Scrooged

  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Producers: Richard Donner, Art Linson
  • Writers: Mitch Glazer, and Michael O Donoghue, Charles Dickens
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
  • Actors: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J Pollard, Alfre Woodard

Francis “Frank” Xavier Cross (Bill Murray) is a conceited, cynical television programming executive. He has found great success and wealth but only by becoming coldhearted and cruel. In the opening scenes, he is seen working out in a room with a border that reads “Cross: (n) A thing they nail people to.”

His ruthless concentration on his career has cost him his true love, the warm-hearted Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). It has also alienated him from his family, having only an “at arm’s length” relationship with his brother James (John Murray), and ruined any chance of his having a happy and fulfilling life. Frank overworks his assistant Grace Cooley (Alfre Woodard), forcing her to constantly break plans with her family and neglect her mute son Calvin. When a disturbing TV commercial is criticized by staff member Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), Frank responds by firing him on Christmas Eve.

When Cross is given the task of heading up a live Christmas Eve broadcast of A Christmas Carol, his life begins to mirror the story he’s producing. The decomposing corpse of his mentor, media mogul Lew Hayward (John Forsythe)—who had died of a heart attack during a golf game—comes back to visit to tell him the error of his ways, and to announce the impending visitation of three Ghosts.

As he feels his body being burned, Frank finally sees the error of his ways and begs for a second chance. He awakens back in his office, right as the live broadcast is wrapping up. The reformed Frank rehires Loudermilk at a considerable salary increase, steps in front of the rolling studio cameras, and publicly wishes his viewers a Merry Christmas. Calvin urges him to add Tiny Tim’s phrase, “God bless us, everyone,” finally breaking free of his mute condition. Claire appears in the studio and Frank reconciles with her, sharing a romantic kiss as Grace and the other television workers start to sing “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”.

Charlie s Angels

  • Directors:
  • Producers:
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Adventure, Crime, Drama, Action
  • Actors: Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, Tanya Roberts, David Doyle, John Forsythe

Three women, the Angels (originally Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith), graduated from the Los Angeles police academy only to be assigned such duties as handling switchboards and directing traffic. They quit and were hired to work for the Charles Townsend Agency as private investigators. Their boss, Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe), is never seen full face — in some episodes the viewer gets to see the back of his head and his arms, talking through a phone while surrounded by beautiful women — assigning cases to the Angels and his liaison, Bosley (played by David Doyle), via a speaker phone.

Charlie’s Angels is episodic in nature, as opposed to serial, thus each episode shows the Angels finding themselves in new situations in which they would go undercover to investigate. The undercover aspect of the show creates much of the plot interest and tension. In the early seasons of the show, the Angels, under their assumed identities, use a combination of sexual wiles and knowledge learned for the situation in which they are being placed, but by the third and fourth seasons, the writing has a tendency to stray from the sex appeal and focus more on the case at hand.[citation needed]

In Cold Blood

  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Producers: Richard Brooks
  • Writers: Truman Capote, Richard Brooks
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, History
  • Actors: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart

Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and “Dick” Hickock (Scott Wilson) concoct a plan to invade the home of the Clutter family, as Mr. Clutter supposedly keeps a large supply of cash on-hand in a safe. While the two criminals felt that their plan for the robbery was sound, it quickly unravels, resulting in the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Clutter, as well as two of their teenage children. The bodies of the Clutter family are discovered the next day, and a police investigation is immediately launched.

As the investigation builds, the two wanted men continue to elude law enforcement but are eventually arrested. The police interrogate the two men and confront them with evidence, such as a bloody footprint matching the boots worn by one of the men, but are slowed by Smith’s refusal to provide answers. The police claim that another mistake made by the men is that they left a witness. Finally, Hickock confesses and states that he does not want to be executed for the crime.

Smith and Hickock are found guilty of the crime and sentenced to be hanged. A representation of their final moments and execution is shown at the conclusion of the film.