USA 1988, 101 mins
Director: Richard Donner

Bill Murray’s Frank Cross is a modern-day Scrooge. An unpleasant TV executive, he pushes his team to the limit when he plans a live production of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, expecting them to forego any celebration so they can achieve his aims. The spirit of his unpopular mentor visits him before a trio of ghosts appear over the course of one night. But will they be enough to put Frank on the right path? One of the most underrated Christmas films, Scrooged has gradually built up a cult following and now ranks as a Christmas favourite.

Every child has seen Mickey’s Christmas Carol, if he/she has not actually listened to an audio tape of some notable reading the original, and in this respect Scrooged is unlikely to disappoint: the plot, of course, is fireproof and the filmmakers’ tone spot on. The longsuffering Bob has become a black secretary, better paid than Scrooge’s clerk, one imagines, though no less indispensable and no less intimidated. Claire (Karen Allen), open, freckle-faced and trusting, is an equally willing doormat; as is James Cross (played by the star’s own brother) who year after year suffers with stomach-turning forbearance Frank’s slights. The syrup, including, of course, Claire’s philanthropic work at the derelicts’ hostel, is spooned on with gusto; and only occasionally – for example, when father Cross the butcher slings a parcel of veal on his son’s lap as a Christmas present – is one reminded that the writers are something more than pasticheurs.

The live Christmas special has the improbable Buddy Hackett as Scrooge, John Houseman in a burgundy dressing-gown, and a female Tiny Tim who back-flips rather than hobbles on set; the script calls for a mouse with miniature reindeer antlers, a difficulty which Frank suggests be solved with a stapler. A former long-hair now a captain of television, Frank Cross is played as a vivid, but appropriately two-dimensional Dickensian cypher, obsessed with the faintly sadistic pleasure of making heaps of money from the abhorrent sentimentality of Scrooge.

As a seasonal entertainment for children to whom Nightmare on Elm Street is mother’s milk (and indeed for the rest of us), Scrooged carefully treads a delicate line. The Ghost of Christmas Future opens his shroud and hobgoblins leer behind his rib cage; Christmas Present, on the other hand, a piping fairy with an ever-ready pair of fists, speaks of an older tradition brought not quite up to date. Richard Donner has on the whole wisely avoided a cruel or even sarcastic mockery of the easily mocked sentimentality. Like Old Brown, after all, the Spirit of Christmas will tolerate only so much tomfoolery.
John Pym, Monthly Film Bulletin, December 1988

Director: Richard Donner
Production Companies: Paramount Pictures Corporation, Mirage Enterprises
Executive Producer: Steve Roth
Producers: Richard Donner, Art Linson
Co-producer/unit production manager: Ray Hartwick
Associate Producer: Jennie Lew Tugend
Production Associate: Peter Frankfurt
Unit Production Manager (NY): Roger Paradiso
Production Co-ordinator (NY): Ellen M. Hillers
Production Office Co-ordinator: Shari Leibowitz
Location Manager: Lynn Kuwahara
2nd Unit Director: Mic Rodgers
Assistant Directors: Chris Soldo, James Skotchdopole, Gabriela Vázquez, Adele Simmons, Thomas Burns
Casting: David Rubin
Celebrity Look-alike Casting: Ron Smith’s Celebrity Look-Alikes
Screenplay: Mitch Glazer, Michael O’Donoghue
Original Story: Charles Dickens
Director of Photography: Michael Chapman
Additional photography (NY): Peter Norman
Camera Operator: Michael Genne
Camera operator (NY): Tom Priestley Jr
Steadicam Operator: Stephen St. John
Steadicam operator (NY): Ted Churchill
Video co-ordinator: Scott Nimerfro
Special Visual Effects: Dream Quest Images
Special Visual Effects Supervisor: Eric Brevig
Model Shop Supervisor: David Goldberg
Network Computer Animation: Jim Dixon, PDI
Motion-control Photography: Mike Shea
Editors: Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp
Production Designer: J. Michael Riva
Art Director: Virginia L. Randolph
Art Director (NY): Thomas C. Warren
Set Designers: William James Teegarden, Nancy Patton, Dianne Wager
Set Decorator: Linda Descenna
Set Decorator (NY): John Alan Hicks
Production Illustrator: Ed Verreaux, Tom Southwell
Scenic Artist: Ron Strang
Costume Designer: Wayne Finkelman
Costume Supervisor: Jennifer L. Parsons
Supervising Make-up Artist: Bari Dreiband-Burman
Make-up: Robert Norin
Makeup (NY): Edward Jackson Jr
Special Make-up Effects: Tom Burman, Bari Dreiband-Burman
Title Design: Anthony Goldschmidt
Optical Supervisor: Jeff Matakovich
Opticals: Pacific Title
Rotoscope Supervisor: James Valentine
Music: Danny Elfman
Music Director: Shirley Walker
Orchestrations: Steve Bartek
Additional Orchestrations: Steven Scott Smalley
Music Supervisor: David Anderle, Jimmy Iovine
Music Editor: Robert Badami
Music Recording: Robert Fernandez
Music Recording (NY): Al Mian
Choreography (‘Solid Gold’): Lester Wilson
Choreography (ballet): Julian Hessel
Sound Recording: Willie Burton
Sound Re-recording: Les Fresholtz, Vern Poore, Dick Alexander
Supervising Sound Editors: Robert Henderson, Alan Robert Murray
Sound Editors: Teri E. Dorman, D. Michael Horton, Joseph A. Ippolito, Virginia Cook-McGowan, Walter Newman, Marshall Winn
Electronic Sound Effects: John Paul Fasal
Supervising ADR editor: Jay Engel
ADR Editor: Denise Whiting
Foley Artist: John Roesch, Alicia Stevenson
Foley Recordist: Greg Orloff
Foley: Taj Soundworks
Stunt Co-ordinator: Mic Rodgers
Dolby Consultant: Thom Ehle
Research co-ordinator: Mark Snovell

