Thursday, 30 December 2010

Film Review: SCROOGED (1988)

Director: Richard Donner
Running time: 98 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

UK release date: 25th November 1988

Watched on Sky+ Thursday 30th December 2010.


Back in my youth I used to love this film, it had such great comic moments for me and I loved watching it every chance I got. It has now been quite a number of years since I last saw it and it seems I’ve changed my view somewhat. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve got older (& wiser), or it’s because it has become dated, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. But more of that later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please find a humane way of fitting those tiny antlers to that mouse… thank you).

Frank Cross is a young and ambitious TV executive. He has risen through the ranks to the position of President of the Network at the expense of his relationships with his family and his girl, Claire Phillips. They are to put on a live production of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, but they call it ‘Scrooge’ for some reason. This means everyone has to work on Christmas Eve... Not popular as you might guess. When Frank is visited by the ghost of his former boss, he is told he must change his ways. To this end he will be visited by three ghosts. These ghosts, The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future show Frank the error of his ways… But it’s up to him to change.

Although it’s a pretty well produced film I did find it a little dated by today’s standards. Yes, Bill Murray really pulled them in back in the day, but today I find him a little bit irritating. Having said that, he played the part of Frank Cross with great professionalism. It was the actors in the smaller parts I found more interesting; Carol Kane really gave her all as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Bobcat Goldthwait was great (as ever) as the unfortunate Eliot Loudermilk and it as nice to see Robert Mitchum as Studio owner, Preston Rhinelander. Oh, and I should also give an honourable mention to Karen Allen as Claire Phillips.

I think part of the problem I have with this film is the Frank Cross character is so obnoxious that I find it really hard to have any empathy for him when he finally has his revelation. Maybe they took it a bit too far (for me), but having said that, there is still something about this film… or am I reliving my youth again? Still, it’s a bit of Christmas fun, if a little dated, so, recommended… but only if you’re in the mood.

My score: 6.2/10

IMDb Page:


Nathanael Hood said...

I understand your criticism, but I still enjoy this film.

It was just a refreshing take on the entire mythos of "A Christmas Carol."

SteelMonster said...

Thanks for the comment Nathanael! I enjoyed it too, I just feel it's showing its age a little now...

CACB said...

Nice review. I haven't seen it but I think I will regardless