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One of the best holiday comedies ever. Very funny. **** out of ****
10/10 SCROOGED (1988) ****2 years ago
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Glover, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, David Johansen, and Alfre Woodard Director: Richard Donner Running time: 101 minutes Rated PG-13 (for violence, language, and sexual references)
By Blake French:
"Scrooged" is one of the top ten holiday comedies ever produced on the big screen. It enables a viewer to experience the true meaning of cinema: to jump out of our lives and experience another. Once in a long, long while we get a movie with as much magically irrelevant context as Richard Donnar's 1988 adaptation of Charles Dickens classic fable. "Scrooged" holds a place on my list of the top 100 American movies ever made.
The film takes place a few days before Christmas. Bill Murray stars as the heartless Frank Cross, a corporate tightwad in charge of a highly profitable television company. This man seldom gives raises, airs stomach churning TV ads, and fires desperate employees at the drop of a hat, regardless of what time of year it is. Currently, Frank's company is producing the first live Christmas program on network television, on Christmas eve. It is a Charles Dickens fable. Frank is at the prime of his life, living a wealthy, glamorous, but unhappy life.
His greed soon catches up with him, however, when one night his old boss visits him, who has now been dead for years. Frank is at first astonished; he thinks he is hallucinating. The talking corpse tells him that very soon he will be introduced to three ghosts involuntarily. Franks then calls his old girlfriend, and continues on with his deprived life.
Bill Murray plays his role straight, with intensity and imagination--just like everyone else in the cast. He acts like he is yelling at his workers, and they act like they are being yelled at. This is what generates the film all of its laughs. It takes the characters seriously, and the comical situations in which they are placed are what makes the film funny.
Each of the three ghosts visit Frank. They include The Ghost of Christmas past, a rough cigar smoking taxi driver, an angelic but brutal pink fairy, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the most feared ghost, Christmas Future, the death-resembling, dark capped figure. They each contribute a heartfelt, terrifying message to Frank, explaining to him how that he either needs to clean up his act and become a giving, generous man, or dastardly things will happen to him.
The three ghosts are some of the most memorable characters ever seen in the movies. The human characters are also very interesting and entertaining. The filmmakers write each with distributive characteristics, provoking empathy and captivation. They are wonderfully portrayed as well.
The interlocking stories each related to each other in Richard Donnar's comedy classic as well. Each scene relates to the next with a strong, supportive narrative through line through Frank Cross.
''Scrooged'' definitely fits into the comedy genre, and offers copious amounts of laugh out loud material. There's even dialogue and sight gags that provoke laughter. On the other hand, the film doesn't lose track of its message by being all over the wall slapstick silliness. It leaves room for the emotions and feelings present. For this type of comedy to work, the humor needs to be played accurately. Some scenes involving the past of Frank are quite emotional, and the filmmakers use this to their advantage to develop the Frank character even further. ''Scrooged'' may be a spoof, but if still holds true to the classic story it is based on.
I also enjoyed the illustrious style this film uses: a mesmerizing blend of perfect set direction and colorful atmosphere. The sound track is very effective as well, with memorable tunes and voiceless medleys. The closing scene of ''Scrooged'' may feel a bit contrived and fake, but it also allows us to leave the theater with joyful happiness inside. If this film doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will.
Brought to you by Paramount Pictures.
I get it now!
8/10 I just finished watching this film (on TNT) for the countless time. What a fine seasonal offering. It's so much better than a lot of the pulp and smarmy c*** that passes for Christmas classics.2 years ago
Bill Murray exclaims at the end of the movie, "I get it now!" Apparently, some folks watched this flick and didn't get it. The movie is essentially a
star turn for Murray, who's in almost every frame - and that's fine with me because he can carry a film. Trivial quibbles over the movie's name and reference to the original work, the lack of faithfulness to the book and other complaints miss the point of the project. While staging a production of 'A Christmas Carol,' a TV executive experiences the very same circumstances as one of the characters in the novel. That alone makes it work. A few reviews question the overall harsh tone of the movie, or more specifically, Murray's role. Frankly, I would not have minded had it been even a little darker. There's a lot of water to carry in that bucket of trying to measure the callous and thoughtless manner in which some folks act on all but the most treasured of holidays. Murray's demeanour boils it down into one strong mean spirit and evaporates it with a truly positive and well-wishing finale.
