154 user 92 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 2 May 1947 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.



(written for the screen by), (story)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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
Animation | Comedy | Family
    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
A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Movie 1965)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    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 | 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, Paul Soles
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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 Movie 1969)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    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 | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (TV Special 1973)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Directors: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman
Stars: Todd Barbee, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
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


Complete credited cast:
Philip Tonge ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Double for Natalie Wood


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


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


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Family


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Maureen O'Hara's time with Natalie Wood was something she always treasured. "I have been the mother to almost forty children in movies, but I have always had a special place in my heart for little Natalie," said O'Hara. "She always called me Mamma Maureen and I called her Natasha, the name her parents had given her." See more »


The Macy's Parade is still very much in progress, and a marching band can be heard loudly playing in the background, as Doris enters her high-rise apartment building. Doris' apartment is many levels up, as Susan and Fred can be clearly seen looking downward to watch the parade below from his apartment which is located directly across from Doris', and therefore several minutes must pass between the time Doris enters the apartment building and when she arrives (presumably by elevator), at the entrance to her apartment. After we see Doris enter the apartment building, the very next shot we see of her is at the doorway of her apartment. As she enters her apartment, the parade band outside is still playing the same march, just as loudly as it had been when she had entered the apartment building, and it has not even skipped a beat. See more »


Fred Gailey: We intend to prove that Mr. Kringle *is* Santa Claus.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.62 (2009) See more »


Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Santa is in New York!
9 December 2003 | by (Fairview, Oregon) – See all my reviews

The movie starts out in a festive atmosphere. It is Thanksgiving and the employees of Macy's department store are busy with preparations for the annual Thanksgiving day parade. Doris. Walker (Maureen O'Hare) is in charge of the parade. She anxiously hires Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) to replace the man she hired to play Santa Claus when she discovers the original Santa is too intoxicated to even get on the float. Kris does such a good job that Mrs. Walker asks him to stay on in the role and be the department store's Santa. She soon has serious doubts about her decision when she discovers that her new Santa really believes he is Santa Claus.

Mrs. Walker is working, single mother, who works for Macy's Department Store in New York City. Natalie Wood plays her daughter, Susan. As the result of a failed Marriage, Doris raises her daughter to accept reality. There is no room for fantasy or make believe in her life. Susan is a quiet, child who acts more like a grown up than a 6 year old. She has difficulty using her imagination, and has become just as skeptical as her mother.

Since Kris, believes that "the important thing is to make children happy," winning the affection of Susan and her mother is his main objective.

Whether or not Kris is the real Santa Claus, there is no doubt that he seem to have an influence on almost everyone he meets--except for Macy's staff psychologist .Mr. Sawyer believes that Kris is delusional, and has him committed to thrown into a mental institution. In order to get out, Kris must face a court hearing, where not only is his sanity questioned, but the state of New York will decide if there really is a Santa Claus. Fred Gailey (played by John Payne) a neighbor of Doris Susan Walker agrees to represent Kris. The predictable end to the story is that Fred and Doris become attracted to each other, and as Fred works hard to secure Kris' freedom, Doris finds herself not only believing in Kris, but also in believing in fantasy.

Maureen O'Hara portrays Doris Walker with poise and sophistication. Although the movie is over 55 years old, the idea of a single working mom trying to raise her daughter after a bitter divorce, tells a story that is relevant by today's standards. Natalie Wood does such a good job at playing as the bright six year old, Susan, that you can almost imagine her going straight from being a baby to being an adult. John Payne, as Fred Gailey, predictably plays the handsome attorney who falls in love with Mrs. Walker. Even though it seems a bit unbelievable, this movie is all about fantasy, so we'll allow a bit of romance. Finally, Edmund Gwenn's portrayal of Santa Claus is so believable, that you almost believe that truly is the jolly old elf himself!

This reviewer would give the movie a 5 out of 5 rating. It is a Christmas classic that will be remembered for years to come as one of the best Christmas movies ever filmed. The message of the movie is not about the real meaning of Christmas, nor is it about the commercialism that has overshadowed the holiday for years. The message of the movie is that make believe and fantasy play an important role in our live. Without them we would have no basis for our hopes and dreams

50 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is Santa Claus living in New York? michelle71
Why do ppl diss the colorized version? nikao86
Dutch Scene Translated jarrodmon-1
Glimpse of Deleted/Behind The Scenes HansGruber88
Meaning of the last line janetdesapio
Favorite scene/quotes? RetroDoll
Discuss Miracle on 34th Street (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: