Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 American science fiction comedy film directed by Nicholas Webster, produced and written by Paul L. Jacobson, based on a story by Glenville Mareth, that stars John Call as Santa Claus. It also features an eleven-year-old Pia Zadora as Girmar, one of the Martian children.
The film also marks the first documented appearance of Mrs. Claus in a motion picture (Doris Rich plays the role), coming three weeks before the television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which also featured Mrs. Claus.
Original release date: November 14, 1964
The film regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made, is regularly featured in the 'bottom 100' list on the Internet Movie Database, and was featured in an episode of the syndicated series of the Canned Film Festival of 1986. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians took on newfound fame in the 1990s after being featured on an episode of the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
That episode became a holiday staple on the Comedy Central cable channel in the years following its premiere of 1991. It has since found new life again, as it has been the subject of new riffing by Cinematic Titanic and RiffTrax, both productions of former MST3K writers and performers. The film was also featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre.
The Martians Momar ('Mom Martian') and Kimar ('King Martian') are worried that their children Girmar ('Girl Martian') and Bomar ('Boy Martian') are watching too much Earth television, most notably station KID-TV's interview with Santa Claus in his workshop at Earth's North Pole.
Consulting the ancient 800-year-old Martian sage Chochem (a Yiddish/Hebrew word meaning 'sage', though pronounced differently from the film's version), they are advised that the children of Mars are growing distracted due to the society's overly rigid structure. From infancy, all their education is fed into their brains through machines and they are not allowed individuality or freedom of thought.
Chochem notes that he had seen this coming 'for centuries', and says that the only way to help the children is to allow them their freedom and be allowed to have fun. To do this, Mars needs a Santa Claus figure, like on Earth. Leaving Chochem's cave, the Martian leaders decide to abduct Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars.
The Martians cannot distinguish between all the fake Santas, so they kidnap two children to find the real one. Once this is accomplished, one Martian, Voldar, who strongly disagrees with the idea, repeatedly tries to kill Santa Claus along with the two kidnapped Earth children. He believes that Santa is corrupting the children of Mars and turning them away from Mars' original glory.
When they arrive on Mars, Santa and the children build a factory to make toys for the Martian children. However, Voldar and his assistants, Stobo and Shim, sabotage the factory and change its programming so that it makes the toys incorrectly. Meanwhile, Dropo, Kimar's assistant, who has taken a great liking to Santa Claus and Christmas, puts on one of Santa's spare suits and starts acting like Santa Claus. He goes to the toy factory to make toys, but Voldar mistakes him for Santa and kidnaps him.
When Santa and the children come back to the factory to make more toys, they discover that someone has tampered with the machines. Voldar and Stobo come back to the factory to make a deal with Kimar, but when they see the real Santa Claus, they realize that their plan has been foiled. Dropo, held hostage in a cave, tricks his guard Shim and escapes. Kimar then arrests Voldar, Stobo, and Shim. Santa notices that Dropo acts like him, and says that Dropo would make a good Martian Santa Claus. Kimar agrees and sends Santa and the children back to Earth.
Directed by Nicholas Webster
Screenplay by Paul L. Jacobson
Story by Glenville Mareth
Produced by Paul L. Jacobson
John Call as Santa Claus
Leonard Hicks as Kimar
Vincent Beck as Voldar
Bill McCutcheon as Dropo
Victor Stiles as Billy
Donna Conforti as Betty
Chris Month as Bomar
Pia Zadora as Girmar
Leila Martin as Momar
Charles Renn as Hargo
James Cahill as Rigna
Ned Wertimer as Andy Anderson
Doris Rich as Mrs. Claus
Carl Don as Chochem / Von Green
Ivor Bodin as Winky
Al Nesor as Stobo
Don Blair as the announcer
Gene Lindsey as the polar bear (uncredited)
Santa Claus (sometimes also known as Santa Claus vs. the Devil) is a 1959 Mexican fantasy film directed by Rene Cardona and co-written with Adolfo Torres Portillo. In the film, Santa works in outer space and does battle with a demon named Pitch, sent to Earth by Lucifer to ruin Christmas by killing Santa and 'making all the children of the Earth do evil'. Original release date: November 26, 1959
This dubbed and slightly edited English-language version was produced for U.S. release in 1960 under the direction of Ken Smith.
