MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 460 this week

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Family  -  2 May 1947 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 24,909 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 84 critic

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)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - The One I Love

Interview with Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 02 Mar 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 02 Dec 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 09 Dec 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Miracle on 34th Street.

User Polls

Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 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 6.3/10 X  

A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. Her mother told her the "secret" ... See full summary »

Director: Les Mayfield
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Teenage twin girls swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans (he stern, she gentle) raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 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
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
Miracle on 34th Street (TV Movie 1973)
Family | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A department store Santa tries to convince a little girl who doesn't believe in Santa Claus that he is Santa Claus, and winds up going on trial to prove who he is.

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Jane Alexander, David Hartman
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Porter Hall ...
...
Jerome Cowan ...
Philip Tonge ...
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!


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Wunder von Manhattan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Thelma Ritter's screen debut. 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

Kris Kringle: No, but don't you see, dear? Some children wish for things they couldn't possibly use like real locomotives or B-29s.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 12 Men of Christmas (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

National Emblem
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Edwin Eugene Bagley
Played at the beginning and other times during the parade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sweet movie not without social comment
15 September 2004 | by (San Jose, CA) – See all my reviews

This is certainly a lovely warmhearted movie, but since other reviewers have described the plot in detail, I'll move on to other topics.

I love movies like this for the insight they provide into the customs of a lost era. Watch the clothing - everybody is so dressed up! - women in dresses, gloves, and hats, men in hats and suits. Notice that when O'Hara enters a room filled with Macy's executives, even though they are the bosses and she is lower management, they all stand up instantly.

The social satire, most on display in the courtroom scenes, also is very 1940s. Apparently audiences of that era took a kind of genial corruption in the judicial system in stride. Business leaders, like "Mr. Macy" were expected to be sharp and profit-oriented, but also decent people like the rest of us. It's a much more nuanced view than the "businessman as criminal villain" so common in today's movies.

The character played by Maureen O'Hara probably needs explanation for modern viewers. Late 1940s audiences knew that the social and economic situation of a divorced working woman with a child was much more precarious than it is now. Divorce was still somewhat shocking - this is brought out neatly in the movie when her would-be lover does a double take when he learns from her daughter about the divorce - he probably had assumed she was a war widow. Divorced moms were still rare in the middle classes. Society universally agreed that women should stay home to raise their children. Economically, women in management positions were still very rare, couldn't expect promotion, and were last hired, first fired. I think O'Hara's performance brings out these qualities in a way that the audience of the 1940s would have understood easily. The character's stiffness, fear of losing control, and anxiety about her job make a great deal of sense. It would have been nice to see a few scenes showing her loosening up, perhaps at dinner with her boyfriend; no doubt those got left on the cutting room floor.

I really like the scene where Santa talks to the little Dutch orphan. First, this scene also must have resonated with the audience; in 1947 the western European countries had only started to recover from World War II, and probably many Americans were familiar with the idea of adopting a war orphan, just as many sent CARE packages. Second, by making Santa fluent in Dutch, the writer cleverly left the viewer thinking that hey, he might really be Santa Claus (isn't Santa Claus fluent in all languages)?

Some reviewers don't like the acting and think that modern actors are "better". I think the older actors aren't better or worse, just different. The audiences of the 1940s expected a certain style of acting, and the directors and actors gave that to them. Then as now, Hollywood paid top dollar and got very talented people, but like all of us they were shaped by their own time and place, more particularly the requirement to make movies that audiences would like. Move Maureen O'Hara to 2004, or Tom Cruise to 1947, and you'd see them acting in the style of that decade.


93 of 94 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Would a mother like Doris Walker have done that? dmnemaine
It's sad how times have changed andiam-1
Is this a most cynical film? irvberg2002
Why do ppl diss the colorized version? nikao86
The Ending Jeremy6100
Prosecution Assistant looked familiar tomtac
Discuss Miracle on 34th Street (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page