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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  2 May 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 27,991 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 90 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.



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Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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!


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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
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Did You Know?


When Maureen O'Hara first got the script, it was called "The Big Heart". See more »


When Kringle is in Sawyer's office, Sawyer is alternately drumming his fingers on desk and twiddling his eyebrow between shots. See more »


Fred Gailey: I must be a pretty good lawyer. I took a little old man and proved to the world that...
[looks off screen]
Doris: [sees a cane resting on the wall] Oh no, it can't be. It must have been left by the people who moved out.
Fred Gailey: Maybe... and maybe I didn't do such a good thing after all.
See more »


Featured in Jimmy the Kid (1982) See more »


Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by J. Fred Coots
Played when Kringle is asked to replace the parade Santa
Also played during the parade
Also played at the Christmas party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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