7.9/10
34,247
164 user 102 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | | 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.

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

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Cast

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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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,650,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Natalie Wood's biographer, during the shoot the young actress was convinced that Edmund Gwenn was actually Santa Claus (by all accounts, Gwenn was a very good-natured man on the set). It wasn't until Wood saw him out of costume at the wrap party that she realized he wasn't Santa. See more »

Goofs

Outside the courtroom, the shadow of a camera can be seen on the pillar as Kris walks down the hall. See more »

Quotes

Doris: Would you please tell her that you're not really Santa Claus, that actually is no such person?
Kris Kringle: Well, I hate to disagree with you, but not only IS there such a person, but here I am to prove it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: John Goodman/Kings of Leon (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic holiday fare
21 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

Its very easy to see why this movie won the Oscar for Screenplay that year. Its very intelligent and has a lot to say about several topics - how to raise a child, how a person of questionable sanity gets treated, how greedy businessmen are, how politics play out in a courtroom..and what to do with all that damn mail addressed to Santa Claus!

Its also very mature in some ways - Doris (Maureen O'Hara) is divorced and the mother of Susie (Natalie Wood). Doris has raised Susie to be very practical and to think for herself, but she neglected to teach Susie one thing - how to be a child, when you ARE a child. Enter Mr. Gayley (John Payne), a struggling lawyer who befriends Susie as a way to get to know her Mom better.

Doris works at Macy's and is organizing their Thanksgiving Day Parade, when the Santa they've hired is intoxicated. In a pinch they hire the REAL Kris Kringle to appear in the parade. He ends up being such a big hit that he gets hired to work at Macy's also. He is not the traditional employee, however, and this comes to light when he sends a customer (the venerable Thelma Ritter) to ANOTHER STORE! Schoenfeld's, he says, has what she's looking for. Then he is overheard, by the store manager no less, sending another customer to GIMBELS!

Don't want to give away any more, but the movie is touching, dramatic and hysterical - Doris on the phone with her co-workers' wife, who has been given too much liquor, is worth a million bucks alone. Whenever I want to make my sister laugh, I do a pretty decent imitation of her saying "HELLO?" Also, I can sing the song Kris sings to the girl from Rotterdam..the girl who is so thrilled that Kris can communicate with her in her language. Susie overhearing this is beginning to think that Kris might be the real thing, and she's a pretty hard nut to crack, for a little kid.

See it, own it, memorize it..and pity the 31 souls in 'User Ratings' who gave this a '1', which is ridiculous but it takes all kinds I guess.


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