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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 27,992 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

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unusually, there were two Christmas films nominated for Best Film at the 1947 Academy Awards--this and Henry Koster's The Bishop's Wife (1947). They join It's a Wonderful Life (1946) the year before as only three Christmas movies to be nominated for this coveted prize. See more »


During the examination, Sawyer is tugging on his eyebrow, but a quick cut, and then both his hands are on his desk. See more »


Susan Walker: There's no such thing as giants.
Fred Gailey: What about the one Jack killed?
Susan Walker: Jack? Jack who?
Fred Gailey: Jack from "Jack and the Beanstalk".
Susan Walker: I never heard of that.
Fred Gailey: Sure you have. You must have forgotten. It's a fairy tale.
Susan Walker: Oh... one of those. I don't know any of those. My mother thinks they're silly.
See more »


Referenced in The Bigamist (1953) See more »


Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Written by Charles Wesley,George Whitefield, Felix Mendelssohn
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User Reviews

Feel Good Movie
11 December 2003 | by (Oregon) – See all my reviews

It's amazing to me when one single movie can brighten your spirits, Miracle On 34th Street is one such movie that has the ability to do just that. A viewer can't help but to wear a smile after watching, which is what makes for a great film. There was nothing bad about this film at all. The acting and the sets were very good. And the whole spirit of Christmas shone throughout the entire movie.

Like I said above, that acting in this movie was superb. Edmund Gwenn playing the role of Kris Kringle was marvelous. He seemed to be happy and jolly throughout the whole movie, all the qualities one thinks of when thinking about Santa, Edmund Gwenn embodied. He even made a believer out of me, well, not really, but close. Natalie Wood as Susan Walker had so much talent for someone her age. The emotion that she put into her role was so great that I kept forgetting that she was only a child. As for the sets, all of them were well done, but the set that stood out the most was definitely the courtroom scene. The detail that went into the making of that set was so good, it surpassed all the other sets in the movie by far.

Personally, I love Christmas movies and am really critical of what ones are good and what ones I'd have rather gouged my eyes out than have to watch. Luckily, Miracle On 34th Street was not one of those movies. The spirit of Christmas was portrayed really well, this was one movie that one couldn't help but feel warm and toasty after viewing. What is probably one of the greatest things about this movie is that it is one that the whole family can enjoy, and more importantly enjoy together. On a scale of 1- 10, Miracle On 34th Street is undeniably a 9, one movie that I wouldn't mind watching over and over again.

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