Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is one of our most enduring Christmas stories - and it has inspired countless cinematic reimaginings, from The Muppets Christmas Carol to Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds’s recent Apple TV+ musical Spirited to Scrooged, the ‘80s classic starring Bill Murray.
A meta spin on Dickens’s tale, Scrooged sees Murray play mean-spirited TV executive Frank Cross, who is forcing his employees to work through the Christmas holidays so that his channel can broadcast a live production of A Christmas Carol on 24th December.
Not only does Frank fire anyone who disagrees with his tyrannical plans, his Christmas gift giving strategy is also seriously self-interested: he sends cheap company merchandise to his family members and close colleagues, but purchases fancy presents for all the influential people on his list in a bid to impress them.
On the eve of the show, the ghost of Frank’s former mentor Lew Hayward (a Jacob Marley-like figure played by John Forsythe) appears and warns him not to follow in his miserly footsteps, promising him that three more ghosts will appear to him over the course of 24 hours in order to show him the error of his ways.
In this modern version of a Christmas Carol, the ghost of Christmas past is a New York taxi driver (David Johanson), who forces Frank to see how he sabotaged his relationship with Claire (Karen Allen) by prioritising his TV work over her.
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The Ghost of Christmas present, meanwhile, is a fairy played by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Carol Kane, who shows Frank how his assistant Grace (Alfre Woodard) is struggling to support her children, and reveals how his brother is spending a humble but happy Christmas, surrounded by a close group of friends.
The Ghost of Christmas future has a particularly grim vision to show Frank, but can he change his ways in time to avoid it - and can he win back Claire?
Since its release in 1988, Scrooged has become a cult classic, offering an idiosyncratic mix of dark comedy and festive spirit. If you’ve managed to miss out on this Dickens reimagining so far, here’s how you can watch it this Christmas.
Where can I watch Scrooged?
It’s yet to be announced whether Scrooged will be airing on TV over the Christmas holidays, but in the meantime, you can catch up with the film online.
It’s currently available to rent on Amazon Prime Video for £1.99 and available to buy for £4.99, and if you’re a Paramount+ subscriber, you can find the movie there as part of the service’s film back catalogue. The platform costs £6.99 per month, but if you fancy testing it out before committing, you can sign up for a seven-day free trial.
You can also watch Scrooged with a NOW cinema pass, costing £9.99 a month, as the film is available to stream on the service until 31st January 2023.