How “Santa Claus Vs. The Devil” Came To America


The Mexican film, Santa Claus (1959)

On December 10th, Turner Classic Movies will air one of the strangest Christmas films ever made.  Created in 1959, it’s officially titled “Santa Claus,” but it’s better known as “Santa Claus Vs. The Devil.”  You might remember seeing it in Chattanooga theaters–it used get re-released every few years at Christmas.  More recently, you might remember seeing it lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The film was originally created in Mexico, and a promoter named K. Gordon Murray brought it to the United States and dubbed it into English.  Today, we will discover who K. Gordon Murray was, and why he brought this film to American children.  In the 1960’s, Murray was known as the “King of the Kiddie Matinee.”

Daniel Griffith joins us.  Griffith is a Chattanooga filmmaker and an expert on the subject.  Griffith has been working on a documentary about Murray’s life, called the Wonder World of K. Gordon Murray.


Listen to the story.


Daniel Griffith


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