Bill Murray (Francis Xavier Cross)
Karen Allen (Claire Phillips)
John Forsythe (Lew Hayward)
John Glover (Brice Cummings)
Bob Goldthwait (Eliot Loudermilk)
David Johansen (Ghost of Christmas Past)
Carol Kane (Ghost of Christmas Present)
Robert Mitchum (Preston Rhinelander)
Nicholas Phillips (Calvin Cooley)
Michael J. Pollard (Herman)
Alfre Woodard (Grace Cooley)
Mabel King (Gramma)
John Murray (James Cross)
Jamie Farr (Jacob Marley)
Robert Goulet (himself)
Buddy Hackett (Scrooge)
John Houseman (himself)
Lee Majors (himself)
Pat McCormick (TV Ghost of Christmas Present)
Brian Doyle Murray (Earl Cross)
Mary Lou Retton (herself)
Al “Red Dog” Weber (Santa Claus)
Jean Speegle Howard (Mrs Claus)
June Chandler (June Cleaver)
Michael Eidam (Wally Cleaver)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ted)
Bruce Jarchow (Wayne)
Sanford Jensen, Jeffrey Joseph, Dick Blasucci (executives)
Peter Bromilow (archbishop)
Bill Marcus, Cal Gibson (IBC guards)
Damon Hines (Steven Cooley)
Tamika McCollum (Shasta Cooley)
Koren McCollum (Randee Cooley)
Reina King (Lanell Cooley)
Paul Tuerpé (stage manager)
Lester Wilson (choreographer)
Ronald Strang (art director)
Kate Mcgregor-stewart (woman censor)
Jack Mcgee, Bill Hart (carpenter)s
Kathy Kinney (IBC nurse)
Ralph Gervais (mouse wrangler)
Alvin Hammer (foreman)
Tony Steedman (head waiter)
Lisa Mende (Doris Cross)
Ryan Todd (Frank as a child)
Rebeca Arthur (Tina)
Selma Archerd (Mrs. Claus at party)
Jay Byron (2nd man at party)
Harvey Fisher (party guest)
C. Ransom Walrod (party animal)
James R. Miller (security guard at party)
Jennie Lew Tugend (Foo-Ling)
Joel Murray, Mitch Glazer, Susan Isaacs, Lauri Kempson (guests)
Chaz Conner Jr. (TV Ghost of Christmas Future)
Miro Polo (Mary Lou’s coach)
Ralph Bruneau (nephew)
Maria Riva (Mrs. Rhinelander)
James Kindelon (butler)
Raphael Harris (older Calvin)
Wayne Finkelman (orderly)
Susan Barnes (harpy)
Lynne Randall (harpy)
Gilles Savard (waiter)
Michael O’Donoghue (priest)
David Mcgarvin (announcer)
Tom Doak (videotape director)
Sam Drummy (cameraman on crane)
Winfred Tennison (Marvin)
Stephen Kahan (technician)
Norm Wilson, Henry V. Brown, Jeanine Jackson, Amy Hill (technicians)
Miles Davis, Larry Carlton, David Sanborn, Paul Shaffer (street musicians)
The Caroling Company (carol singers)
The Solid Gold Dancers (Scroogettes)

USA 1988
101 mins

The Bishop’s Wife
Mon 5 Dec 14:30; Sat 17 Dec 11:50; Mon 19 Dec 18:10; Wed 21 Dec 18:05
The Apartment
Wed 14 Dec 14:30; Wed 21 Dec 17:55; Fri 23 Dec 14:30; Tue 27 Dec 12:00
It’s a Wonderful Life
Fri 16 Dec 18:10; Sun 18 Dec 18:10; Tue 20 Dec 18:10; Thu 22 Dec 14:30 Fri 23 Dec 18:10
Fri 16 Dec 20:45; Tue 20 Dec 18:20
Sat 17 Dec 14:50; Wed 21 Dec 14:30
Sat 17 Dec 18:20; Thu 22 Dec 20:30
Sat 17 Dec 20:45; Tue 20 Dec 20:40
Tokyo Godfathers (Tokyo goddofazazu)
Sat 17 Dec 20:50; Fri 23 Dec 21:00
Meet Me in St. Louis
Sun 18 Dec 12:15; Mon 19 Dec 14:30; Tue 20 Dec 14:30; Thu 22 Dec 18:05
Tue 20 Dec 20:30; Thu 22 Dec 18:10

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