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, and the security boss discovers the plot.
91 min, 88 min (Director's cut), 98 min (unrated version)
1.85 : 1
Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence. (also director's cut)
Comedy, Crime, Drama
Christmas, Elf, Bartender, Department Store, Midget
DTS, Dolby Digital
Black Comedy, Holiday Film, Crime Comedy
Cons and Scams, Unlikely Friendships, Redemption
Irreverent, Biting, Deadpan, Raunchy, Quirky, Wry
Comedy on the Edge, Bad Taste
Department Store, Santa Claus
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Bad Santa is a 2003 American screwball black comedy film directed and co-written by Terry Zwigoff, produced by the Coen brothers, and starring Billy Bob Thornton as the title character and Tony Cox as his partner in crime. Actors Bernie Mac and John Ritter (in his final live-action film) co-star. Lauren Graham, Lauren Tom, Ethan Phillips, Brett Kelly, and Cloris Leachman are also featured.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
Willie T. Stokes works the holiday seasons as a mall Santa with his dwarf friend, Marcus, who works as Santa's elf. Every Christmas Eve they disable the security alarm after hours and rob the mall; afterwards, Marcus returns to living with his wife, Lois, while Willie goes to Miami and spends all his money on alcohol, a resort condo and other hedonistic pursuits.
The next year at a new mall, Willie's alcoholic rants arouse the suspicions of mall Manager Bob Chipeska, who asks Security Chief Gin Slagel to investigate. Willie meets bartender Sue, and they begin a relationship. He also meets a pudgy, preteen boy, whom he nicknames the Kid, during their visit in the mall. When he leaves a bar a hostile man confronts Willie, but the Kid stops the man from beating Willie. A lonely, unpopular boy, the Kid lives with his senile grandmother; his mother is dead and his father is in prison for embezzlement. Willie takes the Kid home and breaks into the safe, taking the money and his father's BMW.
Irritated by Willie's reckless behavior, Marcus berates him for his new car, his alcoholism and his flirtatiousness with customers. When Gin breaks into Willie's motel room posing as a police officer, Willie moves in with the Kid. During his time spent with the Kid, Willie starts to show small signs of kindness, offering the Kid advice on fighting and playing checkers.
Willie causes more trouble at the mall but continues to spend time with Sue and the Kid. Marcus is continually disgusted by how unreliable Willie has become. Gin, meanwhile, discovers the history of the criminals and he demands half of the loot, creating further friction between Willie and Marcus. Willie goes to the mall drunk and destroys a nativity display. Marcus and Gin try to cover it up, but get into an argument. The next day, Willie tries to commit suicide, giving the Kid a letter explaining the mall robbery. He changes his mind when he sees how the bullies have blackened the Kid's eye; Willie beats up the lead bully. Willie feels that he did something good for the first time in his life. To make sure the Kid can defend himself, Willie and Marcus try to teach him how to box.
The Kid gives Willie a Christmas present in advance: a wooden pickle he bloodied when he cut himself carving it. He gives Willie a low-grade report card, hoping to make him happy. Willie learns the Kid's name is Thurman Merman. Thurman asks for a pink stuffed elephant this year, since he hasn't received any presents for the past two years.
That night, Marcus and Lois murder Gin with their van when he refuses to take less than half the money. On Christmas Eve, Sue helps Willie and Thurman decorate their house for Christmas. Willie leaves to rob the mall with Marcus. After cracking the safe, Willie takes a stuffed elephant for Thurman. However, Marcus produces a gun and plans to kill Willie because he is too unreliable. Willie, in tears, asks Marcus and Lois if they really need everything they steal. Fortunately for Willie, the Police arrive, having been tipped off by Willie's letter that Thurman gave them. Willie flees and speeds (to the sound of
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