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Bad Santa (2003)

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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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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:

Germany | USA

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:

$12,500,000, 30 November 2003

Gross USA:

$60,060,328

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,488,889
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

Chamberlain's, the only anchor store that appears in the Saguaro Square Mall, is fictional and never existed. The space used for Chamberlain's was actually Del Amo Fashion Center's former Montgomery Ward store. The store was vacant at the time of the movie's filming. This wing no longer exists, as in 2006, the Montgomery Ward building was demolished along with the entire wing and replaced with the new, open-air Lifestyle Court. See more »

Goofs

When Marcus is crawling through the air ducting above the customer service people on their computers, the middle computer monitor has no power cord. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The producers of Stolichnaya Vodka caution viewers to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and lawfully and not to consume such beverages in an abusive or irresponsible manner. 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, and Marcus grumbling, "Motherfucker! Oh, you lousy fucking motherfucker!" in annoyance.
  • 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

Referenced in Golic and Wingo: Episode #1.22 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Wonderland
(1934)
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
Performed by The Symphonette Society
Courtesy of Unidisc Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Funny enough.
15 August 2004 | by Decko_koji_obecavaSee all my reviews

This movie is miserable! It's ugly, it's undignified, it's twisted and demented, it's uncouth...... And, oh yeah, it's funny and I like it!

Every single character in "Bad Santa" is damaged goods. Throughout their lives, they've all had to cope with a severe shortage of love and care. Granted, it was mostly brought on by circumstances beyond their control but has nevertheless influenced their respective modi operandi noticeably - and mostly for the worse.

Willie T. Soke or simply Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) is bitter alcoholic wreck of a human being with, among other things, two passions that he often combines - those for husky ladies and anal sex. Throughout most of the year he crashes and burns around good ol' US of A eating (and drinking) into the money he made/stole the previous Christmas while anxiously waiting for the next one to roll around since he's usually dead broke by June.

He and his partner Marcus (Tony Cox) who happens to be a handicapped black midget have an annual ritual of getting jobs as mall Santa and his helper Elf, which allow them to scope the place out and rob it blind after closing time on Christmas Eve.

It's an uneasy 8-year relationship based solely on mutual financial interest, but more serious cracks are showing every new Christmas. By the time they reconvene in Phoenix for yet another holiday score, Willie is at his alcoholic, lecherous, unprofessional worst - showing up drunk for work almost every day, having quickie sex in the plus size department, etc, etc...

Despite his abhorrent veneer, he is befriended by not one, but two local oddballs whose names he doesn't even care to ask, simply referring to them as the Girl and the Kid.

The Kid (later we find out his name is bully-friendly Thurman Merman) is lonely, wide-eyed leech capable of creeping you out of your shoes one moment and melting your heart with his sweetness the next. He sees Santa as the ideal of everything good in the world. That this Santa is a foulmouthed, grizzled, unkempt drunk is of not much concern to him. I guess Willie will do just fine when you're a bullied adolescent being raised by your comatose grandmother.

The girl on the other hand is little less of a weirdo. She 'only' has a Santa sexual fetish dating back to her childhood and makes Willie wear his Santa outfit when they make love - although, they both use a different term to describe this activity.

The whole lot fits nicely in this world created by Terry Zwigoff who specializes in characters on the margins of society ("Crumb", "Ghost World"). Also memorable are Bernie Mac as oily mall security chief, late John Ritter as mall manager and Lauren Tom as Marcus' greedy girlfriend Lois.

Watching this film doesn't make you feel good about the state of humanity but IT IS funny, and since that's really the only thing they were going for - mission accomplished. Besides, you'd have to be very deprived to take any of this seriously.


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