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Reviews & Ratings for
"Amazing Stories" Santa '85 (1985)

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A Charming Christimas Story

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
30 August 2007

This was a nice sentimental story, even if it was predictable in the end. It was a good Christmas story and ran, of course, in the middle of December in 1985. It would have been a great show to air on Christmas Eve.

Douglas Seale is excellent as Santa Claus, who winds up in jail on a "breaking and entering" charge! Pat Hingle plays the sheriff who arrests him and a man who desperately needs a little dose of Christmas spirit. The best character in here, to me, was "Deputy Weatherbey (Marvin McIntyre). He didn't have a big role but his role had the most warmth to it, outside of Mr. and Mrs. Clause, of course, and thus the most appropriate for the story.

On the whole, this story had a lot of charm to it, as well as humor.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

My hands-down favorite TV show - Christmas episode

Author: Tom Holland from Phildelphia, Pa. USA
20 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I find it hard to believe that no one has chosen to comment on this terrific show up until today. It was first shown 21 years ago and for some reason its replays are very spotty. I saw it one August but the following Christmas it was nowhere to be found.

*** Somewhat of a Spoiler to follow *** Without going into too much detail, Santa sets off a home alarm and gets locked up in a small town jail by a Grinch-like sheriff only to be rescued by the small boy from that home. He turns Sheriff Smivey's attitude around in an honest to God tear jerker of an ending. You won't find a better cinema Santa than the late Douglas Seale. He wears that role like it's his own skin.

Do me a favor - look for this great show. Amazing Stories, season 1, Episode 11, I believe. Come back here and write a review.

You'll love it!!! After all, I've never lied to you before, have I?

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A charming Christmas story

Author: sonnyschlaegel from muenster, germany
13 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's Christmas Eve 1985 and Santa starts his tour. When he arrives at little Bobby's home, he can't get through the chimney because it has a grille at the top. He manages to get in through the window, but then he goes through a light barrier and trips the burglar alarm. He is arrested and put into jail by Sheriff Smyvie, who doesn't believe in Christmas. He is an orphan, so when he was a child, he had no family of his own to celebrate Christmas with. All the crime he sees, especially at Christmas time each year, has disillusioned him. And when Santa asks him if he has ever disappointed him, he answers that he had wanted so much to get a Buck Rogers toy ray gun when he was a child, back in 1933 - but he didn't get it. Santa has to admit that he makes mistakes from time to time. Now he has two problems: Will he be able to escape from jail to finish his tour? And will he be able to bring the spirit of Christmas to Sheriff Smyvie?

I liked this episode a lot; it's a charming Christmas story. It's well done and has the elements you need for a good Christmas story: a kid who still believes in Santa and some adults who don't; Sheriff Smyvie has the role of Scrooge, so to say. There are some jokes that I liked, and I really liked the actors who play the leading roles, Marvin J. McIntyre, Pat Hingle, Douglas Seale, and Gabriel Damon.

I don't think you can compare it with, for example, 'It's a Wonderful Life', so I haven't given it the full ten points, but in my opinion, it really deserves a high rating.

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Outstanding TV

Author: Dagurasu from Japan
18 December 2015

I watch this episode every Christmas and it never fails to choke me up a little at the end. I've watched it with Japanese students who are studying English as well. Their reviews are all positive. The acting is great, especially the actor playing Smivey. There's magic in the story and even after watching it countless times I feel that it still captures a little of the magic that children of all ages(even those with a little gray at their temples)feel at Christmas time. The special effects are quite capable although they reflect their 1980's origin. However I feel that they were almost state-of-the-art at that time. This one reminds me of my father who maintains even at the age of 90 that he still believes in Santy Claus. These episodes must have been recorded on film because the video quality is outstanding.

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Childhood Revisited

Author: John T. Ryan ( from United States
29 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THERE MAY BE some resemblance between this and that TWILIGHT ZONE Episode with Art Carney, The Night of the Meek. No that there's any accusation of plagiarism or even copycat-ism, the general theme is the same in each case.

WHEREAS THE FORMER Art Carney story centers on him and his general disappointment with mankind, this AMAZING STORIES segment concentrates on the emotional scar left on the Sheriff (Pat Hingle) by a less than happy childhood. It would appear that we have two different points of view of what is essentially the same problem.

IT WAS MANY years ago that the now famous editorial page piece of "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" appeared. The same question continues to this day, being answered by each in their own way.

AFTER FIRST JAILING Santa and facing all sorts of complications, the Sheriff gets what he has wanted for years. It turns out to be a Buck Rogers Ray Gun.

HAPPY ENDINGS ARE the order of the day in both THE TWILIGHT ZONE story and the AMAZING STORIES episode. Separated by a quarter century, they displayed many similarities.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Like every tiresome and clichéd Christmas movie of the 80s and 90s rolled into one.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
23 June 2015

In this modern story about Christmas, Santa comes to a world full of unbelief and cynicism. When he arrives at one house, he sets off the burglar alarm and Santa is arrested by a cop who never got his weenie whistle (wait...this is "The Santa Clause"...but it's practically the same thing at times). Can Santa melt everyone's heart and make Christmas become real?

"Santa '85" is a stupid and tiresome episode of "Amazing Stories". Furthermore, it's anything but amazing!! This is because it just so badly written--filled with so many clichés and formulaic characters- -as if they searched through every bad Christmas movie and TV show and came up with this crappy concoction. It's a shame as it COULD have been good. Instead, just watch "The Santa Clause" (only the first--the others are pretty awful) and you'll have a much better viewing experience.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tiresome Christmas Offering

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
22 May 2014

How many times have we seen this. Santa comes to a house after being warned by Mrs. Claus that the world is much more sophisticated. He sets off the alarm and is arrested and thrown in the hoosegow with a passel of other Santas. A nasty sheriff, played by Pat Hingle, hates Christmas because when he was growing up in an orphanage, he didn't get the one present he asked for: a ray gun. Well, fortunately, there is the obligatory little boy who believes in him and he sets things in motion. Jaded as I am, I wondered how the old guy could spend four or five hours on one person when he had five or six billion others to deal with. Perhaps quantum physics could explain this.. There isn't anything horribly wrong with it; it's just covering old ground.

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