Santa Claus - on the Screen

A Celebration of Santa Claus in the Movies.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Edmund Gwenn in his Oscar winning role as Kris Kringle with Maureen O'Hara and 8 year old Natalie Wood in the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street (1947).


White Christmas
White Christmas

Singing Santas. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in the top grossing film of 1954 - White Christmas.

My Favorite Wife
My Favorite Wife

Cary Grant dressed as Santa in My Favorite Wife (1940).

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Santa Claus (John Call) and a couple of kids are kidnapped by Martians and taken to Mars in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964). Generally considered to be one of the 50 worst movies of all time and has appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The French Connection
The French Connection

Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle working undercover as Santa in The French Connection (1971), the film won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Hackman).

Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Joan Collins terrorised by an escaped killer dressed as Santa in the segment "All Through the House" from British horror anthology Tales from the Crypt (1972).

The Silent Partner
The Silent Partner

A poster for the thriller The Silent Partner (1978), which starred Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer as a sociopathic bank robber dressed as Santa.

Trading Places
Trading Places

Dan Aykroyd looking down in the dumps in John Landis classic comedy Trading Places (1983), which also starred Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Silent Night Deadly Night
Silent Night Deadly Night



Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) witnesses his parents murder by a maniac dressed as Santa Claus, so he turns psycho and goes on a killing spree dressed as Santa in the horror film Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) which spawned 4 sequels.

Santa Claus the Movie
Santa Claus the Movie
Santa Claus the Movie
Santa Claus the Movie

David Huddleston as the real Santa in the fantasy Santa Claus the Movie (1985), Dudley Moore stars as Santa's head elf, Patch. The film was an expensive flop, costing $50m, nearly twice as much as the Bond film A View to a Kill released the same year.

All I Want for Christmas
All I Want for Christmas

Leslie Nielsen as Santa in the family comedy All I Want for Christmas (1991).

Nightmare Before Christmas
Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington kidnaps Santa Claus and takes him to Halloweentown in Tim Burton's excellent musical fantasy The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

It took 100 people three years to complete the stop-motion animation in the movie.

Miracle on 34th Street 1994
Miracle on 34th Street 1994

Lord Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott co-starred.

The Grinch
The Grinch

Jim Carrey as The Grinch in Ron Howard's How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) based on the book by Dr. Seuss.

Bad Santa
Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton as the foul-mouthed, belching, fornicating, defecating, urinating, vomiting, perverted and drunken Willie, in Bad Santa (2003)

Elf
Elf

Will Ferrell as Buddy, a man raised by Santa's elves at the North Pole, he goes to New York to find his real father in the comedy Elf (2003).

Polar Express
Polar Express

Tom Hanks plays / voices six characters including Santa Claus in Robert Zemeckis expensive 3D CG fantasy The Polar Express (2004).

The Santa Clause 3
The Santa Clause 3

Tim Allen as Santa and Martin Short as Jack Frost in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006).

Fred Claus
Fred Claus

Vince Vaughn as Fred Claus, brother of Nick 'Santa' Claus (Paul Giamatti) in the comedy Fred Claus (2007), which also stars Rachel Weisz, and Kathy Bates as "Mother Claus".

 A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)

Patton Oswalt as the Mall Santa with Kal Penn as Kumar in the raunchy comedy A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2010).

Arthur Christmas (2011) poster
Arthur Christmas (2011) poster
Arthur's dad, Santa.
Arthur's dad, Santa.

Arthur Christmas (2011) a computer animated fantasy about Santa's clumsy son Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy. Jim Broadbent voices Santa and Bill Nighy his retired father, GrandSanta.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Rise of the Guardians (2012) poster
Rise of the Guardians (2012) poster


The Guardians of Childhood - Jack Frost, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, The Sandman and Santa Claus are out to stop Pitch, 'the Nightmare King' from engulfing the world in darkness.

Rise of the Guardians (2012) starring the voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang



Not Santa but lovely Michelle Monaghan dressed in festive clothing. From the highly recommended thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), starring Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY HUB READERS!!

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Comments 25 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Merry Christmas Steve!

It must be Christmas Day for you now.

Of the big screen (and tv) movies you list I have so far seen:

Miracle on 34th street (original)

White Christmas

My Favourite Wife

The French Connection

Trading Places

Miracle on 34th Street Attenborough version

Bad Santa

Elf

My favourite Christmas film of these is White Christmas. as for portrayals of Santa, my favourite is Edmund Gwenn

And as for brief mentions of Christmas and Santa, Cary grant films are always fun.

Of the ones I haven't seen, top of my to-see list is The Nightmare Before Christmas


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Merry Christmas Flora! I thought one last hub before xmas why not, than I can take a few days off from hubbing and enjoy the xmas holidays.

It's almost Christmas Day, the time right now is 7.44pm Xmas Eve.

How did I know you'll pick Miracle on 34th St as your favourite? :) My Favorite Wife was the earliest movie I can find with an actor dressed as Santa, but I'm sure there are others. I left out a Disney cartoon from the 30's, it was only 8mins long.

Thanks for the comment and Happy Holidays!!


brianlokker profile image

brianlokker 4 years ago from Washington DC metro area

Thanks for this Hub, Steve. My favorites of these Santas are Edmund Gwenn, Gene Hackman, and Tim Allen -- oh, and now Michelle Monaghan too! Merry Christmas!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Merry Christmas Brian, thanks for commenting. It's just gone past midnight here in the UK so it is officially Christmas Day. Cheers!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Excellent photo collection of Santa in the movies....The Silent Partner is one of my favorite movies....I love Elliot Gould in the movie and Christopher Plummer makes a terrific bad guy. I love the ending of My Favorite Wife when Cary Grant dresses up as Santa. Another highlight is a drunk Dan Aykroyd as a drunk mean Santa in trading places. Awesome photos as always. Thanks for a nice hub to check out on Christmas Eve...voted and fun...oh yeah there is no fun button there should be.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I had a rather annoying phone call from Dad who is spending Christmas in Florida this year. It was a Merry Christmas call and how are you doing? He and his girlfriend were surprised to hear I was spending the day watching Christmas films. Why do that? Christmas movies are sad.

