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A Trap for Santa Claus (1909)

 -  Drama | Short  -  20 December 1909 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 135 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

The children set a trap for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, knowing he has to come through the window because their estate has no chimney. Their father, who abandoned them and his wife before... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Henry B. Walthall ...
Arthur Rogers
Marion Leonard ...
Helen Rogers
Gladys Egan ...
The Rogers Daughter
John Tansey ...
The Rogers Son
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
The Maid
William J. Butler ...
In Bar / Attorney
W. Chrystie Miller ...
Old Man


The children set a trap for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, knowing he has to come through the window because their estate has no chimney. Their father, who abandoned them and his wife before she inherited her fortune, plans to burglarize that very house, unaware of the occupants or the trap. Written by Arthur Hausner <,>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short





Release Date:

20 December 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Trap for Santa  »

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 third one, and has a running time of 16 minutes. See more »

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User Reviews

Packs Quite a Bit Into a Short Running Time
16 March 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

D.W. Griffith packed quite a bit of material into just a reel or so of film in this holiday-themed short feature. With scenes of domestic strife, domestic comedy, social commentary, melodrama, plus more, there is enough material here for a much longer movie. As a result, it's pretty interesting, although from a technical viewpoint there are a couple of weaknesses.

The setup depicts a financially troubled family, with the father's despair driving him to drunkenness and other problems. The story that follows depends on some rather forced developments, but eventually things come together in an ending that contrasts the father's predicament with the light-hearted antics of his children as they plan "A Trap For Santa". The resolution is upbeat enough to help make up for the more heavy material in the middle.

Like many of the movies from the late 1900s and early 1910s, this feature is a good example of the way that not just Griffith, but many film-makers of the era, were becoming more ambitious in the stories they wanted to tell, putting more and more material into a couple of reels of film, and soon gradually learning how to make longer features. It's also an interesting, if imperfect, movie in itself.

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