6.4/10
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11 user 3 critic

The Night Before Christmas (1905)

It's December 24th, and 'Santa Claus' is busy feeding his reindeer and finishing up the toys that he will soon deliver. Meanwhile, the children in a large family hang their stockings over ... See full summary »

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In this parody of 1903's _Great Train Robbery, The (1903)_, also made by Edwin S. Porter, young bandits rob the passengers of a kiddie train and are chased by police officers.

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Storyline

It's December 24th, and 'Santa Claus' is busy feeding his reindeer and finishing up the toys that he will soon deliver. Meanwhile, the children in a large family hang their stockings over the fireplace, and then are put to bed. But the restless children cannot sleep, and they soon start a lively pillow fight. Back at his workshop, Santa loads up everything and begins his journey. Written by Snow Leopard

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16 December 1905 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hanging Stockings on a Christmas Eve  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Worldview Entertainment and the Killiam Collection has released a set of nine early movies about Christmas collectively called "A Christmas Past," with an original score by Al Kryszak. This movie is the ninth one, and has a running time of 9 minutes. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable Early Holiday Feature
28 March 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This early holiday-themed feature is enjoyable to watch, and it is also a good example of Edwin S. Porter's style in filming special effect or fantasy movies. The story, loosely based on the theme of the poem "The Night Before Christmas", is old-fashioned in a good way that works pretty well. It's also one of the earlier movies to feature the use of cross-cutting or parallel editing.

The story alternates between two story lines, with 'Santa Claus' getting everything ready for his December 24 deliveries, while at the same time the children from a large family are having difficulty falling asleep due to their excitement. The 'Santa' portions flesh out the standard legend with Porter's characteristic style, and the family sequences are easy to identify with, for just about anyone who remembers being a child.

As director and cinematographer, Porter takes his usual approach with this kind of material. Rather than striving to make the settings and visual effects seem as lifelike as possible, he instead aims to make them interesting and pleasing to look at in their own right. It works well here, and the images seem to fit in well with the story. It's short (less than ten minutes), yet the length seems just about right, and it makes for an entertaining little movie.


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