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'Jingle All the Way': A kinder, funnier Arnold

Arnold November 21, 1996
Web posted at: 7:00 a.m. EST

From Correspondent Ron Tank

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- It's every parent's nightmare. You organize the best Christmas ever for your child, but that one toy he or she wants is nowhere to be found.

"If you don't have that toy, you're a loser," said Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of "Jingle All the Way," a big-screen comedy that explores the horrors of that last-minute toy hunt.

scenes from the movie

Veteran comic Sinbad co-stars along with Phil Hartman and Rita Wilson, but making audiences laugh is squarely on the shoulders of Schwarzenegger, who spends the film desperately searching for a toy called Turbo Man.

Sinbad, for one, wasn't surprised by the last action hero's comedic abilities.

"He always has that, you know, he's got that little devilish smile and I'd usually hear about the tricks he'd play on the other bodybuilders, messing with their heads," said Sinbad.

But it was action-flick characters like "Conan the Barbarian" and "The Terminator" that put Schwarzenegger on the Hollywood fast-track.

"I think I always wanted to do films that have comedy in them or comedic scenes," Schwarzenegger said. "But it was very difficult in the beginning because the studio felt very strongly that here you finally have a guy who has the body of an action hero, why not give him all the action script?"

Then in 1988 Schwarzenegger was cast opposite Danny DeVito in the comedy "Twins." The result, surprisingly, was the first Schwarzenegger movie to make over $100 million domestically and $300 million worldwide.

"The studios all woke up and said, 'Wait a minute. We could sell this guy for both,'" Schwarzenegger said, smiling.

In "Jingle All The Way," stores are jammed with people in hot pursuit of a Turbo Man. Now, with Schwarzenegger at the comedic helm, the movie's producers are hoping for similar crowds at the box office.


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