So, it was nice watching films about Santa over the last few days, although the word Santa is starting to look and sound a bit weird I’ve repeated it so much. Now it’s time for another Christmas staple to step into the limelight of this Countdown.
And today it’s…
22nd November, Day 23
Scrooged (Richard Donner, 1988)
Bill Murray is high powered TV executive Frank Cross, trying to plan a live Christmas Eve broadcast of A Christmas Carol. He is forcing his team to work long hours through the holiday season, and even fires Elliot Loudermilk (the Bob Cratchitt stand-in played by Bobcat Goldthwait from the Police Acacdemy films). At the same time though, his boss hires Brice Cummings (John Glover) to nominally help him out, but really to motivate Cross through fear, as Cummings is clearly after the top job.
The night before the live broadcast, Frank is visited by the ghost of his old boss, who tells him he will be visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Through this, Frank tries to reconnect with Claire Phillips (Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Karen Allen), an ex-girlfriend who is now running a homeless shelter. Will Frank learn the lessons in time for Christmas?
Richard Donner made this between the first two Lethal Weapon films, and obviously, Bill Murray is great in this film. Re-imagining Scrooge as a TV executive does date it now, as they do seem to an archetypal villain in eighties movies – and pretty much ever since. The journey is well done though, and the three ghosts are all memorable, with the cab driving ghost from the past, Carol Kane turning up to show him around the present, and of course, a really scary Ghost of Christmas Future.
As Dan mentioned in his Top 20 ghosts column, the make-up is pretty impressive throughout, and the TV special looks ludicrously over the top and indulgent, with a whole bunch of great cameos. There is an issue that it is a slightly lesser adaptation of a classic Christmas tale compared to the other film adaptations. Still, plenty of fun to be had.
Overall, I give this
This is enjoyable, but I was slightly underwhelmed on this re-watch. There are some pacing issues and it wasn’t as funny as I remembered.
Tomorrow it’s a more straight Christmas Carol adaptation, as we go back to the cklassics with 1951’s SCROOGE!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games
14th November, Day 15: Joyeux Noel
15th November, Day 16: Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?
16th November, Day 17: Jack Frost
17th November, Day 18: Jack Frost
18th November, Day 19: Arthur Christmas
19th November, Day 20: The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3
20th November, Day 21: Miracle On 34th Street
21st November, Day 22: Miracle On 34th Street
22nd November, Day 23: Scrooged