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Santa Claus: The Movie

By Tom Keogh

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.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Stars: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Jeffrey Kramer, Christian Fitzpatrick, Carrie Kei Heim

Released: November 29, 1985

Availability: DVD VHS


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