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Scrooged (1988)

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A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Nicholas Phillips ...
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John Murray ...
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Storyline

Frank Cross runs a US TV station which is planning a live adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol. Frank's childhood wasn't a particularly pleasant one, and so he doesn't really appreciate the Christmas spirit. With the help of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Frank realises he must change. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bill Murray is back among the ghosts. Only this time, it's three against one. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$60,328,558 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were five Christmas Ghosts in the movie. They were the following: The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen), The Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) and The Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Hammond, uncredited). The Christmas Ghosts on the TV Show "Scrooge" were The Ghost of Christmas Past (Pat McCormick) and The Ghost of Christmas Future (Chaz Conner). See more »

Goofs

After Frank Cross wakes up in his office after Lew visits him, he drinks some vodka that has a golf ball in it. When he drops the golf ball on his desk, it bounces three times in front of Frank's face. On the second and third bounces, the ball actually goes higher than on its first bounce. Although this is "impossible," it is meant to emphasize the supernatural origins of the ball. Also note that the sound effects correspond with this "supernatural" activity. See more »

Quotes

Frank Cross: Grace, put yourself down for a towel, too.
Grace: What about my bonus?
Frank Cross: Towel and a facecloth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated with Love and Affection to Anne Ramsey Roger M. Rothstein Robert Scaife We miss you... See more »

Connections

Version of Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Written by Johnny Marks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bill Murray gets "Scrooged"
20 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Scrooged" opens in the clouds, and then suddenly descends on a snowbound cottage. Signs inform us that it's Santa's workshop and we're at the North Pole. Inside, elves work hastily as Santa prepares himself for his impending duty on Christmas Eve night. But then, terrorists, packing some serious heat with them, lay siege to the workshop.

Panicking, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves run towards the back of the shop, open a tool cabinet, which reveals an arsenal of M-16s, and soon everybody's armed to the hilt with automatic weaponry. But then Lee Majors appears on a snowmobile and reassures Santa that Christmas will be coming on time this year. Then Lee goes to work killing the terrorists with a large Gatling gun.

Then we're treated to a promo spot for a television production of "Scrooge," which features a bloody highway shooting, a plane blowing up, and drug addicts taking heroin. It is this sort of cynicism that's underlying in much of the subtext of this film, and it's also something that Frank Cross (Bill Murray), "the youngest television president in network history," thrives on.

And so opens "Scrooged," director Richard Donner's contemporary take on Charles Dickens's classic tale "A Christmas Carol." Dickens's novel has been fodder for countless television, film, and stage productions over the 150+ years it has been an accepted part of American literature, and this 1988 dark comedy is the latest incarnation.

The biggest reason it has is because it describes the need for mankind to not be so selfish, and it takes three ghastly apparitions over the course of a 24-hour period to show an old miser the error of his ways.

But all of this is in the past. Cross is so swept up in himself, that he gives bath towels to everyone (even his only brother) on Christmas. He asks his loyal secretary Grace (Alfre Woodard) to stay late at work, despite the fact that she has to take her mute son to the doctor. ("I care!" Frank says, when she confronts him about it.) He fires an underling named Eliot (Bobcat Goldthwait) for questioning him about his un-Christmas-like promo ads. He shuns Claire (Karen Allen), the only woman who's ever cared about him when she tries to provide comfort for the homeless. Yeah, Cross is every bit as a unsavory as most misers are when it comes to "A Christmas Carol."

But life is about to change for Frank, and that's marked by the sudden and (literally) explosive appearance of the rotting corpse of his late boss. The walking, talking "worm feast" informs Frank that he's going to be visited by three ghosts over the next 24 hours, and this may be his last chance to change his ways. And from there on, it's ghastly, darkly comic hilarity as Frank goes back, forward, and stays in the present as three ghosts (a manic cabbie, a jilted, abusive fairy, and a towering, cloaked skeleton, respectively) take him on a wild ride through his life.

Bill Murray is at his comic best here, getting "Scrooged" the way someone in his position should. Much like the lead character in "A Christmas Carol" realizes the error of his ways, Frank Cross does so too, but with a kind of cynicism that could only be provided by someone as indifferent, uncompromising, and selfish as him. And he's also quite aware from the appearance of the first ghost of what this trip entails.

The makeup and special effects are also worthy of some mention. The ghosts all look fantastic, even though some would argue that the effects that brought them to life are dated; well, this movie was made in 1988 for crying out loud!

I liked "Scrooged," as it is certainly a fantastic Christmas movie to watch, and is quite funny, especially just to see Murray get his comeuppance in a role that seems to suit him perfectly.

Watch Bill Murray get "Scrooged" - 10/10


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Does anyone else cry.. denwo18
Frank's age dankohner1
so many references in this movie that are tough to get.... jmorris023
Why Does Bryce Constantly Touch Frank? reephie
Hilarious propaganda throughout the film nailhead
Who's the girl dancer that Murray kisses at the end? Vondaz
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