Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bob Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Nicholas Phillips, Michael J. Pollard, Alfre Woodard, Mabel King, John Murray, Jamie Farr, Robert Goulet, Buddy Hackett, John Houseman, Lee Majors, Pat McCormick, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mary Lou Retton, Anne Ramsey, Joel Murray, Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn, Paul Shaffer
Written by: Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue
Directed by: Richard Donner
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 111
Date: 11/23/1988
IMDB

Scrooged (1988)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Niagara Falls

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bill Murray is the one of the greatest screen Scrooges in this 1980s updating, which features the funniest and most callous Christmas Special spoof ever filmed ("The Night the Reindeer Died"). He plays Frank Cross, television producer who plans a very expensive, live "Christmas Carol" production on Christmas Eve. He has stepped over everyone to get ahead, and this year three ghosts visit him to get him back on track again. This meta-element is never fully explored, the film is very messy and somewhat violent, wobbling between outright terror and gooey sentimentality, but it works because of the crisp, high-powered corporate feel and the very impressive cast, including Karen Allen as Frank's freckled love, Robert Mitchum as an older executive, Alfre Woodard as Frank's secretary and the mother of the "Tiny Tim" character, Carol Kane and David Johansen as the ghosts, plus tons of other familiar faces. Murray, in particular, gives one of his finest comic performances. Regardless of the sheer excess, it's hard not to be moved by his final transformation. Look out for Miles Davis and Paul Schaffer as street musicians. How cool is that?