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I get it now!
Bwana-223 December 2000
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.

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.
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A Personal Favorite
Moviestar-617 December 2001
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+
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You'll Either Love it or Hate it.
jrb180210 November 2000
Well, Christmas is almost upon us again. So I'm going to comment on a view Festive films. Starting with Scrooged:

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)
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One of the best holiday comedies ever. Very funny. **** out of ****
Movie-1218 December 1999
SCROOGED (1988) ****

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.
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THE perfect modern Christmas movie
DoobieKeebler23 December 2002
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.

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.
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Bill Murray gets "Scrooged"
dee.reid20 December 2004
"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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Fun to watch every day of the year.
Boba_Fett113820 August 2003
This is a Christmas movie that also is very enjoyable to watch outside of the holiday's.

Another name for the movie could be "The Bill Murray Show", he simply makes this movie and I can't even imaging how the movie would have been without him in it. He's amazingly funny and on top of that he also is a wonderful actor. You can see that in some of the scene's he improvised a lot and he did that brilliantly! All the other actors and characters are merely sidekicks.

The story is basically a modern version of the classic Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol" and it's done wonderfully. It's great to see how the the classic story is translated into the 20th century. Everything works very well: The settings, the characters and the events, everything.

From the hilarious opening involving Santa Claus and Lee Mayors (I say no more) till the wonderful ending the movie delivers non stop fun and pure entertainment with a nice love story, brilliant dialog and a great and important message in it. Only thing is that I feel that the movie could have done without the whole Loudermilk thing, but oh well...

Very recommendable and close of being perfect.

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Put a little love in your heart.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
This is a perfect vehicle for Bill Murray, his brand of sarcastic and caustic delivery is nailed on perfect for Frank Cross, the modern day scrooge in this tale. I have often found him to be an acquired taste, I mean don't get me wrong here, I'm a big fan and can repeatedly watch his best offerings, but it's not hard to understand why his style is not universally loved. Scrooged is pure and simply the modern spin of the story we all have grown up with, that isn't to say that the film loses anything as regards Christmas spirit, because it doesn't, the message is still the same, and in this ever changing world of ours the core essence of the story is one the world should heed.

This version is a blast, it's loud, it's brash, but boy is it damn funny, and I personally watch it every Christmas without fail. And yes, I watch it alongside the glorious Alistair Sim version, for although they are poles apart in class, they both entertain for very different reasons.

Joining Murray in this festive romp is the delightful Karen Allen, while luminaries such as former New York Dolls front man David Johansen and Mr. Laconic himself, Robert Mitchum, add some weight to the cast list. It all works really rather well with the exception of Carol Kane's Ghost Of Christmas Present, where to me she comes off as being more annoying than funny, but that of course is a personal opinion and I know as fact that many others adore her energetic performance. With quips aplenty and of course with a simple heartfelt message at the core, Scrooged is truly a sharp and enjoyable film to be enjoyed at the festive period.

Thanks boys, get the nurse! 8/10
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Should have been funny. But somehow it isn't
DavidSim2401832 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
After Bill Murray struck gold with Ghostbusters in 1984, he dropped off the radar a little. His personal project The Razor's Edge flopped with audiences and critics, and I think that must have been a blow to him. Besides making a cameo in the amusing Little Shop of Horrors, he stayed away from the Hollywood circuit for four years.

But then in 1988 he resurfaced with Scrooged, an update on the classic Charles Dickens tale. Obviously trying to repeat the success of Ghostbusters, Scrooged was a modest hit with audiences, who considered it Murray's comeback role.

When I was younger, I loved Scrooged. I thought it was funny and delivered on so many levels. But as I've gotten older, Scrooged has gone down considerably in my estimation. Instead of feeling funny, it now feels laboured, and forced. And I never thought I would say this, but the main reason Scrooged doesn't work is because of Bill Murray.

Bill Murray is one of my favourite comedians. In fact I think he's one of the funniest men alive. His dry, laconic outlook on life is nearly always hilarious. Just look at some of the gems he's turned out. Ghostbusters. Groundhog Day. Lost in Translation and the sadly overlooked Broken Flowers.

But then there's Scrooged. A film that should have been a perfect vehicle for Murray's talents, but it never even gets out of the gate. And I blame that on Murray, sadly. He did the theme of a miser seeing the error of his ways to much greater effect in the absolutely wonderful Groundhog Day, which is my personal favourite comedy of the 90s.

