Scrooged

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Scrooged

Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard Donner
Produced byRichard Donner
Art Linson
Screenplay byMitch Glazer
Michael O'Donoghue
Based onA Christmas Carol by
Charles Dickens
StarringBill Murray
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Editing byFredric Steinkamp
William Steinkamp
StudioMirage Studios
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date(s)November 23, 1988
Running time101 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$32 million
Box office$60,328,558
 
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Scrooged

Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard Donner
Produced byRichard Donner
Art Linson
Screenplay byMitch Glazer
Michael O'Donoghue
Based onA Christmas Carol by
Charles Dickens
StarringBill Murray
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Editing byFredric Steinkamp
William Steinkamp
StudioMirage Studios
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date(s)November 23, 1988
Running time101 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$32 million
Box office$60,328,558

Scrooged is a 1988 American comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The film was produced and directed by Richard Donner, and the cinematography was by Michael Chapman. The screenplay was written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue. The original music score was composed by Danny Elfman.

The film stars Bill Murray, with Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, John Forsythe, Carol Kane, John Houseman, and Robert Mitchum in supporting roles. Murray's brothers, Brian, John, and Joel also appear in the film.

The film was marketed with references to Ghostbusters which had been a great success four years earlier. In the USA, the tagline was, "Bill Murray is back among the ghosts, only this time, it's three against one."

Contents

Plot

Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a cynical television programming executive. He has found great success and wealth but only by becoming cold-hearted and cruel.

His ruthless concentration on his career has cost him his true love, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). It has also alienated him from his brother James (John Murray), and ruined any chance of having a happy and fulfilling life. Frank overworks his assistant Grace Cooley (Alfre Woodard), forcing her to constantly break plans with her family and neglect her mute son Calvin. When a disturbing TV commercial that Frank personally produced is criticized by timid yes man Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), Frank responds by firing him on Christmas Eve.

When Cross is given the task of heading up a live Christmas Eve broadcast of A Christmas Carol, his life begins to mirror the story he's producing. The decomposing corpse of his mentor, media mogul Lew Hayward (John Forsythe), comes to tell him the error of his ways, and to announce the impending visitation of three ghosts. Adding to Frank's stress is his boss, Preston Rhinelander (Robert Mitchum), who takes the liberty of hiring an assistant, Brice Cummings (John Glover), who is transparently after Frank's job.

The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen) appears as a New York City cab driver and takes Frank back to his childhood in 1955, to his late teens in 1968 when he had his first job at the TV station, in 1969 for his anniversary with Claire, and 1971, the year in which he chose his job as "Frisbee the Dog" over her. The sequence shows how Frank gradually became the man he is in the present.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) then appears as a life-size pixie who delights in hitting Frank; she shows him how Grace's family lives in poverty because of his stinginess, and also how much his brother misses him.

After the second ghost's visit, Eliot Loudermilk, drunk and angry, storms the office with a shotgun and tries to murder Frank. The Ghost of Christmas Future, a seven-foot-tall ghoul with a TV screen for a face, appears and shows Frank a future in which Calvin has ended up in a mental hospital, Claire has become as cold and uncaring as he is, and only James and James's wife attend his cremation.

Frank finally sees the error of his ways and begs for a second chance. He awakens back in his office, right as the live broadcast is wrapping up. The reformed Frank rehires Loudermilk at a considerable salary increase, steps in front of the rolling studio cameras (enlisting Loudermilk to hold the control room hostage), and delivers a monologue about spending Christmas with the people you care about instead of watching TV. Calvin urges him to add Tiny Tim's phrase, "God bless us, everyone", finally breaking free of his mute condition. Claire appears in the studio and Frank reconciles with her, sharing a romantic kiss as Grace and the cast and crew sing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart".

Cast

Cameos

Reception

Critical response

On Siskel & Ebert & The Movies, Gene Siskel gave it thumbs up while Roger Ebert gave it thumbs down.[1] As of July 2, 2012, the film has a 64% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 reviews.[2]

DVD & Blu-ray

Yule Love It! Edition DVD

Although the DVD had been available for some time, Paramount decided upon a special edition release titled the 'Yule Love It! Edition'. Announced for October 31, 2006, it was recalled for unknown reasons.

Blu-ray

The Blu-ray was released on November 1, 2011 with a DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack and the film's theatrical trailer.

Soundtrack & Score

Soundtrack

Scrooged
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released1989
Length37:50
LabelA&M

A&M Records released the soundtrack to Scrooged in 1989. It features 9 songs.

Track listing[3]
No.TitleWriter(s)ArtistLength
1."Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers, Jimmy HolidayAnnie Lennox & Al Green3:48
2."A Wonderful Life"  Judson Spence, Monroe JonesMark Lennon4:19
3."Sweetest Thing"  U2New Voices of Freedom featuring Adriane McDonald & George Pendergrass4:12
4."The Love You Take"  Dan HartmanDan Hartman & Denise Lopez4:21
5."Get Up 'n' Dance"  L. Mallison, Mohandas Dewese, R. IsaacsKool Moe Dee4:09
6."We Three Kings of Orient Are"  John Henry Hopkins, Jr.Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn & Paul Shaffer4:43
7."Christmas Must Be Tonight"  Robbie RobertsonRobbie Robertson4:51
8."Brown Eyed Girl"  Van MorrisonBuster Poindexter3:34
9."The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"  Mel Tormé, Robert WellsNatalie Cole3:53

Al Green and Annie Lennox's version of the song "Put a Little Love in Your Heart", featured in the film, reached #9 in the US, and was a top 40 hit in several countries worldwide.

Score

Danny Elfman's score was released by La-La Land Records late in 2011 (a suite of his score had previously been included on Music For A Darkened Theatre: Vol. 1). Limited to 3000 units, the released contains 34 tracks including source cues used in the film, but not part of the written score.

References

External links