Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
Scrooged (1988)

Whenever Bill Murray is in a film, there's always one simple rule. Give him a decent set-up and you've got yourself a classic. And let's face it, when it comes to good plots, you don't get much better than Chuck Dickens. Using the framework of "A Christmas Carol", "Scrooged" sees Murray as Frank Cross - a cold-hearted TV exec trying to put on a live version of the classic tale to boost Christmas ratings. Only, of course, he doesn't really care about old Yuletide, preferring to bask in his success and berate anyone who fancies a bit of Christmas cheer.

That is until the ghosts come. Christmas Past (Johansen) is a chain-smoking cab driver, Present (Kane), a violence-loving fairy, and Future? Well, he's scary. Together of course, they show him just what the 25th December means, but what they really do is give Murray a chance to show off his comic genius. Which he does in spades. As "Groundhog Day" showed, Bill's always at his best when playing the grump and as he is whisked from nightmare to nightmare, the former "Saturday Night Live" player more than earns his pay cheque.

As far as surprises go, there aren't many, since the movie pretty much sticks to the original tale, albeit setting it in modern times and throwing in a love interest in the shape of all-round goodybags Claire (Allen). But that's not the point. This is Murray's show and by the end, you'll find it difficult not to start singing yourself (for those who haven't seen it - you'll soon get the picture).

End Credits

Director: Richard Donner

Writer: Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue

Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Alfre Woodard, Bobcat Goldthwait

Genre: Comedy

Length: 101 minutes

Cinema: 1988

DVD: 4 December 2000

Country: USA

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