7.9/10
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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Approved | | 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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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

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street  »

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| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After District Attorney Thomas Mara's son, Thomas Mara Jr., finishes testifying he tells Kris Kringle, "Don't forget, a real official football helmet". Tim Mara was the owner of the New York Giants football team at that time. 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

Fred: That baseball player sure looks like a giant to me.
Susan: Sometimes people grow very large, but that's abnormal.
Fred: I'll bet your mother told you that, too.
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Connections

Referenced in Zoe Ever After: Game Face (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark The Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Felix Mendelssohn)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It makes you want belive that Santa Claus really exists
8 December 2003 | by (Troutdale, OR) – See all my reviews



Miracle On 34Th Street was a great Christmas movie. The major conflict of the movie was whether or not Santa Claus really existed.

The movie begins with Kris Cringle (Edmund Gwen) walking by a store with a man setting up a display of reindeer and notices that they are not in order. Kris tells the man politely how to fix them in the right positions, but the man gives him a strange look and goes back to work. Kris Cringle believes himself to be Santa Claus although most everyone else thinks he is crazy. Even little Susan (Natalie Wood) thinks he is a fake and doesn't believe in any ‘fairytales'. Her mother, Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), taught her that to believe in ‘fairytales' is childish and impractical. Kris is later made a part of the Macy's parade when the Santa Claus that was supposed to be in the parade is found drunk. When asked if he had ever had any experience, Kris replied, `Many times.' Doris makes him the department store Santa Claus at Macy's where he tells many people that he is the real Santa Claus.

As more people find out about Kris Cringle calling himself ‘Santa Claus', they get upset saying that no such person really exists. Many people took it more literally and said that it would be impossible for reindeer to fly or for anyone to live in the North Pole. He is forced to take a mental examination and the doctor convinces Doris that Kris is mentally ill after he gets in a fight. Kris is arrested and taken to court and his lawyer is Mr. Gailey who starts to believe, along with Doris and Susan, the he actually is Santa Claus.

I thought that this was a really good holiday movie that focus on something that all of us as little kids went through- believing or not believing in Santa Claus. It even feels like I should believe in Santa after watching it. I thought that Edmund Gwen was a really good actor and perfect for his part. He played his role very innocently, which made him very believable as Santa Claus. Natalie Wood was a great actress who played very well the typical role of the cynical child. The acting and the plot was very well written. It was a very innocent movie that is entertaining for all types of audiences.


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