1988 PG-13 1h 41m DVD


1988 PG-13 1h 41m DVD
  • Overview
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High-spirited high jinks on Christmas Eve put Frank Cross in a ghostly time warp in this hilarious take-off of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Cross, who has made the meteoric rise from the depths of the mailroom to TV network president, is mean, nasty, uncaring, unforgiving and has a sadistic sense of humor - perfect qualities for a modern-day Scrooge. Before the night is over, he'll be visited by a maniacal New York cab driver from the past, a present-day fairy who's into pratfalls and, finally, a ghoulish, seven-foot headless messenger from the future.
Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Nicholas Phillips, Michael J. Pollard, Alfre Woodard
Richard Donner
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this horror-comedy takeoff on Charles Dickens has strong language, violence (bloodless, even with loads of ammunition spent), some sex talk (but nothing really shown), and drinking. Some disturbing imagery for the very young includes a dusty ghost of the decayed-zombie variety and a tall, creepy, skeletal Ghost of Christmas Future. Jokes about the Kama Sutra and its positions will almost certainly lead to embarrassing questions from young children. Kids will likely need a lot of explanation for the dated cultural references (Spago restaurant, Mary Lou Retton, the Six Million Dollar Man, etc.).

Sexual Content

Non-explicit flashback scene of heroine Clair in a bathtub, with the attendant revelation that she and Frank lived together (and discuss the Kama Sutra together) without benefit of marriage. A busty beauty on a Christmas TV show, with comments about being able to see her nipples. Reference to prostitution, AKA "paying for women," and a double-entendre gag about "beaver." A very mild homosexual innuendo.


Cartoonish gun violence, as a disgruntled, drunken employee goes crazy with a rifle. Frank shoots a spirit, causing puffs of dust and mice to exit the wounds. Machine-gun bullets, incendiaries, and explosions at the North Pole, in a parody of an action-hero Christmas show. One rotting, zombie-style ghost with detachable eyes and other body parts, including an arm that snaps off creakily. Frank is kicked in the crotch, tossed around, dropped out a window, and generally bullied by ghosts. Peripheral characters hit by falling props and stage sets. In hallucinatory visions a man catches fire. Another character is found frozen to death.


"Damn," "goddamned," "bitch," "hell," the s-word, "butt," "bastard."

Social Behavior

Frank learns some valuable lessons about what is important in life. The humor focuses on the shallowness, greed, and sensation of commercial television.


Tab soda drink shown. Real-life products and entertainment icons mentioned, including Ginzu knives, Ovaltine, The Six Million Dollar Man, "Little House on the Prairie," "Gilligan's Island," etc.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Alcohol in abundance, in restaurants and at banquets. A ghost cabbie drinks and drives. Heavy executive-boardroom drinking (on which Frank blames a lot of his ghost visions). Mention of drug problems and cigarette smoking.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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