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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 10%
Average: 20%
Pretty Bad: 24%
Total Crap: 4%

3 reviews, 32 user ratings

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by MP Bartley

"Have a Murray Christmas"
3 stars

When it came to compiling my three Christmas movies to watch over the festive season, it surprised me most of all that this made the list. After all there are better Christmas movies 'Miracle of 34th Street' for example and there are better versions of the Scrooge tale, such as the Alistair Sim version. But this has Bill Murray in. And make no mistake that warrants two stars on it's own.

For this is undoubtedly Murrays show and practically the only reason to watch this more than once. He's Tv exec Frank Cross who is determined that he'll scare everyone into watching his live version of Scrooge this Christmas instead of making other plans. This ruthlessness extends into real life from firing a weakwilled employee Elliot Laudermilk (Bobcat Wildthwaite -remember him?) to sending his only brother a towel for Christmas.

And then - actually what's the point? We all know what the plot is suffice to say Christmas Past ghost is a grubby taxi driver (Dean Stockwell), while Christmas Present is violent fairy Carol Kane and Christmas Future is Death omniously enough. They all teach Cross a particular lesson before he changes his ways and makes good etc.

With a story as old as the hills it takes a lot to make it something special and unfortunately 'Scrooged' doesn't have quite enough. There's the right amount of darkness in the script (frozen tramps under the streets, the nasty version of the future Frank is shown) and some clever touches from director Richard Donner, but neither his direction or the script is as strong or as funny as Murray is. There's some great lines ("Oh who's she? She's pretty!"), but Murray brings more to 'Scrooged' than it perhaps deserves, and this isn't even one of his best performances being a 2nd rate version of his 'Groundhog Day' character.

Still, a 2nd rate Murray brings more to a comedy than a 1st rate Martin Lawrence ever will and he does have his moments such as suggesting stapling antlers to a mouse. And in the final inevitable slushy climax, he manages to bring a touch of dignity and conviction to a mawkish speech.

So, a classic? By no means, the material just isn't there for all its running time. However when it is funny, it's very funny and Murray is always worth watching. And at Christmas you know you should be watching this.

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originally posted: 12/29/02 03:57:07
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell boring 1 stars
1/30/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess Funny and inventive Dickens parody 4 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White modern adaptation of Christmas Carol done well 5 stars
4/13/07 David Pollastrini Not great not terrible 3 stars
4/06/07 Anthony Feor This is the worst Bill Murray movie. 0/5 1 stars
12/29/06 Austin Wertman HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/17/06 Dave G You have to watch this movie...its a federal law actually and you have to uphold that law 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer You don't get through December without watching this. It's a sin! 5 stars
12/10/05 R.W.Welch Has some flashes of wit but not much of the original's charm. 3 stars
8/16/05 ES A personal favourit, this and groundhog day, and Ghostbusters have Murray at his best 5 stars
2/28/05 Jeff Anderson One of the saddest excuses for a Xmas comedy I've ever seen! Murray is the main STANDOUT!!! 2 stars
9/04/04 T.B. Laugh at the whole movie! 5 stars
1/25/04 Elena Meh... I just saw it recently. It would have been more funny when it first came out. 4 stars
12/26/03 your worst goddamn nightmare it's become my all time favourite christmas movie now... 5 stars
11/29/03 john one of the best christmas movies 5 stars
11/25/03 MelissaNYC X-mas or not, I watch this movie whenever I can. It's too funny to miss. Classic! 5 stars
9/01/03 Kitty B. still luv ya bill 5 stars
7/07/03 dan i dont care what you all say. the speech at the end gets to me every time. 5 stars
6/08/03 Ripper The northpole shoot-out at the beginning is worth the price of renting it. 4 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Murray stealing that old lady's cab is a scream! 2 stars
11/23/02 CVJ Great updated(comedy) version of Dickens Brilliant tale 5 stars
10/29/02 Charles Tatum Does anyone NOT know this story by now? 2 stars
5/17/02 Rosa Zared Story's a downer; making it a comedy just misfires; Carol Kane's a snotty witch in it. 2 stars
10/16/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Funny Movie, A Very Well Done Spoof. Carol Kane Is Great. 5 stars
9/06/01 Butterbean The best version of an otherwised "done to death" story 4 stars
8/10/01 Mr. Hat Good movie. 4 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Kick-ass X-Mas movie. One of Bill Murray's best performances. 5 stars
12/25/00 But These Are Good Things Bill Murray overacts like a maniac, and his climactic speech is shamelessly mawkish 5 stars
12/05/99 Phreezer Hold up a sec. Not the worst movie Bill Murray did that was Caddyshack 2 3 stars
11/04/99 Karahde Khan The worst Bill Murray flick this side of Farrelly. The jokes were unfunny. A travesty. 2 stars
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  23-Nov-1988 (PG-13)



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