On December 24, Santa prepares for his yearly journey at his Toyland castle in space. He plays the organ while his children helpers from all over the world sing. Meanwhile, in Hell, Lucifer instructs his chief demon Pitch to travel to Earth and turn the children of the world against Santa (or else he will, as punishment, eat chocolate ice cream).
In a busy marketplace, Pitch attempts to convince five children to 'make Santa Claus angry': Lupita, a poor girl; Billy, the son of wealthy but negligent parents; and three troublemaking brothers. Pitch fails at convincing Lupita to steal a doll from a vendor, but succeeds in convincing the brothers to break a shop window. Santa's child workers alert him to these events.
Unable to travel to Earth before nightfall on Christmas Eve, he instead uses equipment to watch Pitch and the children. One device allows him to view Lupita's dream, induced by Pitch, in which she is tormented by life-sized dancing dolls who entice her to steal. He also listens as the three brothers plot to break into Billy's home and steal his presents. They also attempt to write a letter to Santa claiming they have been good, but Santa's voice informs them that he can see all that they do.
Merlin the wizard, Santa's most trusted assistant, gives Santa a sleep inducing powder and a flower that allows him to disappear. He then retrieves a magic key that will open any door on Earth and prepares his mechanical reindeer. On Earth, the three rude boys plot to capture and enslave Santa. Meanwhile, Lupita and her mother say a prayer and Lupita says that she has wished for two dolls, one of which she will give to the Baby Jesus.
During Santa's journey, Pitch makes several unsuccessful attempts to sabotage Santa's delivery of toys in Mexico City. Santa succeeds in reuniting Billy with his parents, who had left him alone to go to a restaurant. On a city rooftop, the three brothers prepare to capture Santa and steal his toys. They see Santa's sleigh in the sky and hurry indoors, only to find that they have received coal. After a failed attempt to steal the sleigh, Pitch succeeds in emptying Santa's dream powder bag while Santa drops the disappearing flower.
Santa's trip is nearly complete when he is chased by a vicious dog outside a large house in Mexico. Finding himself without the powder or the flower, he climbs a tree to escape the dog. Pitch appears and proceeds to wake the household and calls the fire department to report a fire at that location, so that Santa will soon be seen by many people. With dawn approaching, Merlin assists with a last-minute escape and Pitch is defeated after being doused with the spray from a fire hose.
Before returning to the castle Santa makes one final stop, leaving a doll for Lupita. His labors now completed, Santa steers the sleigh back to the castle, content in the knowledge that he has brought happiness to all of Earth's children.
Directed by Rene Cardona
English direction Ken Smith
Written by Adolfo Torres Portillo and Rene Cardona
Produced by William Calderon
Narrated by Ken Smith
Cinematography Raul Martinez Solares
Edited by Jorge Bustos
Music by Antonio Diaz Conde
José Elías Moreno as Santa Claus
Pulgarcito as Pedro
José Luis Aguirre as Pitch (Precio)
Armando Arriola as Merlin
Lupita Quezadas as Lupita
Antonio Díaz Conde hijo as Billy
Ángel Di Stefani as Vulcan
Ken Smith as the narrator
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1948 animated short film produced and directed by Max Fleischer for Jam Handy based on the 1939 Robert L. May poem of the same name, about a flying reindeer who helps Santa Claus. Original release date: November 11, 1948
This 8-minute animated interpretation of the Christmas poem preceded Gene Autry's 1949 song 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and the animated 1964 version. It was based on Robert L. May's 1939 story, rather than the song. The 1964 special more closely resembles the song rather than the original story.
The short was created to advertise Montgomery Ward department stores, publisher of the original story. The original release included a credit for the company, and lacked the famous song, with the opening credits instead playing over an instrumental version of 'Silent Night, Holy Night'. A 1951 re-release added a choral version of the song to the credits and removed the Montgomery Ward name.