In Scrooged, Murray is the borderline power-mad TV exec Frank Cross. A man so consumed by greed and hate he thinks nothing of firing employees if they even look at him the wrong way. Frank is on a dangerous path, and will lose everything if he doesn't change his ways. And so step in the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to show Frank what he's missed out on in life.

There is some invention during the scenes of ghostly visitations. The Ghost of Christmas Past is a grizzled New York cab driver. The meter is actually a calender that shows the year Murray is in. The Ghost of Christmas Present (a horribly screechy performance by Carol Kane) is like an insane Sugar Plum Fairy with a nasty habit of punching Frank repeatedly. The Ghost of Christmas Future is just as Dickens left it. Except it has a TV for a face.

Usually I like Christmas tales with dark centres, like the excellent Nightmare Before Christmas and the hilarious Gremlins. Two brilliant films that succeed on every level. But sadly, Scrooged doesn't deliver. Whenever Bill Murray is in a film, he's usually the best thing about it. Here he's the worst. He's clearly not having a good time. He approaches each scene with indifference. When he's hands on with material, he can deliver superb performances. But he's strictly hands off with this film. And as a result, it makes his supposed redemption in the final scenes that all the more false.

There are occasions where his trademark sarcasm shines. I liked the scene where he collects an award for Humanitarian of the Year. Its funny because Murray is notorious for shunning the award ceremonies, and his clear distaste for the Oscars is mirrored in that scene. His acceptance speech is a marvellous send-up of the countless celebrities who stand up to the mike and drone on and on about their achievements.

But elsewhere Scrooged falls flat. There is no evidence that Frank is slowly thawing. And because Murray overacts badly in this film (strange considering that he prefers minimalist acting), I couldn't believe for a second what I was seeing. Murray spends a lot of his time shouting his way through the film to the point that it becomes tedious.

In the supporting cast, we do get some occasional rays of sunshine. John Glover is hilarious as the exec brought in to lighten the burden on Frank's shoulders, when really he's after his job. John Forsythe sports an astonishing makeup job as Frank's old boss, who appears as a decaying corpse, the film's version of Marley's Ghost. And the underrated Karen Allen shines as the woman Frank gave up for the sake of his career.

But its in the final scenes where Scrooged comes crashing down. Frank has seen the error of his ways. And to prove it, he barges on to the set of a live retelling of A Christmas Carol the TV studio is putting on. Frank goes on and on (and on) about the true meaning of Christmas. And its a horrible thing to see. Murray doesn't sound like he believes a word of what he's saying. It seems to go on forever. And I felt really embarrassed for him.

What a pity! Scrooged could have been a hip, witty deconstruction of A Christmas Carol. And nobody does nasty and sarcastic better than Bill Murray. Where did it all go wrong then? How did it so completely miss the mark? Shame considering it came from Richard Donner, the man behind classics like Superman and The Omen. And such a waste of Robert Mitchum and John Houseman.

Very poor, and ultimately very depressing too.
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A modern version of a classic Christmas tale.
tonygarraway200919 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Bill Murray is on perfect form as a modern day TV executive who is devoid of any goodwill and charm at the most magical time of the year. Modern day elements have been successfully merged with all the well known aspects of Dickens' timeless masterpiece. Well recommended for viewing at Christmas.
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Bill Murray does an excellent job of creating a modern-day Ebeneezer Scrooge
cricketbat10 July 2018
Scrooged is a fresh, dark and original take on the classic Christmas Carol story. The ghosts are humorous and horrifying and Bill Murray does an excellent job of creating a modern-day Ebeneezer Scrooge. The ending is quite cheesy, but, then again, isn't that what Christmas movies are all about?
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Murray Gets Scrooged.
anaconda-406585 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Scrooged (1988): Dir: Richard Donner / Cast: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Bob Goldthwait, John Forsythe, Carol Kane: A parody of the Charles Dickens classic with a modern take on the tale. Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a cynical program executive who is the modern day Scrooge. He objects to his secretary taking time off to deal with his son's inability to speak. He fires someone on Christmas eve. Plus he is making everybody's life miserable on the set of the Charles Dickens play that he is producing. Bill Murray is hysterical as Cross who believes that he is going crazy during a long night of interruptions by three ghosts that showcases scenes from his life from past, present and future. Cross is humbled in humorous fashion until a third act where everything goes way over the top. Karen Allen plays a former girlfriend who lends her services to a homeless shelter. Through flashbacks Cross is reintroduced to their first encounter through their budding relationship until pride divides them. Bob Goldthwait plays a fired employee whose drunken spree goes into overdrive of singing carols and brandishing a shotgun. John Forsythe plays Cross's ghostly boss who returns to give him a warning. Carol Kane is delightful as the ghost of Christmas present who cheerfully smacks sense in Cross. While its humour is too crass for younger viewers, its satire view of the classic tale is a well produced holiday laugh fest. Score: 8 / 10
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Seasonal Murray vehicle has its moments.
wayofthecass27 October 2007
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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Starts well, gets a bit sentimental but Murray carries it
bob the moo25 December 2003
Francis Cross is a successful TV executive but at Christmas time he is about as miserable a man as you could wish to meet. Forcing people to work over the holidays and unwilling to think of anyone but himself. As Christmas Eve approaches Francis is visited by his dead boss, warning him to change his ways; when he doesn't he is visited by three ghosts who show him Christmas in the past, present and future.

