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Santa Claus (1959)

 -  Family | Fantasy  -  October 1960 (USA)
2.4
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Ratings: 2.4/10 from 3,101 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 39 critic

With the aid of Merlin, Santa Claus must defeat the evil machinations of the devil Pitch to ruin Xmas.

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(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Elías Moreno ...
Cesáreo Quezadas 'Pulgarcito' ...
Pedro
José Luis Aguirre 'Trotsky' ...
El Diablo (as José Luis Aguirre 'Trosky')
Armando Arriola ...
El mago Merlín (as Armando Arriola 'Arriolita')
Lupita Quezadas ...
La niña pobre (as Lupita)
Antonio Díaz Conde hijo ...
El Niño Rico (Billy)
Nora Veryán ...
Madre de Lupita
Polo Ortín ...
(as Leopoldo Ortín Jr.)
Manuel Calvo ...
(as Manolo Calvo)
José Carlos Méndez ...
Niño (as niño J. Carlos Méndez)
Jesús Brook ...
Niño (as niño Jesús Brook)
Rubén Ramírez ...
Niño
Queta Lavat ...
(as Enriqueta Lavat)
Ángel Di Stefani ...
El herrero Llavón (as Ángel D'Stefani)
Guillermo Bravo Sosa ...
(as Gmo. Bravo Sosa)
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Storyline

Santa Claus, high above the North Pole in his cloud-borne castle equipped with more surveillance devices than the Impossible Mission Force, prepares to deliver presents on Christmas night. Santa is especially interested in helping Lupita, the daughter of a poor family who wants nothing more than a doll; and a young boy whose parents are so wealthy they never spend any time with him (Santa fixes this by feeding them Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters). However, the Devil will have none of this and sends his minion, Pitch, to foil Santa's plans. Pitch in turn recruits three Naughty Boys to help him set traps for Santa. Written by Leo L. Schwab <ewhac@best.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bursting upon our BIG SCREEN in all the colors of the rainbow... a prize-winning blue ribbon treat for old and young alike! Here's something for the whole family to see together! See more »

Genres:

Family | Fantasy

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While billed simply as "El Diablo" ("The Devil") in the credits, Pitch's character name in the original version is "Precio" ("Price"). See more »

Goofs

The text on the burning newspaper changes from English to Spanish between shots. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: This is Santa's Magic Observatory. What wonderful intstruments! The Ear Scope! The Teletalker, that knows everything! The Cosmic Telescope! The Master Eye! Nothing that happens on Earth is unknown to Santa Claus!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Devil Doll (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascinación
Written by F.D. Marchetti (as Marchetti)
See more »

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User Reviews

Santo vs. a wicked but ineffectual demon
14 June 2000 | by (Wichita, KS USA) – See all my reviews

Every once and again, a producer takes a simple, appealing little idea and runs amok with it. The middle-1970s were largely the official stumbling block for "childrens movies" designed to offer gentle, non-hip entertainment. Now, even Disney-produced films can have touches of low humor and things that parents of the 1950s would take exception to.

However, in 1959, there was still time for an unsophisticated storyline. The best years of Rankin-Bass lay ahead, and -- down in Mexico -- work was being completed on a slightly outre' Christmas film.

SANTA CLAUS emerges in the 1990s as a "party film," simply on the merits of some of the more bizarre elements, which include the fabled Jolly Old Elf spying on unaware children with a sophisticated, wiggly telescope eye, a minor demon tormenting Santa with a toy missile launcher, and far more elfin magic than is good for you.

In his castle (literally) in the clouds, Santa and a gaggle of "typical" children (a Mexican boy, a somewhat Germanic girl and an all-American cowboy Norte Americano) are busily getting the good on the unwary children of the world. In spite of a minor flaw with his mobile spy eye, Santo deftly homes in on a little girl who has no means to get that doll she's been wanting.

You realize, of course, that she'll get it...

In the meantime, down in suburban Heck, the devil sends wicked, somewhat able Pitch to Earth to stonewall Santa's Christmas dealings. Pitch is essentially warned that he'd better not screw this job up. At this point, I think we all see where all this is heading.

Santo arrives on Earth in a vaguely sci-fi sleigh. He bedevils a couple of nasty boys who heckle the waif, and we see her tormented with guilt as Pitch tries to engineer her stealing of a doll.

Of course, she instinctively does the right thing, which leaves Pitch at loose ends. Having been a wee bit short of the task of corrupting a 5 year-old child, he turns on Santa. There follow a few extremely humiliating scenes of the demon trying to do something significant.

Santa wins, Pitch loses.

How do you analyze a film like this? It plays exclusively on a "feel good" emotional level, with no sophistication in plot or execution. For the very young, it will probably play well (a public domain video version was market in the U.S. some years ago). For the older viewers, I'd suggest the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, which mercilessly homes in on each and every bizarre or particularly weak point.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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