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In the 'hills', several reindeer children are busy having a fun time; ice skating, tree climbing, leap-frogging, even decorating a Christmas tree. One young reindeer decorating a tree spots a red object and, curious, tickles it with a leaf. It turns out to be Rudolph, who flops out of the tree with a sneeze. The reindeer who revealed him teases him over his shiny red nose, which hurts his feelings. When he tries to wrap the cushion to join the others on the ice, another snatches it away. Rejected and saddened after being teased and made fun of by the other reindeer children, Rudolph returns home where his mother greets him and tries to cheer him up by reminding him to hang his stocking for Santa. He quickly does so, imagining Santa giving him a lot of toys, and quickly goes to bed, though his sleep is incredibly fitful, saddened by the other reindeer's teasing and taunting.
Meanwhile in the North Pole, Santa Claus peeks out of his workshop and takes notice of the heavy fog, noting it would be tough to get though on his own. When the grandfather clock strikes midnight, Santa quickly rushes in to get his reindeer and get ready for the travel ahead. As they travel, Santa warns that they'd have to fly low to get through the fog, only to crash into some trees. The Reindeer get loose and they try again. Over a town, Santa and the reindeer nearly crash into an airplane and, a little later, crash onto a rooftop. The reindeer and sleigh are stuck on the roof, but they're able to break free.
Reaching Rudolph's house, Santa gives presents to a set of reindeer children, but is caught off-guard by the light in Rudolph's room, only to learn that it's Rudolph's shiny red nose. Surprised by this, he gets an idea and wakes Rudolph. Rudolph attempts to hide his nose, but Santa stops him and tells him of his perils. Agreeing to help him, Rudolph leaves a note for his parents before joining Santa on his journey, leading the other reindeer throughout the rest of the night.
The next morning, news of Rudolph's journey reaches his hometown and all the other reindeer race to a stadium where Santa appoints Rudolph as the commander-in-chief. Blushing from head to toe, Rudolph bashfully tells everyone 'Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night'.
Directed by Max Fleischer
Written by Robert L. May
Based on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May
Produced by Max Fleischer
Narrated by Paul Wing
Cinematography by Charles Schettler
Music by Samuel Benavie, James Higgins, George Kleinsinger, and Harry R. Wilson
Animation by Howard Kakudo, Robinson McKee, Fletcher Smith, and William Sturm
Jack Frost is a 1934 animated short film produced by Ub Iwerks and is part of the ComiColor cartoon series. Original release date: December 24, 1943.
The animals are enjoying the warm summer and playing together. Suddenly, Jack Frost arrives to the forest and paints the world in autumn colors. He announces the coming winter to the animals of the forest and urges them to prepare for it. Most of the animals takes his advice seriously, knowing how dangerous Old Man Winter is. A grizzly bear cub named Billy blows off the warning and retorts 'I don't have to worry; I don't have to care. My coat is very furry, I'm a frizzly, grizzly bear.' His mom appears very angry at him and warns him if he meets Old Man Winter, he'll change his tune. She takes Billy back to their home where she prepares him to go to bed by putting on his nightshirt. When he tries to sneak away to go outside during the autumn, his mom catches him and spanks him. She forcibly puts Billy in his bed and tells him to go to sleep. When his parents have fallen asleep (hibernation), the cub prepares to run away from home. He sees Jack Frost paint frost patterns on his bedroom window and follows him. Frost catches Billy outside while he's painting pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns and warns him to return to the safety of his own home at once and sleep. His response angers Frost and decides he needs to be taught a lesson he'll never forget.
