Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Donner|
|Produced by||Richard Donner
|Screenplay by||Mitch Glazer
|Based on||A Christmas Carol by
Michael J. Pollard
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Edited by||Fredric Steinkamp
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||101 minutes|
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."
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, to 1969 for his anniversary with Claire, and to 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 during the 1990s, Claire has become as cold and uncaring as he is 20 years onwards, and only James and his wife attend Frank's cremation by 2010.
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".
- Bill Murray as Francis Xavier "Frank" Cross
- Karen Allen as Claire Phillips
- John Forsythe as Lew Hayward
- John Glover as Brice Cummings
- Bobcat Goldthwait as Eliot Loudermilk
- David Johansen as the Ghost of Christmas Past
- Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present
- Robert Mitchum as Preston Rhinelander
- Nicholas Phillips as Calvin Cooley
- Michael J. Pollard as Herman
- Alfre Woodard as Grace Cooley
- Mabel King as Gramma
- John Murray as James Cross
- Wendie Malick as Wendie Cross
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Mr. Cross, Frank and James's father
- Joel Murray as Guest
- Jamie Farr as Himself / Jacob Marley
- Buddy Hackett as Himself / Ebenezer Scrooge
- Robert Goulet as Himself
- John Houseman as Himself
- Lee Majors as Himself
- Mary Lou Retton as Herself / Tiny Tim
- Maria Riva as Mrs. Rhinelander
- Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn, and Paul Shaffer as street musicians
On Siskel & Ebert & The Movies, Gene Siskel gave it thumbs up while Roger Ebert gave it thumbs down. As of August 5, 2014, the film has a 66% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 reviews, with an average score of 6.9/10. The movie gained a mixed reception.
The movie was a moderate box office hit taking in $13,027,842 on its opening weekend from 1,262 theaters. It went on to become the 13th highest grossing film of 1988 finishing with 60,328,558.
DVD & Blu-ray
Yule Love It! Edition DVD
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
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 never released for unknown reasons.
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 and score
|Soundtrack album by various artists|
A&M Records released the soundtrack to Scrooged in 1988. It features 9 songs.
|1.||"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"||Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers, Jimmy Holiday||Annie Lennox & Al Green||3:48|
|2.||"A Wonderful Life"||Judson Spence, Monroe Jones||Mark Lennon||4:19|
|3.||"Sweetest Thing"||U2||New Voices of Freedom featuring Adriane McDonald & George Pendergrass||4:12|
|4.||"The Love You Take"||Dan Hartman||Dan Hartman & Denise Lopez||4:21|
|5.||"Get Up 'n' Dance"||L. Mallison, Mohandas Dewese, R. Isaacs||Kool Moe Dee||4:09|
|6.||"We Three Kings of Orient Are"||John Henry Hopkins, Jr.||Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn & Paul Shaffer||4:43|
|7.||"Christmas Must Be Tonight"||Robbie Robertson||Robbie Robertson||4:51|
|8.||"Brown Eyed Girl"||Van Morrison||Buster Poindexter||3:34|
|9.||"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"||Mel Tormé, Robert Wells||Natalie Cole||3:53|
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 release contains 34 tracks including source cues (tracks 30-34) used in the film, but not part of the written score. Tracks in bold appear in the previous released suite; asterisked tracks are completely unused in the film, double-asterisked tracks contain unused material. Tracks 22-29 are bonus tracks; track 33 was an arrangement created for Trading Places.
- Main Titles§§/Terrorist Attack (2:34)
- Eliot Gets Fired/Loud and Clear§§/Frank’s Run (1:22)
- Montage: Frank’s Award and Eliot on the Street (1:39)
- Lew’s Arrival (2:03)
- The Hand Grab (1:51)
- Lew’s Reprise (:51)
- Claire’s Theme I/Claire’s Theme II* (1:15)
- Set Collapse* (:20)
- A Horror in Chez Jay/Highball/Waiter Ablaze** (1:20)
- Wild Cab Ride (1:33)
- Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay§/Cupid’s Arrow/Change of Expression* (1:33)
- Eliot Gives Blood/Christmas Present* (1:02)
- Fairy (contains "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) (2:15)
- Toast to Frank (:32)
- The Big Freeze (1:26)
- Showtime at IBC (1:08)
- Family Portrait/Ghost on Screen (:49)
- Eliot Stalks Frank† (1:08)
- Asylum/Luncheon/Crematorium/On Fire (3:48)
- Hallelujah Chorus* (G.F. Handel)/The Romp† (2:18)
- The Big Speech (1:21)
- Loud and Clear (alternate) (:30)
- Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay§ (alternate) (:43)
- Toast to Frank (alternate) (:34)
- The Big Freeze (alternate) (1:25)
- The Big Freeze (alternate mix) (1:27)
- Asylum (no choir) (:59)
- Crematorium (more percussion) (1:30)
- The Big Speech (alternate) (3:12)
- Frank’s Promo (:51)
- Frisbee the Dog (:57)
- Chez Jay String Quartet - W.A. Mozart (2:43)
- Joy to the World - G.F. Handel/F. Watts, arr. Elmer Bernstein (:55)
- Jingle Bells - James Pierpont, arr. Danny Elfman (1:48)
§ composed by Henry J. Sayers, arr. D. Elfman
§§ contains “Jingle Bells” (James Pierpont, arr. D. Elfman)
† contains "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" (Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots)
- Siskel & Ebert & The Movies review
- Scrooged at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Scrooged". Variety. 1987-12-31. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "'Scrooged' (PG-13)". Washingtonpost.com. 1988-11-25. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Films - review - Scrooged". BBC. 2000-11-28. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "'Oliver' and 'Scrooged'-Fast-Food McDickens : Any resemblance between the movies and the classics is strictly coincidental - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1988-12-04. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Laughing All the Way - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1988-01-26. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Weekend Box Office - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1988-12-28. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Scrooged : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Scrooged (Blu-ray) : DVD Talk Review of the Blu-ray". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Sealed "Scrooged" Vinyl Soundtrack (1988) Bill Murray, Annie Lennox". Etsy. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Images for Scrooged - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Discogs. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
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