Santa Claus: The Movie Movie Poster

Trivia for Santa Claus: The Movie

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  • Real deer were trained to pull the sleigh. The crew required months to complete the training which also allowed the deer to grow their antlers for the final filming. For shots where it was not possible to use the deer, sophisticated animatronic deer were used.
  • In the U.S. trailers for the film, Dudley Moore gets top billing and David Huddleston gets third billing. In the international trailer, Huddleston gets top billing and Moore gets fourth billing.
  • (Cameo) Ilya Salkind, Pierre Spengler: the two men standing standing behind Joe when he is watching the Patch commercial through the store window.
  • The role of B.Z. was offered to Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Dustin Hoffman, and Johnny Carson, all of whom turned it down.
  • One of the elves is named "Dooley". That is the maiden name of the mother of David Huddleston, who plays Santa.
  • When Patch is viewing the BZ Toys display in the New York window, a van painted exactly like the one on The A-Team (1983) is parked on the street behind him.
  • The role of the Ancient Elf was written with James Cagney in mind. However, even though Cagney liked the film's overall idea, his advanced age and weakened physical condition precluded him from taking the role.
  • Fred Astaire was considered for the role of the Ancient Elf.
  • When the film was first announced, there were reports in the British press that David Jason, Patrick Troughton, and Norman Wisdom would be cast alongside Dudley Moore as fellow elves. Ultimately, they weren't.
  • John Carpenter was the first choice to direct. He was turned down by the producers as he wanted final cut and a chance to do the score as well. His choice for Santa was Brian Dennehy.
  • Paul McCartney was originally going to write and perform a theme song, but his record label declined.
  • Dudley Moore (Patch) was offered the role of Nigel in the Salkinds' previous film Supergirl (1984), which was also directed by Jeannot Szwarc. He turned it down but suggested his former comic partner Peter Cook, who was cast in the role.
  • The film's budget was £50,000,000, which as of this writing (2015) would be equivalent to £140,000,000.
  • Jerry Harte is dubbed by Kerry Shale.
  • John Lithgow, who is second billed and the main bad guy, doesn't appear until more than an hour into the film.
  • Burgess Meredith, who is fourth-billed, has one scene and eight lines.
  • Christopher Ryan has a great deal of screen time but no lines.
  • Don Estelle had two lines but they were removed in post-production.
  • (Cameo) Jeannot Szwarc: news cameraman in BZ's courtroom scene.
  • All the toys made and bought for the Santa's workshop scenes were donated to children's charities for Christmas after shooting was complete.
  • All the toys were hand made in Pinewood Studios. James Dalton (Seamus) was a carpenter on the film who also worked on the Bond films. His hammer can be heard banging in one scene.
  • The film was first announced in 1978 with David Niven producing. Gene Kelly was going to direct and it was planned as an all-star affair.
  • The movie had promotional ties with McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. McDonald's gave away one of four books with each happy meal, which chronicled the story of the film.
  • Jerry Goldsmith was originally considered to compose the score, but couldn't do it because he was unavailable.
  • Shot over the course of six months.
  • Nicole Appleton appears as an extra in the ballet class scene. She also mentions in her 2003 book "Together" that she was an extra in this movie.
  • Don Estelle and Melvyn Hayes are both in this film. They previously appeared in the sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974).


  • Despite being the movie's main protagonist and antagonist, Santa Claus (David Huddleston) and B.Z. (John Lithgow) never share a scene together.
  • Before it is revealed that B.Z. is Cornelia's stepuncle, a photo of him can be seen on the mantelpiece in the scene in which Cornelia discovers Santa Claus and Joe in her house. There are also two photographs of him on the table beside the fireplace in the same scene.
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