Billy notices the jack-o'-lanterns, a scarecrow and trees coming to life and sing. At first, he's happy and thinks he made the right choice to leave his home. Billy's retort is interrupted by the surprise blast of cold winds and heavy snowfall. The scarecrow suddenly turns into a snowman. Billy is soon confronted by a snickering Old Man Winter who chases after him. He tries to take shelter in the squirrel's tree, but is kicked out alongside with the beavers. Billy takes shelter in what appears to be an abandoned home, but is scared away by the skunk's smell. She tries to coax him back inside, but doesn't understand that her offensive smell is what's keeping him from going inside her home. The skunk immediately goes back inside her home as Old Man Winter continues chasing after Billy and hides in a hollow tree trunk, but there's no way out on the other side. He comes to the front where Old Man Winter is waiting him. He traps Billy in the tree trunk and disappears. He is seen crying in regret in having blown off his mother's warning and ill end up being frozen to death. Frost arrives and reprimands Billy for his arrogance in refusing to stay home and now he understands why no one ventures out in winter. He apologizes to Frost and appeals to return him home to his warm bed because he's freezing. He uses his paintbrush to turn the ice to candy canes and Billy licks his way to freedom. Frost takes him back to his home using the palette. He tucks the happy cub back to his room where he's sleeping peacefully. After tucking him in bed, Frost closes the window and paints the word Finis.
Directed by Ub Iwerks
Produced by Ub Iwerks
Music by Carl Stalling
Color process Cinecolor Color Systems, Inc. (1973 Korean redrawn three-strip color edition with stock music and sounds added)
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Scrooge is a 1935 British Christmas fantasy film directed by Henry Edwards and starring Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop and Robert Cochran. Hicks appears as Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who hates Christmas. It was the first sound version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, not counting a 1928 short subject that now appears to be lost. Hicks had previously played the role of Scrooge on the stage many times beginning in 1901, and again in a 1913 British silent film version. Original release date: November 26, 1935
Stylistically this film leans heavily towards German Expressionism and the films of Fritz Lang, involving dark shadows and darkened edges.
The script sticks very closely to Dickens' words.
It is Christmas Eve of 1843: Ebenezer Scrooge (Sir Seymour Hicks), a cold-hearted and greedy elderly money-lender, is working in his freezing counting house along with his suffering, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit (Donald Calthrop). Two businessmen (Charles Carson and Hubert Harben) arrive to collect a donation for the poor, but the old man responds that prisons and workhouses are sufficient resources to deal with poor people. Scrooge catches Bob trying to take some coal but warns him he will be out of a job if he does not go back to work. A visit from Fred (Robert Cochran), Scrooge's nephew and sole living relative, only incites further annoyance, with Scrooge refusing to dine with him and his wife, and claiming Christmas is 'Humbug!'.
That night after work, Bob goes home to celebrate the holidays with his family while Scrooge dines alone at a seedy pub while the lords and ladies of London celebrate Christmas with the Lord Mayor of London. At home, Scrooge encounters the ghost of his seven-year dead partner Jacob Marley (Claude Rains – whose voice is only heard) who wears a chain he 'forged in life' from his own wicked career. He tells Scrooge he will be haunted by three spirits in order to escape his fate.
That night, as Marley warned, Scrooge is haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Marie Ney), who shows Scrooge when he lost his fiancée due to his greedy nature towards others including a debt-ridden couple. Scrooge then sees that his ex-fiancée Belle (Mary Glynne) is now married and has many children.
The next sprit, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Oscar Asche), shows Scrooge just how poor Bob and his family are as they have a meagre Christmas dinner of goose and pudding. The spirit threatens that unless the future changes, Tiny Tim (Philip Frost), the youngest son, who is ill, will die. Scrooge then sees how others keep Christmas before seeing Fred celebrate with his wife and friends.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (C.V. France) shows Scrooge what lies in store the following year. Scrooge discovers Tim is dead and that the man that was robbed and spoken of by some businessmen was himself after seeing his grave.
Scrooge returns a changed and generous person. He orders a turkey for Bob and his family, gives a healthy donation to the two men from the day before and dines with Fred. Scrooge raises Bob's wages and gives him the day off, telling him that he will be a godfather to Tim before the two attend church together. The congregation sing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing as they enter.
