×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Scrooged

; Screenplayooged is an appallingly unfunny comedy, and a vivid illustration of the fact that money can't buy you laughs. Its stocking spilling with big names and production values galore, this updating of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into the world of cutthroat network television is, one episode apart, able to generate only a few mild chuckles.

With:
Bill Murray Karen Allen John Forsythe John Glover Carol Kane Robert Mitchum

; Screenplayooged is an appallingly unfunny comedy, and a vivid illustration of the fact that money can’t buy you laughs. Its stocking spilling with big names and production values galore, this updating of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into the world of cutthroat network television is, one episode apart, able to generate only a few mild chuckles.

Scrooge here is an utterly venal network chief whose taste runs beneath the lowest common denominator, has no friends, sacks any underlings who dare to disagree with him and possesses a personal history based entirely upon having watched TV since infancy. Unfortunately for the film, things ring false from the start because Bill Murray’s cruelty seems very arbitrary, unfunny and ultimately unconvincing.

Murray’s network IBC is preparing to broadcast a live version of A Christmas Carol (with, in a good bit, Buddy Hackett as Scrooge), so it is against this backdrop that Murray’s own journey through his past and toward his personal salvation takes place.

Lunatic taxi driver David Johansen spirits Murray back to his deprived childhood in 1955. By 1968, Murray is working as an office boy when he bumps into the idealistic Karen Allen and takes up with her. Within three years, however, the love of his life has left, and so starts Murray’s ascent from portraying a dog on a kiddies’ show into the top executive suite at the company.

Pic’s comic highlight unquestionably is Carol Kane’s appearance as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Kane dispenses verbal and physical punishment on her victim with sadistic glee.

1988: Nomination: Best Makeup

Popular on Variety

Scrooged

Production: Paramount. Director Richard Donner; Producer Richard Donner; Screenplay Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue; Camera Michael Chapman; Editor Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp; Music Danny Elfman; Art Director J. Michael Riva

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: Bill Murray Karen Allen John Forsythe John Glover Carol Kane Robert Mitchum

More Film

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Disney and Tencent to Put Out New Chinese ‘Star Wars’ Story

    Disney and China’s biggest online publisher, Tencent’s China Literature, have teamed up to develop a new Chinese “Star Wars” online novel and release 40 older e-books in Chinese for the first time. In an attempt to cultivate grass-roots enthusiasm for a franchise that has not yet managed to find a strong foothold in the world’s [...]

  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

    Film Review: 'A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon'

    No asteroids are hurtling toward Earth in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” though a flying frozen pizza does softly slice the top off an elderly shopper’s hairdo: That’s roughly the level of quirky peril we’re talking about in the latest outing from Aardman Animations, and as usual, the British stop-motion masters cheerfully prove that [...]

  • Slam

    Film Review: ‘Slam’

    The disappearance of a fearless female Palestinian-Australian slam poet triggers suspense and powerful social and political commentary in “Slam,” an outstanding slow-burn thriller by expat Indian filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta (“Sunrise”). Starring Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (“Omar,” “Official Secrets”) as the missing woman’s conflicted brother, and leading Aussie performer Rachael Blake as a troubled cop, Opening [...]

  • Igo Kantor

    Igo Kantor, Producer and Post-Production Executive, Dies at 89

    Igo Kantor, whose Hollywood career took him from Howard Hughes’ projection room to supervising post-production on “Easy Rider” and producing B-movies like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Mutant,” died Oct. 15. He was 89. Kantor, who was born in Vienna and raised in Lisbon, met “Dillinger” director Max Nosseck on the ship to New York. [...]

  • The Lion King

    Average Movie Ticket Price Falls 4% in Third Quarter of 2019

    Average ticket prices for the third quarter have dropped 4% to $8.93, down from Q2’s $9.26, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced today. However, compared with the third quarter of 2018, ticket price has risen 1.1% from $8.83. The summer box office is down 2.13% from 2018, though the third quarter box office is [...]

  • Tilda Swinton to Preside Over The

    Tilda Swinton to Preside Over Marrakech Film Festival

    Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actress and producer, is set to preside over the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, succeeding to American director James Gray. Swinton, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA award for best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton,” has been leading an eclectic acting career. She has collaborated with [...]

  • The King Netflix

    Middleburg Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Virginia

    For the last seven years, audiences have flocked to the Middleburg Film Festival. Running October 17th – 21st, and situated in the wine-country hills of historic Middleburg, Virg., the festival usually highlights some of the year’s buzziest titles, and 2019 is no exception. “We’re a smaller festival with fewer overall screenings than other events, so we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content