Monday, 27 May 2013

Films That I Like: Scrooged

CROSS
We have spent forty million dollars on a live TV show. You guys have got an ad with America's favourite old fart, reading a book, in front of a fireplace! 
(beat)
Now I have to kill all of you.

We continue with my occasional series in which I blog about films I like and the particular aspect of the film that I enjoy. These are not reviews, there is no attempt at objectivity or to create a holistic analysis or in fact any analysis at all. It's just films that I like....

Scrooged
(1988)
Written by Mitch Glazer  & Michael O'Donoghue
Directed by Richard Donner

It has Alfre Woodward in it

Which is a good thing in any movie.

GRACE
He's fired? But it's christmas

CROSS
Thank you, call accounting, stop his bonus.

GRACE
(into phone)
Eliot Laudermilk - code nine.

It has an excellent Danny Elfman Score

He's love of interwining the cheery, the twee and the sinister suit the themes perfectly.

Design and Direction

It's beautifully directed by Richard Donner who gives some of the early Cross scenes a sort of terrifying granduer and moves things along with wit and economy. I'm particularly struck at the use of practical, almost theatrical stage effects used to evoke the supernatural elements. These were more common in the far off days before routine CGI but while the film has access to the state of the art (in 1988) optical effects it doesn't lean on them.Good examples are the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Present and the use of editing to switch through time periods during the Ghost of Christmas Past sequence.


CROSS
Did our people do that? We're going to get phone calls.

J. Michael Riva's production design is also brilliant in this film, I love the off kilter hospital corridor in the Ghost of Christmas Future sequence and the underground sewer and impromptu tomb that Cross finds himself in earlier on.

3 comments:

Fade said...

I love this movie! I realize that Die Hard is more traditional for this choice, but Scrooged is still my favorite Christmas movie. It's cheerful and sincere without taking itself too damn seriously, and the protagonist's smirking nastiness seems like a very appropriate update to Scrooge's hunched-over crochetyness.

storytimewithbuffy said...

I love this film too! Best line: "The bitch hit me with a toaster."

Ben Aaronovitch said...

Had I had the time I pr4obably would have ended up quoting most of that scene. 'Close your eyes and think of hedgehogs and sun dappled meadows...'