Each year there are plenty of versions of the classic Christmas Carol story, but this film is consistently one of the better ones. It starts with a great dark comedy that sees some very imaginative gags (The Night The Reindeer Died) as well as Murray given great material. At some point (roughly ghost 2), sentimentality starts to set in and the film doesn't quite have the edge on it that it did. It still works - in fact, ghost 3 is not so much sentimental as really dramatic!

What holds it all together though is a great performance from Murray. He is funny throughout but also does the work to try and hold off the sentimentality of the piece - although it does come through, as one would expect with a Christmas movie! The support cast is good and includes Woodard, Goldthwait, Goulet, Farr and Mitchum. I didn't feel like Kane's Christmas Present really worked and didn't find her funny in the least. While the support cast add to the film, it is almost totally belonging to Bill Murray and the fact that it is so enjoyable is mostly due to him (although not even he can carry off the audience interaction over the end credits).

Overall this is a good Christmas movie - it does give you a nice little festive glow but also has enough cynical edge to keep the syrup at bay for a certain amount of the time. Regardless of everything else, Bill Murray is great in the lead and holds the movie together better than someone else may have been able to.
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The Toast Of Christmas Pasts
Beard_Warning30 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Richard Donner's "Scrooged" is feel good Christmas fable. A re-imagining of the Dickens classic, set in the caring and sharing 80s. The plot is simple - a hard hearted TV exec is shown the folly of his ways by a series ghosts. There are no twists or surprises - the outcome is obvious from the first five minutes, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

The film is carried by a wonderful performance from Bill Murray - it's hard to imagine it working with anyone else in the lead role. There is a bit of bite to the comedy early one - particularly with the over the top trailer for "the night the reindeer died" - but this fades over the course of the film.

This is not a film for the cynical - it can be overly sentimental at times - but fans of 80s comedies and Murray should find a lot to enjoy here.
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Far and away the funniest Christmas movie ever...
atdmullally10 June 2002
Easy to forget about this movie because you'll only watch it once a year at best - that's if you own it. If not, try it again. I'm sure you'll agree this is actually one of Bill Murray's best performances! It's not a Christmas movie - it's a comedy. It belongs in everybody's collection.
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Is Bill Murray God?
Dibby27 December 2001
...not quite , but his performance in Scrooged isnt far behind omnipitancy. With exception to Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, this is probably one of his most hilarious performances to date. In this re-working of Dickens "A Christmas Carol" , Murray plays Frank Cross, a tight fisted,selfish Network Executive who, as christmas rapidly approaches, finds himself needing to hasten up proceedings on his networks live Christmas Carol show, which is airing on Christmas eve. From the very start of the film, we are treated to how unkind and selfish, Murrays character really is, yet we still cant bring ourselves to hate him.....even when he suggests to a prop man that he should STAPLE little plastic antlers to the heads of door-mice.

Due to a very creepy encounter with his dead boss, Cross is warned that he will be visited by 3 ghosts, and so the story takes off, as he meets 3 very unusual ghosts with even weirder traits, such as the ghost of christmas present, who likes to randomly beat Cross up, every time he shows no heart. Best of all is the NOO YAWK talkin taxi driver, who i feel almost steals the show from Murray ....which is one of the hardest things in the world!!!