Scrooged is, along with Groundhog Day, among his best work.
You'll Either Love it or Hate it.
5/10 Well, Christmas is almost upon us again. So I'm going to comment on a view Festive films. Starting with Scrooged:2 years ago
I personally enjoyed this film, but after reading other user's comments on here for the movie, I guess you either Love it or Hate it.
Why do people get so serious about a movie ? Its just a comedy that pokes a little fun at the Dickens classic.
They mention that Murray's character of Frank Cross was hateful, spiteful, nasty, horrible etc. etc. ... That was the whole idea!! (You wouldn't have had a movie if he wasn't those things). Scrooge in the novel was horrible, spiteful, nasty, etc. etc.
Scrooged is funny, but it does hit on a few serious notes also. Especially when Frank is visited by Carol Kane's Ghost of Christmas Present.
Scrooged is the type of movie that no-one will ever agree on. They have their opinions, and I have mine.
I love it. The bit at the end where Bill Murray finally realizes what Christmas is really all about, is quite moving as he talks directly to the viewers about it. Then when the cast break into song, Murray urges the Cinema audience to join in with them. The cinema we went to, did! It was a great atmosphere with the cinema singing along with the cast. And it was near Christmas too, which made it all that little bit more special :o)
THE perfect modern Christmas movie
10/10 I'm amazed by all the negative and mean-spirited comments for this movie. "Scrooged" is a cinematic gem, one of the most outstanding films of the '80s or any time for that matter. Bill Murray is at his comedic best, and he is entirely convincing as a bitter network exec who has lost sight of the important things in his life, like family and friends. You know the Dickens story, but Richard Donner's film version breathes life into the story and gives it extra meaning for modern audiences. Supporting actors all do wonders with their roles, from Robert Mitchum to Carol Kane to Michael J. Pollard. This film will make you laugh, and will certainly bring a little warmth into your Christmas season.2 years ago
For those who sight this film as mean-spirited or dark, they surely must be missing something. This film is funny, charming, and sweet. Frightening and warm at the same time, "Scrooged" is a modern masterpiece that has been unjustly overlooked and unappreciated. While there are other enjoyable Christmas films of the '80s ("A Christmas Story" and "Christmas Vacation" seem to get more than enough praise), none can hold a light towards "Scrooged", an excellent Christmas movie for modern audiences.
A Personal Favorite
5/10 This is my favorite "adaptation" of A Christmas Carol. It's also my favorite Christmas movie. A lot of people say that Bill Murray's character of Frank Cross is unlikeable. Would you prefer a warm and fuzzy Scrooge for the first half? Then there are those who say that the end is sappy. The ending is what I like the most. And Murray's acting is much better than other Scrooges, who usually overact. Murray manages to be over-the-top with his cruelty while still making his acting believable. Cross is truly Scrooge-like, reveling in the death of an old woman caused by his commercial because it's free publicity. Another common comment is that Carol Kane steals the scene as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Not true. The chemistry between Murray and Kane ensures that they share the screen perfectly. This is a wonderful movie. I can't understand why anyone would say otherwise. Bobcat Goldthwait puts in a great performance as a disgruntled employee fired on Christmas Eve. The best part is the end. This movie has what has to be the happiest ending in the history of movies. He understands the meaning of Christmas, gets a new lease on life, gets the girl, the little boy talks, and everybody sings a song. Danny Elfman provides the score, doing a brilliant job as always. A beautiful movie all around. A+2 years ago