Ummm....because I love them and watch them every year? Because I love movies period? Because I collect movies? I think it's my business. Lots of people love movies.

Her reaction was obviously one of how boring and lonely.

Um.. Not knocking people who enjoy going to parties, some people love them, but since when did enjoying any holiday mean you have to be around groups of people to be happy? Everyone has different tastes.

My first Christmas not spending the holiday with Dad and I get a call that involves putting down one of my biggest loves.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Bruce, Flora, thanks for popping into my festive hub, your comments are appreciated!

Bruce, I'm glad you enjoyed my gallery of people pretending to be Santa, well it's a living! I haven't seen Silent Partner in ages, probably on video in the 1980s I really want to see it again.

The hub has got me in the mood to watch Trading Places again, loved it back in my video renting days.

Flora, I spend the day watching Xmas films, nothing wrong with that, when am I supposed to watch my Xmas movies? Actually I watched The Guns of Navarone and You Only Live Twice yesterday but they count as Xmas films don't they? I'm almost sure I saw an Xmas tree in Blofelds volcano fortress.

I did see part of Scrooge on Channel 4 which was colorised as usual.

Enjoy your Xmas films Flora, I watch as many films as I can during the festive season and they don't have to have a Christmas theme, they are usually films I remember watching on TV at Xmas in the past. I'm a very nostalgic person.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 4 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

This movie cause,

For Santa Claus,

Is indepth,

With a holiday breath...

Merry Christmas Steve.;-))


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Hey I'm getting better at this poetry thing wouldn't you say? :)

Thanks for the poem Acer and a Merry Christmas to you!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Wow dueling poems just like in Deliverance....lol. Santa was good to me.....Blu-ray versions of The Man Who Would Be King and Zulu....I am a happy camper.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Good stuff Bruce, two of my favourites. I've only got Zulu on Blu-ray, The Man Who Would Be King isn't out in HD here yet, hopefully next year. The last Blu-ray I bought was Rise of the Planet of the Apes.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Amy got me a DVD of Sabateur to replace my VHS. That was my only movie-related present. All other presents were chocolate or cat-related ..oh, and cashews too.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Flora, I wish I had a cat that bought me DVDs. :)

Saboteur is an enjoyable thriller, it's not top tier Hitchcock but it has that famous ending on the Statue of Liberty.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

A late Chrismas present just in...and one you and Flora can appreciated....North By Northwest Blu-Ray.....now if I could only get the tv away from the little girls....lol. But XBox Kinnect is the big winner here....with the Dora the Explorer dance game going now stop for hours now.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Good luck with that Bruce. :) North By Northwest is a great gift. Dad actually gave me money for Christmas (no imagination).


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Guess what film I'm watching? North by Northwest on Blu-ray. I'm at the bit in the United Nations where he's looking for Lester Townsend. You've got some great Blu-rays for xmas. Our big Xmas evening film was 300, I wanted to see Avatar but I was outvoted.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

That should have said "it has been going now non-stop for hours"... we were at the last stop of the day(my mom's house) and North by Northwest was my last present of the holiday....it was a blu-ray Christmas at our house...hope your day was awesome as well. I see Amy has good taste in present giving...my two dogs failed to get any of the family anything for Christmas....lol.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

That is very cool Steve....over here the house is finally quite...and I have all of these great movies...and I am picking Hangover 2 to watch. My son got that for Xmas and said I could borrow it for one night...so it is now or I will have to wait another month or two before I watch it. I guess I should have included 300 on my Xmas movie tournament...lol.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, Happy Boxing Day - I forgot about The Silent Partner, I loved that movie, especially Christopher Plummer's nutty bank robber. Great photos.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Cogerson, we rarely watch Xmas themed films on Xmas day when we have guests. It could be anything, Planet Terror was our big Xmas movie a couple of years ago when we let kids choose the film. Last year it was the new Indiana Jones movie.

Happy Boxing Day Jools! The Boxing Day sales are on. I think I'll pop into my local HMV and see what goodies they have on offer. I might pick up The Silent Partner on DVD if it's there for a couple of quid. I really want to see it again. Thanks for commenting.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

One of my cousins has cats who spoil her every Christmas and birthday. I'm finished with Christmas themed movies. Today would have been Richard Widmark's birthday. Every Dec.26th I watch one of his movies.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Richard Widmark's birthday on Boxing day eh. I'm trying to see if I can connect Widmark to one of the films on this hub. There is one tenuous connection to a famous christmas film on here if you can find it Flora. This is a bit of a twister. Okay I'll give you a clue - Oscar. :)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Oscar? Well, that's a tough one. Do you mean the Academy Awards? He has appeared in many AFI tributes and biographies but his connections to Oscar are his own nomination and one presentation to The Time Machine for Best Visual Effects. Oh! He lost his Oscar to Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Haha! Well done Flora, Widmark was Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor playing giggling maniac Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death and lost to Edmund Gwenn playing Santa.

Widmark was Oscar nominated for his very first movie and was never nominated again.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Yes, he laughed about it in his A&E biography, thinking that to be nominated the first time, this movie acting (he was a stage actor) must be really easy...

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