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Santa Claus and the Tenth Avenue Kid 

While working as a department store 'Santa Claus', a paroled convict tries to help a troubled boy.



(teleplay) (as Marian Cockrell), (story)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Host
Harold 'Stretch' Sears
Miss Clementine Webster
Mr. Chambers - Parole Officer
Justice Watson ...
Mr. Shaw -Store Manager
Norman Willis ...
Man with Toy Plane
Betty Harford ...
Alan Reynolds ...
Police Sgt.
Mimi Gibson ...
First Little Girl in Line To See Santa
Gary Hunley
Wendy Winkelman ...
(as Wendy Winkleman)
Tony Blankley ...
Boy (as Anthony Blankley)
Tom Nolan ...
Boy (as Butch Bernard)
Noelle Green
Tyler McVey ...
Security Guard


Petty thief Harold 'Stretch' Sears has served several prison sentences, and is again out on parole. He is given a job as a department store 'Santa Claus', but his cynical nature makes the job difficult. Miss Webster, who arranged the job for him, keeps trying to encourage Sears, but only succeeds in irritating him. As Sears does his best to get through the holiday season, he notices a bad-tempered boy who keeps coming to the store, arguing with him that there is no Santa Claus, and stealing small items from the store. Fearing for the boy's future, Sears feels an odd impulse to do something for the boy. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

18 December 1955 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Very Nice Change-Of-Pace Episode
23 February 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is a very nice change-of-pace episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", with a typically good starring performance by Barry Fitzgerald, plus Virginia Gregg and child actor Bobby Clark getting some good moments of their own during their scenes of give-and-take with Fitzgerald. The story combines a relatively standard holiday theme with a dose of practical cynicism, and Hitchcock himself adds to it with his sardonic opening and closing remarks.

The story actually has a positive theme to it, and the more sarcastic moments actually serve to make the upbeat point more believable. The setup has Fitzgerald as a recently paroled petty criminal, who is given holiday employment as a department store 'Santa Claus'. Gregg is the overly cheerful employment agent who takes an interest in him, while Clark is a bad-tempered boy whom the equally grouchy 'Santa' views as a personal challenge. The story line is concise and the script is carefully written, fitting perfectly into the half-hour television format.

Fitzgerald was excellent at portraying this kind of hardened character who nevertheless has something good somewhere inside him. He makes the character likable and sympathetic even when he is behaving in a disreputable fashion, and he never overdoes things in either direction. There are many similar holiday-themed features that are based on similar ideas, yet this one is still worth seeing for the simple yet skillful way that it presents its story and its characters.

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