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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 (265 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell
  • Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
  • 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 (265 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305971145
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,306 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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Essential! June 10, 2001
Format:DVD
Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, and David Huddleston star in the 1985 masterpiece (that's right, I said masterpiece), "Santa Clause the Movie". The film starts off by depicting the origin of one of the world's most favorite people, Santa Claus (David Huddleston), showing how he and his wife were brought to a workshop at the North Pole by elves in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. There, they were granted immortality with the mission of delivering the elf-made toys to the children of the world on one night each year. The film charmingly takes us through the centuries and eventually lands in modern day, when a wealthy little girl named Cornelia befriends a homeless orphan boy named Joe in New York City. The pair also manage to befriend Santa on his nightly ride, but when he returns home and finds his heavy workload is becoming too much for him, Santa decides to take on an assistant. A competition is held, but when the result brings on disaster the following Christmas, an ambitious elf named Patch (Dudley Moore) decides to go out into the world and prove his worth to Santa. It's soon after that he meets B.Z (Lithgow), an unscrupulous, greedy maker of dangerously defective toys. Patch naively teams up with B.Z. to bring the world "something special" for Christmas, but in the end only Santa Claus himself, with the help of Cornelia and Joe of course, will be able to save Patch and everyone else from the hazardous gifts they create!

The Salkinds, the same people who brought you Christopher Reeve as "Superman," spared no expense in this epic tale of another high-flying force for good, Santa Claus, appropriately dubbed "Santa Claus the Movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 day ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of my favorites, Dudley is terrific
Published 2 days 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 11 days ago by S. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service @good value
Great movie....good price will buy again from this company
Published 12 days ago by Taylor Radovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Favoritie
My favorite child hood Christmas movie, love this movie and now my kids do too!
Published 13 days ago by maddgabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This movie never gets old.
Published 17 days ago by Casey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 1 month ago by Michael William Vaughan
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM
seen it many many times and I just absolutely love it...one to be added to any collection and cherished for years to come
Published 1 month ago by Joshua W
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas spirit and elf-made magic, to spare!
Another film I've loved from the first time seen in a theater when it was released. Saw it with my little girl (now grown and with her own children), and we still make references... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bonnie
5.0 out of 5 stars great holiday family film
I remembered this movie from childhood and it's still great. It tells of how Santa came to be and what happens when an elf named Patch (Dudley Moore) accidentally tries to upstage... Read more
Published 2 months ago by DJ Velocity43
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