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Scrooged Complete Score

"The original tone of this film, as you can hear in the music, was much darker than what ended up on screen. Although the score was a pleasure to write, it was pretty much buried in the final film. Another one of 'life's bitter pills'...Oh well."
Danny Elfman, (Danny Elfman's Music For A Darkened Theater Volume One)

Yes, I am actually one of the few people who actually liked SCROOGED as a film. If you combine two of my favorite elements: Christmas and Bill Murray, you've got me in a theater. Murray is perhaps the most underrated comedic actor in film. His lunacy, represented through his acidic smugness, out of control hair and his ability to add bite to a extremely dark concept all come to the surface in SCROOGED.

What essentially started out as a nasty spin on the SCROOGE tale ended up being the product of studio interference. Instead the film plays much lighter, and therein lies the rub for Danny Elfman. The tone of the film shifted very late in the movie's production, and unfortunately past the point where Elfman's music seemed mismatched. So what ultimately results is a score that was hidden to avoid detection, and used very little. Fans have requested this score on CD, but after timing the score while watching SCROOGED on video, I've found there just isn't enough music here to warrant a whole CD. Almost half of it is available already on MUSIC FOR A DARKENED THEATER Vol. 1 (MCAD-10065), but it's the second half that makes this little heard score so intriguing.
SCROOGED (21:53)[AAD][1988]

Music: Danny Elfman
Orchestrations: Steve Bartek, Steven Scott-Smalley
Conducting: Shirley Walker
Produced By: Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek and Bob Badami
Music Editor: Bob Badami
Music Scoring Mixer: Robert Fernandez
Music Recorded at: The Burbank Studios
Label: None (Paramount Pictures owns copyright)

Tracks listed in BLUE indicate music not available on CD.

1. Northpole (1:02)
2. The Night The Reindeer Died (1:00)
3. Scrooge Promo (0:45)
4. Frank's Scrooge Promo (0:42)
5. Frank's Christmas Gift List (1:06)
6. Brice Cummings (0:12)
7. Frank's Brother (0:21)
8. Frank Cross: Humanitarian Of The Year (1:21)
9. Lou Heyward (0:46)
10. Three Ghosts (0:33)
11. Golf Ball (0:27)
12. Walter Ablaze (0:30)
13. Splashing The Waiter (0:26)
14. Wild Cab Ride (1:13)
15. Becoming "Lumpy" (0:31)
16. Frisbee The Dog (0:20)
17. Elliott Gives Blood (0:41)
18. The Ballbreaker Suite (0:55)
19. Herman The Human Popsicle (1:11)
20. Showtime At IBC (1:00)
21. Frank's Christmas Gift (0:15)
22. Ghost Of Christmas Future (0:24)
23. IBC Shootout (1:07)
24. Inside The Ghost (0:08)
25. Asylum (0:55)
26. Luncheonette (0:55)
27. Crematorium (1:53)
28. Kissing Elliott (1:40)
39. "God bless us...Everyone one." (1:16)

Scrooged on CD: 8:42
Scrooged Actual Film Score Length: 21:53

Stylistically, SCROOGED fits in just after BEETLEJUICE. It marked the first time Danny Elfman used the boy's choir while incorporating his fun stylings from BACK TO SCHOOL. The score has it's creepy parts, like in "Walter Ablaze" and "Crematorium" as well. Stand out cues include "Frank Cross: Humanitarian Of The Year", the main titles "North Pole" and several mini cues that are used in the diegetic effect of the film (the television promos, the "Frisby The Dog" theme) rather than as incidental music.
Overall SCROOGED has the unenviable honor of being the only one of Danny Elfman's relative failures in collaboration with a director (Richard Donner who seems to have a new composer for every one of his films). Most of his scores have produced a positive working experience yet the treatment of his SCROOGED score indicates otherwise. The music is still very interesting and a joy to listen too, but don't be fooled by the SCROOGED "soundtrack", as there is no Elfman score on this album. Rent the film - enjoy the music and the movie!

SCROOGED Real Audio Sound Files
Main Titles | 0:53
Showtime At IBC | 1:01
Elliot Gives Blood | 0:40
Crematorium | 0:53

  • The Complete Mars Attacks! has more information and a review of the score.
  • Send E-mail if you'd like to contribute a complete score feature to to this site.


    [This page updated: 06/10/2001]
    All original text 2001, original artwork Ryan Keaveney & Klaatu Media 2001.
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