- 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)â€”who had died of a heart attack during a golf gameâ€”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”.