7.9/10
32,746
159 user 98 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 2 October 1947 (Argentina)
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (story)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Director: Les Mayfield
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott
A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Short 1965)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
Frosty the Snowman (TV Short 1969)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Henson
Stars: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

At the Macy's Department Store Thanksgiving Day parade, the actor playing Santa is discovered to be drunk by a whiskered old man. Doris Walker, the no nonsense special events director, persuades the old man to take his place. The old man proves to be a sensation and is quickly recruited to be the store Santa at the main Macy's outlet. While he is successful, Ms. Walker learns that he calls himself Kris Kringle and he claims to be the actual Santa Claus. Despite reassurances by Kringle's doctor that he is harmless, Doris still has misgivings, especially when she has cynically trained herself, and especially her daughter, Susan, to reject all notions of belief and fantasy. And yet, people, especially Susan, begin to notice there is something special about Kris and his determination to advance the true spirit of Christmas amidst the rampant commercialism around him and succeeding in improbable ways. When a raucous conflict with the store's cruelly incompetent psychologist erupts, Kris ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Capture the spirit of Christmas with this timeless classic! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,650,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Edmund Gwenn's beard was not real. See more »

Goofs

While prosecutor Mara is making his final arguments to the Judge, defense attorney Gailey is out in the hall presumably talking to the postmen. Gailey returns to the courtroom just as Mara finishes his statement. No judge would allow final arguments to proceed in the absence of the attorney for the opposing party. See more »

Quotes

Susan Walker: You mean it's like, 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'
Doris Walker: Yes.
Susan Walker: I thought so.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Simpsons: I Won't Be Home for Christmas (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sinterklaas, Kapoentje
(uncredited)
Traditional Dutch Song
Sung a capella by Edmund Gwenn and Marlene Lyden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Holiday Combination That Works Well
8 December 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Still among the most worthwhile of the familiar holiday movies, this classic version of "Miracle on 34th Street" has a combination of cast, story, and production that works well. Maureen O'Hara, young Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn would probably have carried it pretty well by themselves, and they are joined by a very good supporting cast. The screenplay is nicely done, bringing out the fantasy elements of the story without letting it become trite.

Gwenn, who played many solid character roles, gets the chance here to play a role for which he was ideally suited, and it works very well. O'Hara and Wood make a good pair to balance him out. The supporting cast gets some very good moments of their own, especially Gene Lockhart and William Frawley, whose scenes are entertaining while also offering some occasionally pointed commentary.

The style of the production is well-suited to the material, offering an innocently upbeat story without overdoing it on sentimentality. For all that this style of the production and acting are out of fashion, they are able to capture a theme like this in a worthwhile way that is simply not possible with the kind of false "sophistication" that permeates so many present-day movies.

That's not to say that this is some kind of masterpiece, which it is not and did not try to be. Instead, it's a light, enjoyable, positive movie that does make a worthwhile point or two. That kind of feature will always find an appreciative audience somewhere.


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page