25 years old this week: Bill Murray's Christmas classic 'Scrooged'
You can take A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and wrap them together in a big box and send it to the North Pole. But don't you DARE mess with Scrooged, still my all-time favorite holiday classic. Added bonus this season: Scrooged turns 25 years old on Nov. 23.
Most people remember the movie well enough: Scrooged puts Bill Murray in the title character and spins the usual Charles Dickens classic with a few updated tweaks. Murray is now a TV network president, cracking under the pressure of producing the most expensive Christmas production of all time. All he needs is the love and forgiveness of Karen Allen to make things all better. And if you can throw in a few cameos by just about everyone you can possibly imagine, all the better.
For what it's worth, famed movie critic Roger Ebert HATED this movie, saying in review: "Scrooged is one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time. It was obviously intended as a comedy, but there is little comic about it, and indeed the movie’s overriding emotions seem to be pain and anger. This entire production seems to be in dire need of visits from the ghosts of Christmas."
Still, I bet there are a few things you've forgotten about this masterpiece.
5 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SCROOGED:
1. All of Bill Murray's actor brothers - John Murray, Joel Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray - make appearances in the movie.
2. The character Calvin Cooley -- the speech-impaired kid who gets the big line at the end -- might seem like he has a random name. But it's not. It's a reference to President Calvin Coolidge, known as a man of few words.
3. When the Ghost Of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) grabbed Murray's lip she tore his lip so badly that filming was halted for several days. Carol Kane would get upset at having to "rough up" Murray in their scenes together.
4. This would be the final feature film of actor John Houseman, better known to fans as Professor Kingsfield on The Paper Chase.
5. Others receiving credit for small roles: Lee Majors, Mary Lou Retton, Jamie Farr, Robert Goulet, Buddy Hackett and Robert Mitchum.