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Santa Claus the Movie (Widescreen Edition) (1985)

Dudley Moore , John Lithgow , Jeannot Szwarc  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)

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Santa Claus the Movie (Widescreen Edition) + Prancer + One Magic Christmas
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell
  • Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
  • Writers: David Newman, Leslie Newman
  • Producers: Ilya Salkind, Pierre Spengler, Robert Simmonds
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, THX, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: August 20, 2002
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305971145
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Santa Claus the Movie (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette: Santa Claus ? The Making of the Movie
  • Talent Bios

Editorial Reviews

The producers of the "Superman" movies took a shot at revitalizing the myth of Santa Claus with this 1985 feature. Unfortunately, the results were much less compelling than the flagship "Superman" feature, despite a script by one of the latter's key writers (David Newman) and a story structure that is essentially a carbon copy of the Man of Steel's movie. The first half of "Santa Claus: The Movie" is a ponderous origins tale, in which we learn that Santa was actually a woodcutter saved from certain death by elves and taken to the North Pole to begin life as the chimney-dropping hero of children everywhere. The second half involves a world-class villain (John Lithgow) who recruits an outcast elf (Dudley Moore) in a scheme to sabotage old St. Nick. While it aims to become a Christmas classic in the hearts and minds of generations to come, the film never really engages an audience, partially because Santa himself is merely a supporting player in the drama. Jeannot Szwarc ("Supergirl", "Jaws II") directs with a disabling lack of vision, and the special effects are terrible for such an expensive production. Sorry, but it's coals in the stocking for this flick. "--Tom Keogh"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Santa Ever! July 12, 2004
The man who plays Santa in this movie is the cutest, sweetest, most magical Santa Claus ever captured on film. I swear to this day...this man IS the real Santa. They could not have done a better job in casting this film. I get goosebumps every time they show Santa take off in the sleigh for the first time. Outstanding movie!!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful DVD version is widescreen December 10, 2000
By Jim Jr
Anyone buying a copy of this film should really get the wide screen DVD version. The flying sequences are so much better in widescreen as are the scenes in the North Pole toy factory. The "full frame" pan and scan version just can't hold a candle to the widescreen (I have both so have carefully compared them.)
There is an excellent director's comment track with questions being asked by the Special Projects Consultant for Anchor Bay (the company distributing the DVD) and answered and expanded upon by the director, Jeannot Szwarc. It is worth the price of the package alone. However there is also a great "making of" feature that was produced as a TV documentary at the time of the theatrical release of the film.
This is a really great Christmas film for the whole family. The first hour telling the story of how a simple wood cutter and toy maker become Santa Claus is completely charming. David Huddleston is a wonderful Claus. Dudly Moore is excellent as the elf, Patch, who is into everything and constantly inventing new gadgets. He shows his tender side as he grooms and takes care of the reindeer. It is really tragic that Mr. Moore now has the disease that make it impossible for him to perform any longer. That makes this film that much more of a treasure as it shows him at the top of his form as an actor. (Too bad the producers couldn't have used his musical talents in some way.)
John Lithgow is a delightfully hammy villain in the second portion of the film showing the early stages of the character he later does in "Third Rock From The Sun". The two children are also great, very real and not the cloying poor child actors that could easily have been used.
Trim the tree, light a fire in the fireplace, pour an egg nog and enjoy the very special Holiday treat!.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Christmas Movie November 24, 2000
This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It brings the legend of Santa Claus to life in a grandiose way (i.e. great Hollywood special effects and wonderful musical score!) This movie was produced by the Salkinds (which probably explains why some of the flying sequences are similar to the Superman movies.) I just recently found it is available now on DVD. The DVD gives you four movie trailers and a very interesting hour-long behind the scenes making of "Santa Claus: The Movie." It also has director's commentary, if you like that. Buy the widescreen version. Ever since owning a DVD player, I have enjoyed watching movies presented widescreen. I hate to see them "fit to screen," because it cuts so much out of the picture. The score is by Henry Mancini and is just magical, especially "Sleigh Ride Over Manhattan"! This is a wonderful Christmas movie that you and your family will enjoy for years to come!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GETTING DATED BUT STILL GOOD. October 5, 2005
When this film came out 20 years ago it was really hailed for it's special effects and technical achievments. Remember this was before CGI and the use of computer generated special effects was in its infancy. The achievement of getting Santa Claus and his reindeer and sleigh to fly was truly masterful. Not coincidently the film was produced by Ilya Salkind who produced the Superman Films and brought along some of the men who did the effects on the Superman films. Besides the flying sequences, the creation of the North Pole was the most elaborate ever seen on film up to that point, and possibly ever.

The movie begins in the past showing how The David Huddleston character eventually becomes Santa Claus. Huddleston makes for a truly striking Santa Claus, certainly one of the very best ever seen on screen. The film then jumps forward to modern day and loses a bit of steam. As Patch the Elf, Dudley Moore leaves the North Pole to head to the big city where the naive elf falls under the influence of ruthless corporate toy manafacturer B.Z. played by John Lithgow. This was one in a long line of villain roles the he would play in the late 80's and early 90's. Some people thinks he steals the show as a modern day Scrooge but to me he just chews up a bit too much scenery and takes some of the heart out of the film. That aside it's really a well done film, perhaps a bit dated but still good enough to be an annual holiday treat.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Holiday Fun! March 2, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the 10 best family holiday movies of all time! Not brilliantly written, but wonderfully entertaining. Dudley Moore plays an ambitious, but naive Elf who is easily manipulated and taken advantage of. Moore has the uncanny ability to be both heartwarming, and pathetic, to a level few other actors can attain. John Lithgow is at his maniacal best as the evil-hearted New York industrialist-toymaker who exploits Moore's Elfin character to near disaster. David Huddleston is genuine and loveable as "The Big Guy", Santa himself!

In the first half of the film we get to see how Claus was chosen by the Elves for his immortal role. The sets and costumes take you to the rich and beleivable fantasy world of Santa's workshop in the frozen north.

The second half of the film is set in modern New York City. The contrast is obvious, and sets up a tender subplot about a young boy who lives on the street, and a young girl whose heart is rapt in the spirit of the season.

Can Santa come to his friend's rescue? Can he thwart the plans of the evil industrialist in time to save Christmas? (Remember, this is a "family" picture!)

Sit back and enjoy some Christmas fun!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 13 days ago by PEGGY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
dvd arrived on time and as advertised
Published 23 days ago by JOHN CUMMINS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic. I remember watching this when I grew up now my kids are watching it.
Published 1 month ago by joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie. Our favorite tradtion to watch
Exactly as described. Great movie. Fast turn around. thank you
Published 1 month ago by Dar M
2.0 out of 5 stars Santa Claus Conquers Greed
This is Hollywood's attempt at making an anti-commercialized Christmas movie. At it's heart this movie is two movies in one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jaime Contreras
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Favorite!
My kids are now in their 30's and were very surprised to see their favorite movie from their preschool years. It made for a fun and nostalgic evening.
Published 2 months ago by CampLady
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
nice item
Published 2 months ago by tonyyyy2003
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved watching when I was little and still love it ...
A classic! I loved watching when I was little and still love it now.
Published 3 months ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of my favorites, Dudley is terrific
Published 3 months ago by georgia green
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite Christmas movies
One of my favorite Christmas movies..If you love Christmas? This is a great movie to sit down and watch..great for the whole family.
Published 3 months ago by S. Evans
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