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Director Daniel Ablin
Writers Daniel Ablin, Serge July and Marie Genin
Image Doumé Delapierre, Hervé Lodé, Guillaume Tunzini
Sound Joël Flescher, Alain Giulianelli
Editing Laurent Pineau
Version French
Copyrights Folamour – Ina – 2011
Broadcasters France Télévisions, RTS


  • Thierry LHERMITE, actor, role of Pierre Mortez
  • Josiane BALASKO, actress, role of Mrs Musquin
  • Marie-Anne CHAZEL, actress, role of Josette
  • Christian CLAVIER, actor, role of Katia
  • Bruno MOYNOT, actor, role of Mr Preskovitch
  • Olivier MONGIN, sociologist
  • Martin HIRSCH, former president of Emmaus
  • Jean-Marie POIRÉ, director
  • Gérard JUGNOT, actor, role of Félix

Portrait of a film: Jean-Marie Poiré shoots Santa Claus is a stinker  (Le Père Noël est une ordure) in 1981. A Christmas night at the headquarters of “SOS Détresse Amitié”. While a desperate man commits suicide over the phone, all sorts of characters unexpectedly show up at the association’s office. The already chaotic evening turns into a complete nightmare when the elevator repairman is accidentally killed… The film is based on an eponymous play of the café-theater “Le Splendid”, which made its cinematic debut successfully in 1978 in “Les Bronzés”. The film was a hit in theatres but television and VHS made it a cult film, especially because of its hilarious lines.

Portrait of an era: shot in the wake of the left-wing victory in the 1981 elections, the film, which is very politically incorrect, deals unabashedly with misery and exclusion, charities and social hypocrisy. It also denounces homophobia: as the AIDS epidemic begins, homosexual associations are fighting against discrimination. This is the golden age of café-theatre, small independent troupes that make use of humour and social criticism without reservation. The “Café de la Gare” and the “Splendid” are the leading troupes that provide a breeding ground for film actors: Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere, Miou Miou and Josiane Balasko, Gérard Jugnot and Michel Blanc.

Portrait of a filmmaker: Jean-Marie Poiré, son of producer Alain Poiré, was a rock singer and photographer, and the scriptwriter of Michel Audiard, Georges Lautner and Robert Lamoureux. Santa Claus is a stinker is his fourth film. Having already worked with Josiane Balasko on The Little Cuddles and Men Prefer the Fatties, she introduced him to the “Splendid” troupe. He will then go on to shoot Gramps is in the resistance in 1983, and The Visitors in 1993, which set a long time record in France with 13 million tickets sold.