Running throughout the film, is, ...sadly, a rather weak sub plot of Cross and his ex-lover, which , i love for all the wrong reasons.....but sadly, to people who have never seen the film, might find a bit tedious.

But of course....its Murray who comes away from this looking cool, as , even though he has experienced some genuinely scary things ( the halucination of a waiter on fire is still creepy), we lap up his dead pan reactions to it all!!
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Not Your Family Scrooge Story, But Has Its Moments With Murray
ccthemovieman-121 July 2006
This was a pretty entertaining update of the famous "Scrooge" story. Unfortunately, however, that update includes profanity which certainly isn't necessary for this famous story.

When the special-effects start, the movie kicks in. Bill Murray is convincing in his role as the bad guy - Bill usually is entertaining, like him or not - and Karen Allen is winsome when she flashes that pretty smile. Two minor characters are decidedly not funny: Carol Kane as the ghost is just plain annoying and Bob Goldthwait's voice is irritating.

Like other versions of Scrooge, this one also has a touching ending. In fact, there are several very touching moments in this film despite the edginess to it. Then again, that's the message of the story.
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Never a Weak Moment! I LOVE It!
RiffRaffMcKinley22 September 2007
I already have an existing list of my 25 all-time favorite movies, but this would probably be #26 or 27!

What's not to like?

There's a pre-"Lost in Translation" Bill Murray, a Richard Donner in excellent form, a hilarious revamp of a classic story... and a toe-tappingly amazing score by Danny Elfman!

Among other things, I like the idea of Bob Cratchitt being Alfre Woodard. I like the idea of a TV station standing in for Victorian England. For heaven's sake, I love everything right down to the Richard Pryor joke!

Don't get me wrong, "A Christmas Story" is a great movie too, but I think this is the one that should be played nonstop on TV on Christmas Eve/Day every year. It's a classic!

Again, what's not to like?
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Very funny
kdupes-113 December 2018
I have to say if you don't like this movie, then your sense of humor is non-existent. It's a More modern version of a Christmas Carol, ramped up with lots of comedy.
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Loved it
josephspence197411 December 2018
Great Christmas story with the bill Murray humour 👍
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Scrooge Thru the SNL Glass Darkly. Strange yet hypnotic!
mike4812824 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Bill Murray is attracted to weird movies like a moth to a flame. Not exactly "Groundhog Day" but I can't imagine anyone else playing the part, as a "Scrooged" TV executive! A great but disjointed cast! Carol Kane, as always, steals the show as a feisty fairy with a chip on her shoulder as "The Ghost of Christmas Present". That creepy David Johansen as the cab-driving "Christmas Past". A video-tubed Giant-Muppet-sized creepy "Christmas Future". Karen Allen is the long-suffering love interest. A ridiculous sub-plot of the most garish, oddball, TV version of "Scrooge live" with Mary Lou Retton as an acrobatic "Tiny Tim" and a surprisingly good (yet funny) Buddy Hackett as Bob Cratchit. The solid Gold Dancers as "The "Scroogettes". So much going on. Murray is pursued by Bobcat Goldwaithe as an armed disgruntled ex-employee. Does it all work? Partially. So many good and bad cameos, including Michael J. Pollard. Younger viewers might not recognize them all. An over-the-top ending that you will either love or hate, as Frank Cross (Bill Murray) give the most sincere or insincere performance of his life as he "stops the live show in it's tracks" with his apology to all. You will enjoy it more if you are a Bill Murray fan. It holds up quite well, being almost 30-years- old! Fun for all but a very strange version of "Scrooge"! It might require a 2nd viewing, as the modern-day parallels to The Dickens' characters are a bit vague, at best.
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Yet another Christmas Carol rendition but with a lot of twists that work
Robert_duder26 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In the 80's and early 90's Bill Murray knew exactly what his fans wanted from him. He had a distinct comedic style and he delivered almost every time. Scrooged was primed and ready for a Bill Murray performance and he is terrific in it. He can play a role completely sarcastically and yet you suddenly find yourself invested in the character and actually caring about him. Its what made him indelible in his SNL skit days. I am always amazed that Hollywood actually manages to take a concept that they have milked to death (in this case Charles Dickens' immortal classic A Christmas Carol) and actually find one more slightly unique way to do it. Scrooged puts the timeless tale inside of itself, puts an absolutely adult spin on it and turns sarcasm and brutal pessimism into a heartfelt story. I was even surprised by how touched I was by the final scenes. I was convinced they couldn't turn it into something tangible by the end and they do which really captures the Dickens spirit I think. Best of all, the film is very funny, laugh out loud funny with physical comedy, outrageous stunts and Murray's fast talking, witty one liners that really work especially if you're a fan of his.

