Bill Murray is back among the ghosts. Only this time, it's three against one.
MPAA Rating: PG_13
IMDB Rating: 6.8 / 10
Release Date: 11/23/1988
Length: 101 min
Director: Richard Donner
Mitch Glazer Michael O'Donoghue and 1 more credit
comedy, drama, fantasy
Once again, another retelling of Charles Dickens' classic tale
of redemption and appreciation of what we have, but this time Bill
Murray plays the titular Scrooge in this adaptation of A Christmas
Murray plays Frank Xavier Cross, a cynical and conceited
television executive who feels no joy in Christmas, instead
deciding to fire his employee on Christmas Eve, for making negative
remarks at the company's advertising campaign, rightfully calling
it the Manson Family Christmas Special.
Alone that night he is met by three ghosts - of Christmas Past, of
Christmas Present and of Christmas Future - who teach him to live
his life to the fullest and embrace Christmas.
These ghosts are a little different than Dickens drew them up,
happy to trick, tease and punch Cross in order to prove their
point, which brings with it a more daring Christmas Carol than seen
before. David Johansen plays the Ghost of Christmas Past, via a New
York cabbie and is most garishly successful at pushing Cross's
buttons and going tit-for-tat with Murray.
The film enjoys utilising the fame of Murray's previous film,
Ghostbusters, which was a huge success, including the film's
tagline: "Bill Murray is back among the ghosts. Only this time,
it's three against one."
It also features a host of cameos with Miles Davis and others
playing street buskers, and performers Robert Goulet, Lee Majors
and John Houseman appearing as themselves. The film is full of
tongue in cheek names and references that deserve a chuckle; from
Eliot Loudermilk to Preston Rhinlander, to Frank Cross's mantra
written on the wall: "Cross: (n) A thing they nail people to." All
of Bill Murray's actor brothers make appearances in the film also,
John Murray and Joel Murray as his brothers James and Earl and
Brian Doyle-Murray as a guest on a television show.
Richard Donner does a good job at nailing the tone, which is a
perfect fit for both Murray and Donner, mixing cutting tongues with
approachable humour and keeping everyone happy. And Murray is great
here, as always, and the style of humour suits him well as he's
glib and quick to retort and will have everyone doubling over as
they watch him frazzle and finally find the festive spirit.
When the Ghost Of Christmas Present, played by Carol Kane grabbed
Bill Murray's lip she tore his lip so badly that filming had to be
halted for several days.