Lord Attenborough’s heart-warming portrayal of Santa was the greatest movie Father Christmas of all time, according to film fans.
The actor’s performance as Kris Kringle in the 1994 remake of Miracle On 34th Street beat the likes of Tim Allen and Tom Hanks to the top spot.
Billy Bob Thornton’s drunken conman character from Bad Santa was an unlikely runner-up in the poll by film rental service Lovefilm.
Billy Bob – nominated for a Golden Globe award for his part in the film – is the north-polar opposite of the classic cuddly Claus, dressing as Santa to rip off department stores.
Fictional character Jack Skellington, voiced by Danny Elfman and Chris Sarandon in The Nightmare Before Christmas, managed to claim sixth place, while Jim Carrey’s portrayal from How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Tom Hanks’s interpretation in The Polar Express tumbled down the chimney into seventh and eighth positions.
Fliss White, head of brand marketing at Lovefilm, said: “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 alongside edgier actors in the top 10.”