I seem to have already talked a lot about Bill Murray headlining the film. He is terrific in the "Scrooge" type role and you know what you're in for if you know his work in that period. Karen Allen is an unusual choice for Murray's romantic interest. I don't think I've seen Allen in much and being a huge Indiana Jones fan, I always recognize her as Indy's first love Marion. She's very plain but I don't mean that to be insulting. She's just very "girl next door", down to earth and looks very sweet in this film and it works very well. You actually really root for their romance because it feels so genuine. Its not that they have amazing chemistry but there is something the works. David Johansen and Carol Kane are two of our Christmas spirits. Kane is hilariously over the top and Johansen is pretty terrific too. Bobcat Goldthwait is fantastic in a small but significant supporting role, John Glover, Robert Mitchum and John Forsyth are all very good in small supporting roles. Alfre Woodard is good but a little underdeveloped as the "Bob Cratchit" type character, a nice little twist on the story and Nicholas Phillips is very good but completely underdeveloped as her son. The cast work very well together and fit their respective roles.

Richard Donner is one of my favourite mainstream directors. He has directed some truly outstanding films and had an incredible start in Television too. He knows how to tell a terrific story and get the most out of characters. This is a little bit of a different type of movie for him but it definitely has a style unique to him as well. Even if someone absolutely hated or was sick of seeing "A Christmas Carol", Scrooged is told in such a way that you won't even realize what you're watching. Its different and fun and dark and twisted and almost satirical in many ways. Satire is a genre of comedy rarely done well anymore and this is an example of what it used to be like. Scrooged is also classically 80's in the way that it unabashedly uses sexual innuendos, gratuitous bad language and doesn't apologize for it regardless of the fact that its a Christmas film. So adults if you're looking for something with a little bite and something outside the box for a Christmas film and have never watched this I definitely recommend it. Its entirely entertaining. 8/10
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A Below Average Film Is An Effort to Watch.
matthewpr0617 December 2006
I bought this because its Christmas and I thought I might enjoy it. I watched it as a child and have fond memories. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed, this movie is a mess from start to finish. I like Bill Murray, he's always watchable but he cant do anything with this script, its dull, unoriginal, lifeless and very NOT FUNNY!

The end of of the movie especially is so pointless, its like the director just made it up five minutes before filming it. Its not sentimental, the message is confused (how is he supposed to help people if he has just lost his job by acting stupid?.

The more I write about this film the more I realise how much it SUCKED! Don't let nostalgia get the better of you, this movie is not worth your time or money.
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Yes yes yes, let's make foolishness and then claim that's the point
Polaris_DiB11 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so here's the deal: a rich television executive learns that there's more to Christmas than ratings when he gets visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, during a disgustingly reworked live televised version of A Christmas Carol. Once the executive (played by Bill Murray) gets a heart, so to speak, then it's time for everybody to feel better about the world and remember what Christmas is about, exactly.

And just like most other ridiculous Christmas creations out there, it is itself a product of the very thing it claims to be warning against. Sure, Murray learns his lesson. Sure, sensationalist advertising-saturated promo creation is a Bad Thing (r)(tm). So why mix that message in with a big ol' dolloping of crude humor, sexual innuendo, and spastic cynicism? Oh, because it's "making fun of all of that". And selling it at the same time. Or something.

Bill Murray also is at a career low here. I don't know how precisely he managed to do this, but his delivery in this film makes Groundhog Day seem like a bigger, more important holiday than Christmas. This is a vehicle of the worst sort: a movie meant to sell with star power, where the star basically plays himself, but the movie doesn't care enough about what it's doing to give the star any room to shine, and as a result the star just gets repetitive and obnoxious in his role. Probably the best example of this is the "Oh, I get it now!" monologue at the end, which never really says anything and keeps going on and on as Murray stumbles around throwing out ideas that are less revealing than the ones given to him in the spectral visits.

By the time this movie ends, one can't help but anticipate the credits to see who's responsible for this stupidity. Surprisingly, it's Richard Donner, of Goonies and Superman II fame. Huh.

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