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Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

Jim Varney , Billie Bird , John Cherry , Peter Stein  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Ernest Saves Christmas + Ernest Goes to Camp / Ernest Scared Stupid / Ernest Goes to Jail (Triple Feature) + Best of Ernest (10pk), The
Price for all three: $32.03

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jim Varney, Billie Bird, Bill Byrge, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark
  • Directors: John Cherry, Peter Stein
  • Writers: B. Kline, Ed Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068MBV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,028 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ernest Saves Christmas" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

High-flying reindeer! Mischievous elves! Warp-speed sleigh rides! Get set for a magical dose of holiday cheer, zany season's greetings, and spell-binding special effects in this fast-paced, heartwarming comedy hit! When Santa Claus decides to retire and pass on his magic bag of Christmas surprises to a new St. Nick, he enlists the aid of a hilarious assortment of characters, including that lovable know-it-all Ernest P. Worrell (Emmy Award-winning comedian Jim Varney)! Along the way, Santa and Ernest help a cynical teen experience the season's spirit like never before. And that's where the fun -- and magic -- begin! ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS ... one delightful, surprising tale you'll never forget!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching and hilarious Christmas CLASSIC September 5, 2002
It amazes me how much this movie has been passed over in the annals of Christmas classics. It is one of my family's personal favorites. For starters, it has some of the most beautiful opening credits I've seen in a Christmas film - gorgeous Norman Rockwell illustrations of Santa Claus mixed with classic accapella music.
For those of you that love Ernest, this is his hands down his very best film. Unlike his other films, he is not the central character here. He is definitely an important player, but the story centers around an aging, forgetful Santa Claus looking for a predecessor. Most of the film is centered around Santa's efforts to convince the man he's sure is suited for the job that he truly is Claus. Ernest, in his glorious innocence, is a believer from the beginning, and a sidekick runaway picked up part way through the film is his polar opposite.
Jim Varney really shows his comedy chops in this movie by whipping out just about ever character he's ever played. The snake man is my personal favorite and has me in tears from laughing every time. He pretty much pulls out the funniest stuff he's ever done and puts it all here in one movie. The cheese is thick, but it's high quality cheese, and Jim Varney takes his comedy seriously and treats it with respect, which is what makes this movie work.
Some of the funniest scenes are played by two regulars in Varney films, working here as airport luggage and crate workers who receive some unusual crates from the north pole.
As all Ernest movies, ESC is as endearing and touching as it is humorous - perhaps more so than any other Ernest film. On top of that, this probably had the largest budget of any Ernest film ever made and it shows.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Like most everyone who reviews Ernest films, I am an Ernest fan -- but I wasn't always. Then, in 1990, I just happened to stumble onto "Ernest Goes To Jail" via its opening -- "Ernest versus the Rug Shampooer"! It did not matter that it was on a marble floor, this was classic ERNEST -- knowwhutImean?!




Santa Claus [Douglas Seale -- the Sultan from Disney's Aladdin] has to retire as he can't remember all the things he must any longer. He held on one year too many because he just loved the job as any true Santa would, but he has now resorted to taking notes, and as he points out, you just can't do the job that way. Christmas is indeed in jeopardy.

Santa shows up in Orlando, right before Christmas Eve, as his choice of successor is there. Ernest is the cab driver that picks up Santa, which is how they became acquainted. The new Santa, a washed-up kiddie-show host in Orlando, Joe Carruthers [Oliver Clark], must be enpowered by the old Santa, before he can take his place. Unfortunately, he (Joe) has to believe it first, and that's only where the trouble begins!

Along the way, the real Santa ends up in jail on Christmas Eve and it's up to Ernest P. Worrall (Jim Varney) to bust him out and save Christmas. Ernest gets help from a gaggle of supporting characters, a handful of which he plays himself, including a slick-talking attorney from the governor's office.


What gets everything all messed up for Santa and the whole world is Joe's agent Marty [Robert Lesser], who wants Joe to take a film role on a Christmas "slasher" film titled "Christmas Slay".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas is coming! Know what I mean? December 9, 2003
1988's "Ernest Saves Christmas" is a loveable children's movie that's packed with goofy gags and silly holiday humor. Of course, most of the magic is brought out by America's favorite country bumpkin, Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney).
After 151 years on the job, Santa Claus (Douglas Seale) moves to Orlando, Florida to retire. To keep the Christmas spirit alive, he attempts to hire a former T.V. show host named Joe Curruthers (Oliver Clark) as his replacement. Joe is chosen because of his unending devotion to making kids happy. However, Joe's money-hungry agent, Marty Brock, (Robert Lesser) offers him a chance of a lifetime; a starring role in a gruesome horror movie called "Christmas Slay." Later on, after believing that Santa isn't who he claims to be, Marty has the old man arrested and taken to prison! Even worse, Santa accidentally left his bag of toys behind! Meanwhile, Ernest is an airport taxi driver who tries to celebrate Christmas with his flabbergasted neighbor Vern...and with disastrous results! When he discovers Kris Kringle's magical bag of toys, Ernest realizes that he's the real thing! In a race against time, Ernest and a runaway teen named Harmony Star (Noelle Parker) have to bail Santa out of jail and help him fetch Joe before 7:00 pm on December 24th. Otherwise, the magic of Christmas will disappear forever! Along the way, Ernest flips pancakes onto the ceiling, crashes a chandelier on a dining room table, adapts a few cartoonish disguises (including that of the cranky Auntie Nelda), and rockets to the moon on a sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer! To make a long story short, "Ernest Saves Christmas" is fun for the whole family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ernest
All of the Ernest movies are awesome and my grandson loves to watch them over and over again. Thanks for having them in stock. "Whale of a Time"
Published 12 days ago by maynard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 12 days ago by P. G. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of our favorite Christmas movies - glad to find it on DVD
Published 14 days ago by Nama35
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just not Christmas without Ernest
saving the day in spite of himself. I like it, my kids like it, and now my grandkids like it. Getting everyone together for Christmas movies is always a season brightener and... Read more
Published 23 days ago by R. L. Hume
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!
This was the best of all the Ernest movies. The kids enjoyed watching it. That is actually who my wife bought it for. It was worth the money!
Published 27 days ago by Randy Mcclure
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you like goofy movies?
We LIKE goofy movies! This fit the bill perfectly for Christmas time. We watched it every year for a while, but when everyone could say the next line before they got to it, we... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Katydid
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Christmas comedy.
I got to relive my childhood watching this again. I watched it so much as a kid that the tape just wore out.
Published 2 months ago by guido4x4
5.0 out of 5 stars default review
This is a default review statement. As it is required to complete the review for this product.
Received on time, works well and so far have no complaints.
Published 2 months ago by Bernard Lee Hatfield
5.0 out of 5 stars very funny
got it for my daughter and she loved it. Jim Varney is very funny. Good clean movie for kids. recommended
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Jim! Perhaps the Greatest Ernest film and a nice warm Holiday...
Ernest Saves Christmas is a great film and a good holiday movie. It is one of the best Ernest movies ever made. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cagneyfan67
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