Directed by Henry Edwards
Screenplay by H. Fowler Mear
Based on A Christmas Carol 1843 novella by Charles Dickens
Produced by Julius Hagen
Sir Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge
Donald Calthrop as Bob Cratchit
Robert Cochran as Fred
Mary Glynne as Belle
Garry Marsh as Belle's husband
Oscar Asche as Spirit of Christmas Present
Marie Ney as Spirit of Christmas Past (physical outline only)
C.V. France as Spirit of Christmas Future
Athene Seyler as Scrooge's charwoman
Maurice Evans as Poor man
Mary Lawson as Poor man's wife
Barbara Everest as Mrs. Cratchit
Eve Gray as Fred's wife
Morris Harvey as Poulterer with Prize Turkey
Philip Frost as Tiny Tim
D.J. Williams as Undertaker
Margaret Yarde as Scrooge's laundress
Hugh E. Wright as Old Joe
Charles Carson as Middlemark
Hubert Harben as Worthington
Claude Rains as Jacob Marley (voice, uncredited)
Robert Morley as Rich man (uncredited)
Santa's Surprise is a 1947 Christmas Noveltoon, produced by Famous Studios and originally released by Paramount Pictures on December 5, 1947. The short was notable to feature the first appearance of the character Little Audrey, a mischievous New Yorker.
Since Little Audrey successfully stole the show, Paramount decided to drop the rights to Marge's Little Lulu, and created new cartoons involving the very cute all-American tomboy.
As Santa delivers presents to Audrey (an all-American girl who lived in Manhattan, New York City) and some other children, they slip into his sleigh to repay him by cleaning up his house, often with a clumsy Dutch boy's antics.
Directed by Seymour Kneitel
Written by Larz Bourne (story)
Restored by moonflix, LLC ( moonflix.com )
Original release date:
December 5, 1947
'The Miracle on 34th Street' is the Christmas episode of the American anthology television series The 20th Century Fox Hour. Broadcast on December 14, 1955, it was directed by Robert Stevenson, with stars Macdonald Carey, Teresa Wright and Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle. Original release date: December 14, 1955.
Kris Kringle, a department-store Santa Claus, causes quite a commotion by suggesting customers go to a rival store for their purchases. But this is nothing to the stir he causes by announcing that he is not merely a make-believe St. Nick, but the real Santa himself.
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Written by John Monks Jr.
Teleplay by John Monks, Jr.
Based on the screenplay by George Seaton
From the story by Valentine Davies
Featured music no music credit
Cinematography by Lloyd Ahern, A.S.C.
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Macdonald Carey as Fred Gaily
Teresa Wright as Doris Walker
Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle
Sandy Descher as Susan Walker
Hans Conreid as Mr. Shellhammer
Ray Collins as Judge Harper
Dick Foran as Thomas Mara
John Abbott as Dr. Sawyer
Don Beddoe as Mr. Macy
Whit Bissell as Dr. Pierce
Sara Berner as Woman Shopper
Herbert Vigran as Postal Clerk
Maudie Prickett as Miss Prossy
Paul Smith as Store Clerk
Herbert Hayes as Mr. Gimbel
Louis Towers as Peter
Earl Robie as Tommy Mara, Jr.
The Candlemaker (1956 / 1957)
▸▸The Candlemaker is a 1956 animated short film directed by John Halas and Joy Batchelor for the United Lutheran Church in America. The story is about a candlemaker and his son at Christmas time.
A candlemaker delivers candles to faraway customers, leaving his son Tom to produce candles for the church’s Christmas services. Tom forgets about his duty and rushes to deliver the candle on time, and the Christmas services are poorly lit. The next day, Tom prepares a new candle, demonstrating the values of responsibility and Christian stewardship.
Directed by John Halas and Joy Batchelor
Produced by John Halas and Joy Batchelor
Music by Matyas Seiber
Animation by Harold Whitaker, Vic Beavis, John Smith, and John Williams
Production company: Halas and Batchelor
Distributed by ULCA Films
Restored by moonflix, LLC
Original release date:
December 25, 1956
Genres: Animated Films, New Arrivals, 1950's, Miscellaneous Cartoons, Cartoons, American Classics, Animation, Animated, Christmas Collection