7.1/10
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489 user 191 critic

Bad Santa (2003)

Trailer
1:42 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.

Director:

Terry Zwigoff
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Willie
Tony Cox ... Marcus
Brett Kelly ... The Kid
Lauren Graham ... Sue
Lauren Tom ... Lois
Bernie Mac ... Gin
John Ritter ... Bob Chipeska
Ajay Naidu ... Hindustani Troublemaker
Lorna Scott ... Milwaukee Mother
Harrison Bieker ... Milwaukee Boy
Alex Borstein ... Milwaukee Mom with Photo
Alexandra Korhan Alexandra Korhan ... Girl on Santa's Lap
Dylan Charles Dylan Charles ... Milwaukee Bratty Boy
Billy Gardell ... Milwaukee Security Guard
Lisa Ross ... Milwaukee Bartender
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Storyline

Willie T. Stokes is a convicted con man who's led a miserable life. He drinks heavily and constantly embarrasses himself publicly. He only works once a year dressed as Santa. But then come Christmas Eve, he and his pint-sized helper dwarf Marcus stage elaborate robberies and take their department stores for everything they got. This time around, Willie gets distracted by large women, a bartender who is attracted to Santas, and a kid who's convinced he's the real deal. However, Marcus must once again put up with Willie's heavy drinking and a series of incidents that constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Will Willie and Marcus make it to next Christmas? Or will this be the year the dynamic duo finally face justice? Written by halo1k

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On November 21, You Better Watch Out. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Badder Santa See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,292,952, 30 November 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$60,060,328

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,147,031
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (unrated)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was John Ritter's final acting appearance in a movie and it is dedicated to his memory. See more »

Goofs

When Willie is trying to shut off the alarm clock, he presses several buttons. Occasionally, the alarm clock's display changes 12:00 and then back to 11:15, because he presses the "alarm set" button (which one would hold while setting the alarm). But he is awakened by the alarm going off, and the display reads 11:15, which means that the alarm shouldn't be set for 12:00. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Willie: Hey, can I get another drink down here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a special thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio See more »

Alternate Versions

The unrated cut of 'Bad Santa' includes these changes:
  • There's an alternate take of Willie leaving the mall at the start of the movie with a more vulgar exchange with the security guard.
  • There's a whole new subplot at the beginning of the movie with Willie stealing a car and robbing someone's house, and then going to a strip club and bringing a stripper home before hearing the phone message telling him it's that time of year again.
  • There is more footage of Willie having sex in the dressing room.
  • The pinball scene with the underage girl is extended with more thrusting.
  • There's more swearing and berating in the food court scene.
  • There's some more footage of Willie yelling at The Kid after losing a game of checkers.
  • The jacuzzi sex scene is slightly longer.
  • The scene with Willie confronting a security guard outside the mall is extended.
  • A small extension of the Granny Death scene.
  • An extended car death scene.
  • A longer shoot out at the mall
See more »

Connections

Featured in Strictly Background (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Up on the House Top
(1866)
Written by Benjamin Russell Hanby
Performed by Eddy Arnold
Courtesy of RCA Records Label Nashville
Under License from BMG Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Cynic's Perspective Of Christmas, Which Is Something That Works Brilliantly
24 June 2007 | by Det_McNultySee all my reviews

Typically, around Christmas you will find yourself watching a generic, feel-good, moralistic "Christmas movie", Bad Santa is the "reversed" version of the Christmas genre. For those of you who are fed-up with clichéd Christmas films, Bad Santa is the perfect film for you, as it is an entirely altered perception of a now-consumerist holiday. No, Bad Santa is not It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and nor is it Home Alone, yet it still incorporates features from all of those films and that is what makes it such a special take on the Winter holiday.

Willie (played by Billy Bob Thornton) is a perverted, alcoholic, part-time conman, who during the Christmas season indolently works in shopping malls with his fellow criminal in disguise, Marcus (Tony Cox). Willie dresses as Santa, while Marcus (the more professional of the pair) acts the elf, due to his height. Throughout the tedious Christmas period, the pair use their job at the mall to exploit the opportunity to rob the store overnight. While working at a mall in Arizona, Willie meets a child who teaches him the meaning of Christmas, whilst falling in love with an attractive waitress and having law-enforcement hot on his trail.

When a film starts off with a guy in a Santa outfit, sitting at a bar, drinking his life away you know you are not watching your average tale of "good tidings". From the crude opening narration, to the wonderfully inflated finale, Bad Santa is a taste of comedic genius. Billy Bob Thornton performs as a crude, dishonest cynic who hates everyone and everything. Bringing comedic energy and offensive characteristics to his character he impeccably balances the grumpy scrooge of Christmas with heart. I honestly believe that Billy Bob Thornton's performance in Bad Santa was worthy of an Oscar nomination.

It is not a case of whether you are a lover of Christmas or not –although, it would come as an advantage when viewing the film- as Bad Santa is continually entertaining and at times, even charming. Through its witty script, fuelled by grumpy, drunken humour it is almost impossible not to become entranced by the inconsiderate lines of raucous profanity. Director, Terry Zwigoff proves his quirky talent once again, after the success of 2000's Ghost World. Bad Santa is comedic bliss and a highly recommended comedy for fans of something a little more extreme than the average, feel-good Hollywood extravaganza.


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