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Lord of the movie Santas – Billy Bob Thornton and Richard Attenborough go head-to-head

Lord Richard Attenborough has sleighed Billy Bob Thornton to be named the Best Santa Claus on the big screen in a poll by LOVEFiLM users.

To mark Christmas 2010 LOVEFiLM, Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the internet and sending DVDs by post, asked over 1000 of its members to vote for the Best Movie Santa, with Attenborough’s portrayal as kind-hearted Kris Kringle in 1994 Christmas favourite, Miracle on 34th Street earning him top spot on the nation’s nice list with nearly a third of the votes (26 per cent).

A surprising second on the poll with 14 per cent was Billy Bob Thornton’s turn as a drunken thieving conman who dresses as Santa to rob department stores in Bad Santa. The perfect catharsis to generic Christmas film fare, this unlikely festive tale gave the bad boy actor an advantage over other classic Clauses on the list…

Ho-ho-ho-ing into third place with ten per cent is Tim Allen as divorcee Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause; he is disgusted to learn his ex and her husband have told his son that Santa isn’t real. His son’s belief is firmly restored when Tim Allen unexpectedly gets a new job as the big man himself.

Sugar and spice and all things nice, David Huddlestone left the nation’s hearts aglow as Father Christmas in 1985’s classic Santa Claus: The Movie. Supported by an all star cast including Dudley Moore and John Lithgow, the film answered every child’s questions from how reindeer’s fly to how Santa ascends the chimney securing Huddlestone fourth place in the poll (nine per cent).

Miracle on 34th Street appears again in the top ten with nine per cent of the votes for Edmund Gwenn’s original 1947 performance as Kris Kringle. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story and Best Writing, Screenplay – undoubtedly one of the best festive flicks of all time.

Others making the top ten Best Santa Clauses include Father Christmases from The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch, The Polar Express, and Elf.

To find out how to watch movies online and other ways to view your favourite films and TV shows, visit http://www.lovefilm.com

The Best Film Santa Clauses were as follows:
1. Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – 26%
2. Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa – 14%
3. Tim Allen in The Santa Clause – 10%
4. David Huddlestone in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) – 9%
5. Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) –9%
6. Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas – 8%
7. Jim Carey in The Grinch – 6%
8. Tom Hanks in The Polar Express (2003) – 4%
9. Ed Asner in Elf – 3 %
10. Mel Smith in Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas – 2%

(Other – 9%)

Fliss White, Head of Brand Marketing at LOVEFiLM commented:

“While he may have a reputation for being a bad boy, Billy Bob Thornton has proven he can be a good movie Santa – it’s great to see a mix of traditional Clauses such as Lord Attenborough alongside edgier actors like Billy Bob Thornton in the top ten.

“With over 70,000 DVD titles and the option to watch movies online you can find your favourite Father Christmases from LOVEFiLM instantly to keep the family entertained over the festive season.”

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