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Scrooged (1988)

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


Richard Donner
4,940 ( 1,701)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Frank Cross
Karen Allen ... Claire Phillips
John Forsythe ... Lew Hayward
John Glover ... Brice Cummings
Bobcat Goldthwait ... Eliot Loudermilk
David Johansen ... Ghost of Christmas Past
Carol Kane ... Ghost of Christmas Present
Robert Mitchum ... Preston Rhinelander
Nicholas Phillips ... Calvin Cooley
Michael J. Pollard ... Herman
Alfre Woodard ... Grace Cooley
Mabel King ... Gramma
John Murray ... James Cross
Jamie Farr ... Jacob Marley
Robert Goulet ... Robert Goulet


Francis Xavier Cross is a cynical, mean spirited television executive, he treats his loyal assistant with contempt. He just sacked a member of staff on Christmas Eve for simply disagreeing with him, and he's alienated himself from his brother who still insists on inviting Frank to Christmas dinner despite him refusing to go every year. However, Frank is forced to learn the true meaning of Christmas when he's visited by three ghosts. Written by Iantjambo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

23 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol See more »


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lee Majors: As himself, in the television show "The Night the Reindeer Died". See more »


During the broadcast of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge tosses a coin to a boy so he can buy a Christmas goose. The shot seen in the control room monitor shows the coin falling in slow motion. This was more than likely a pre-recorded shot used for dramatic emphasis within the broadcast, which is common practice during live telecasts. See more »


[Eliot burst inside the control room with his shotgun, knocking Brice unconcious]
Censor Lady: [screams] AAH!
Elliot: [yells] Shut up!
[holds the control room people hostage]
Elliot: Don't touch that dial and stay at him!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

TBS runs an "edited for content" version of this film, that deletes or changes profanity and questionable dialog. See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Deck the Halls
Traditional tune, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant
Performed by The Cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Seasonal Murray vehicle has its moments.
27 October 2007 | by wayofthecassSee all my reviews

The reviews by the critics for this film were terrible. However the general viewer feedback is good. The film has some sappy, overblown moments ie.- the ending. But its all done in good spirits. If your a Bill Murray fan you'll love it. As the morally redundant TV exec Frank Cross, Murray gets far and away the most screen time and his straight faced, dry humour is just perfect for this type of character.

The film is a modern update of 'A Christmas Carol' for anyone who doesn't already know with the aforementioned Murray character Frank Cross replacing the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge. After being initially visited by his now deceased ex-boss(represented rather shockingly as an old decaying, mouse infested corpse still wearing the golf uniform he suffered his life ending heart attack in on the fairway) and on whom he had based his own career (though Frank has gone on to become even more selfish and concerned with the bottom line than even he was) Cross simply dismisses the episode as the result of high level executive pressure. In particular Frank is stressing out about his network's live Christmas eve broadcast which is surprise, surprise a big budget live version of 'A Christmas Carol'. However he is in turn visited by 3 very different versions of the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to the one's represented in the Dicken's tale , with the possible exception of the final ghost who is much more traditional in representation than the others. The role of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchet are represented by Cross's long suffering secretary and her young son who is a mute as a result of the trauma of seeing his father murdered several years before. There is a couple of interesting side stories involving Murray rekindling the only real relationship he has ever had with his first love Clare who he decides to recontact amongst all of the madness as well as a confident young new executive who has been brought on board and tries to act as Frank's friend but is clearly planning to usurp him. This attempt is aided by everyone's perception that Frank appears to be suffering some kind of breakdown as he tries to deal with the bizarre impingement on his life by the aforementioned ghosts. Possibly the most entertaining of the story lines not relating directly to the main one involves a naive young board member played by the usually larger than life, but here toned down, Bobcat Goldthwaite who has been fired as a result of innocently questioning a violent promo for the live show which Cross has commissioned. As Frank is dealing with his ghost's Bobcat's character descends into a rather pathetic depression and desperate alcoholism , in the space of a few days, as he tries to come to terms with his unemployment.

I really enjoyed John Glover as the slimy Californian exec who is obviously after Cross's job. It kind of underlines the point that though Cross is nasty at least what you see is what you get. Glover's character is completely 2-faced. The character obviously made an impact on the makers of Gremlins 2 because they cast Glover in an almost identical role in that movie a mere two years later.

Karen Allen as Carol is convincingly sweet and warm as possibly the only person who can truly help redeem Frank but both her and Robert Mitchum as Frank's boss are somewhat underused and in the case of a legendary talent like Mitchum's you almost wonder why he is in it.

Anyway in summation if you like Murray you'll love this. If you don't your enjoyment may suffer but there are still laughs to be had at the send ups of Christmas Network programming ie-. 'Bob Goulet's Cajun Christmas' , 'The Night the Reindeer Died' with Lee Majors and 'Dad Loves Chasing Beaver.' The soundtrack, special effects and make-up are also first rate. However be warned, it is very dark and at times a little sad, particularly in one scene in which Frank re-encounters one of the homeless people he had met earlier at Claire's shelter in a disused boiler room on a typically freezing New York winters night. So if your looking for an uplifting, fun seasonal movie instead of just a good laugh then avoid this. At least up until the end anyway where they all live happily ever after. I would also not be to keen on showing it to very young kids. Its not exactly a horror film but there are enough moments to scare some children and the humour is for the best part more on the adult side.

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