merry Christmas
A starving, freezing little girl sees visions in the matches she has failed to sell on the street.
Here we have another version of the single most depressing Christmas story of them all; I suspect Hans Christian Andersen wasn’t in a very happy state of mind when he conjured this one up. The credits above only apply to the Castle Films release of the short; I have strong reason to suspect that this is actually either a silent or foreign movie with the soundtrack removed and narration added. It’s probably a 1952 French version called LE JEUNE FILLE AUX ALLUMETTES; I see the cast lists a ballerina in the credits, which would match up with the dance sequence. I suppose I can’t blame all of these versions for trying to find some way to make this Christmas sourball of a story joyous; how else would you handle it? For those who like a good Christmas cry with their Christmas cheer.