Yuletide celebrations will never be complete without the cheery and uplifting Christmas movies, but when did they start being part of the tradition? The so-called first Christmas movie may hold the answer!
Simply entitled Santa Claus, the silent film you’re about to watch is from 1898 and is believed to be the first depiction of the iconic Santa Claus on film. Directed by George Albert Smith, it’s also said to be one of the earliest examples of parallel action in the filmmaking world, and is thus considered as “one of the most visually and conceptually sophisticated films made up to this point in history.”
Lubin Films made a synopsis for the 115-year-old Christmas flick, and it reads:
“In this picture you see Santa Claus enter the room from the fireplace and proceed to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. This film surprises everyone, and leaves them to wonder how old Kris disappears.”
Now, watch the short silent film below before proceeding to your holiday favorites (or a handful of classics):