Scrooged (1988) 4.43/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 77
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 101 mins
Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe

Richard Donner’s take on the old Dickens’ fable is one of the great Christmas comedies and has Bill Murray is in blistering form as the cynical and uncaring TV executive Frank Cross who gets visited by three ghosts….well you know the rest. Murray’s roles are typically a lot less restrictive in terms of personality requirements allowing the comedy maestro to have a field day with improvisation. However, even though a modern day Scrooge is inevitably a more prescriptive role, Murray still manages to improvise a whole raft of playful mannerisms and idiosyncratic personality dimensions that remain perfectly in line with the bad-ass Frank Cross. There isn’t a facial expression or eye-movement on Murray’s part that’s unintentional and the film is much the richer for it. The ghosts of Christmas past (David Johansen) and present (Carol Kane) are a riot while Karen Allen is great value as Cross’ old squeeze. Scrooged is one of the few comedies that doesn’t fade as it heads towards the end. Instead, it changes tack and becomes really quite uplifting – especially if you watch it on Christmas Eve!

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