Scrooged was released on November 3, 1988. It’s a Christmas comedy film directed by the great Richard Donner. It’s written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue, with a music score by none other than Danny Elfman. The film stars; Bill Murray, with Karen Allen, Alfre Woodard, Bobcat Goldthwait, John Forsythe, Carol Kane, John Houseman and Robert Mitchum in supporting roles.
The film is a modern take on Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.
Our last collaboration of 2014 is seasonally appropriate with Christmas movies, before I get carried away with the details, go check out what my friends Dr. Q at Craft Beer Tasters and Cody from Three B Zine have to say about this film.
The plot is very very familiar; Bill Murray is our Scrooge, Victorian England is swapped out for corporate America, Christmas Eve work is now a Christmas Eve live broadcast… etc.
Frank Cross (Murray) is visited by his former boss, who’s now a shadow of his former self, he warns him that he will be visited by three ghosts who show him his past, present and future.
The once hard and bitter TV programming exec sees what he was and who he’ll be, learning the error of his ways, warms up to humanity confessing his soul to the nation tuned in to the live Christmas Carol broadcast and learning the true meaning of Christmas, we get a Little Shop of Horrors reference and end on music in the way that Donner does so well.
The good; the opening, yeah, let’s start with the opening sequence… I dunno about you, but I want to see this programming block. Lee Majors saving Christmas?? Then we get Robert Goulet‘s Cajun Christmas?? Forget if “Yule Love It,” I’ll love it. I’ve always loved this portion of the movie with the “fake” segments, eat your heart out Grindhouse!
I love how meta this movie is, it’s called Scrooged, so we already know that it’s a take on A Christmas Carol, but it’s got a live production of A Christmas Carol in a film version of A Christmas Carol???!!? What? That’s amazing.
Murray does what he does and delivers. He really flexes his acting muscles here, at every moment of time travel during Frank Cross’ life I believe that it’s him but different. Pairing him with Karen Allen is sublime. I get a sense of honest to God goodness when I see Claire smile, I know it’s partly (mostly) Karen Allen herself, but it’s also what Claire represents.
Danny Elfman’s score has those “la la la’s” that Tim Burton loves so much, and this is pre-Batman Returns.
Such a good score to compliment a good movie.
Other than the “Niagara Falls Frankie” line, the other scene that always gets me is the one with Herman frozen over as he’s tried to keep warm next to a scrawny Christmas Tree he set up in the under-dwelling.
Bobcat Goldthwait as the disgruntled employee going postal, before going postal was a thing, is great. You really feel that this nice guy can be driven to such hostile intent.
Perhaps the most touching plot line is with Alfre Woodard’s character as the Bob Cratchit role. Her son Calvin fulfills the Tiny Tim role, but not with a being ill and having to use crutches, but with being unable/unwilling to speak.
The bad; I’m not sure…
Why doesn’t this movie get more air time during the holidays? TV Programmers… I’m looking at you…
Overall, another modern Christmas Classic. I was just as enthralled with Scrooged as the first time I watched it, this film holds up very well. During this holiday season I’d pair a viewing of Scrooged with a bottle of Martinelli’s Sparking Apple Cider.
Martinelli’s is a juice company in Watsonville, California, they’ve operated there since 1868. The company is privately owned by the descendants of the founders. Their family recipe is guarded by a sect of monks, who by chance have sworn a vow of silence. Martinelli’s reach goes to every stat in the United States, several other countries in North America and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East.
Martinelli’s non-alcoholic sparkling cider is not only fitting for this film, but is shareable, so you can enjoy this internationally known beverage with your loved ones as you bask in the TV’s warm glowing warming glow.
Fire up that Netflix and stream Scrooged now!