Scrooged! (1988)

A contemporary, Reagan-era revamping of A Christmas Carol that feels less contemporary the farther away we get from big-hair 1988. The legendary cranky miser is now Frank Cross, a mercenary network executive producing soulless holiday specials (Michael O’Donoghue helped write the script), Bob Cratchit is his long-suffering, underpaid secretary, and Tiny Tim is her mute son. Bill Murray injects Cross’s heartlessness with crispy, dry sarcasm, and he takes his lumps (literally) from visiting ghosts David Johansen and Carol Kane. There’s plenty of tainted, dated, even somewhat soulless New Hollywood Christmas atmosphere, but Murray is, as always, a blessing, enduring Wile E. Coyote–like jeopardy as he learns to love Christmas and his fellow man.

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