IMDb > Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street
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Miracle on 34th Street (1947) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 33 | slideshow) Videos (see all 9)
Miracle on 34th Street -- 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.
Miracle on 34th Street -- Kris Kringle gives a store clerk a little advice on his reindeer window display.
Miracle on 34th Street -- Little Susan's hopes are dashed when she doesn't get her Christmas wish from Santa Claus.
Miracle on 34th Street -- A resourceful attorney uses the authority and integrity of the United States Postal Service to prove that Santa Claus exists.
Miracle on 34th Street -- Realists Doris and Susan (Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood) find their faith in Christmas after all.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   24,394 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
George Seaton (written for the screen by)
Valentine Davies (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for Miracle on 34th Street on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 May 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Capture the spirit of Christmas with this timeless classic!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
"You'd Better Watch Out, You'd Better Not Cry.................." See more (140 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Maureen O'Hara ... Doris Walker

John Payne ... Fred Gailey

Edmund Gwenn ... Kris Kringle

Gene Lockhart ... Judge Henry X. Harper

Natalie Wood ... Susan Walker
Porter Hall ... Granville Sawyer

William Frawley ... Charlie Halloran
Jerome Cowan ... Dist. Atty. Thomas Mara
Philip Tonge ... Julian Shellhammer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jack Albertson ... Post Office Mail Sorter Next to Lou (uncredited)
Harry Antrim ... Mr. R.H. Macy (uncredited)
Lela Bliss ... Mrs. Shellhammer (uncredited)
Walden Boyle ... Judge's Clerk (uncredited)
Kevin Burke ... Child on Santa's Lap (uncredited)
Dorothy Christy ... Secretary (uncredited)
Dick Cogan ... Department Store Head (uncredited)

Jeff Corey ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ... Court Bailiff (uncredited)
Teddy Driver ... Terry (uncredited)
Mary Field ... Dutch Girl's Adopted Mother (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Doctor Rogers at Bellevue (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Robert Gist ... Department Store Window Dresser (uncredited)
Jane Green ... Mrs. Harper (uncredited)
Alvin Greenman ... Alfred (uncredited)

Alvin Hammer ... George (uncredited)
Theresa Harris ... Cleo (uncredited)
Percy Helton ... Drunken Santa Claus (uncredited)
Herbert Heyes ... Mr. Gimbel (uncredited)
Clark Howat ... Patron in Macy's Lunchroom (uncredited)

Robert Hyatt ... Thomas Mara Jr. (uncredited)
Richard Irving ... Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Karnes ... Second Bellevue Interne (uncredited)
Fran Lee ... Customer (uncredited)
Marlene Lyden ... Dutch Girl (uncredited)
Robert Lynn ... Macy Salesman (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Woman in Santa Line (uncredited)
Ida McGuire ... Drum Majorette (uncredited)
Joseph McInerney ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Jean O'Donnell ... Miss Adams (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ... Secretary to Mr. Sawyer (uncredited)
'Snub' Pollard ... Mail-Bearing Court Officer (uncredited)
Lorin Raker ... Macy Salesman (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Court Officer Bearing Mail (uncredited)

Thelma Ritter ... Peter's Mother (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts ... Security Guard (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
James Seay ... Dr. Pierce (uncredited)
Irene Shirley ... R.H. Macy's Secretary (uncredited)
Patty Smith ... Alice (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ... Court Officer Bearing Mail (uncredited)
Ann Staunton ... Mrs. Mara (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Guard (uncredited)
Anthony Sydes ... Peter (uncredited)
Guy Thomajan ... Lou (uncredited)
Basil Walker ... Bellevue Intern (uncredited)
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Directed by
George Seaton 
 
Writing credits
George Seaton (written for the screen by)

Valentine Davies (story)

Produced by
William Perlberg .... producer
 
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge (music) (as Cyril Mockridge)
 
Cinematography by
Lloyd Ahern (director of photography)
Charles G. Clarke (director of photography) (as Charles Clarke)
 
Film Editing by
Robert L. Simpson (film editor) (as Robert Simpson)
 
Art Direction by
Richard Day (art direction)
Richard Irvine (art direction)
 
Set Decoration by
Ernest Lansing (set decorations)
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Kay Nelson (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
 
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)
 
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical direction
Edward B. Powell .... orchestral arrangements (as Edward Powell)
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John C. Eagan .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Charlie Hall .... location manager (uncredited)
Dirk Van H. Labberton .... technical advisor (uncredited)
May E. Romm .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Finland:S | Germany:o.Al. (DVD) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) | Portugal:M/6 | South Korea:All | UK:U | USA:TV-G | USA:Approved (PCA #12122)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The character of District Attorney Thomas Mara is clearly based on Thomas E. Dewey, a Manhattan District Attorney who went on to become the governor of New York and twice the (unsuccessful) Republican candidate for President (1944 and 1948). Jerome Cowan, the actor who played Mara, and Dewey bear a strong physical resemblance and both wore mustaches, highly unusual for professional men of the time. Also, the Judge mentions that the District Attorney is a Republican, also a rarity back then for elected officials in New York City.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the end of the film, Susan refers to Fred Gailey as her Uncle, this is not mentioned at any other point during the film.See more »
Quotes:
Fred Gailey:Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Saturday Morning RPG (2012) (VG)See more »
Soundtrack:
Good King WenceslasSee more »

FAQ

Is 'Miracle on 34th Street' based on a book?
How does the movie end?
Any recommendations for other movies that are considered Christmas classics?
See more »
26 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
"You'd Better Watch Out, You'd Better Not Cry..................", 22 October 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

...............Santa Claus has come to town. Or at least that's what a gentlemen appropriately named Kristopher Kringle played by Edmund Gwenn complete with full white beard is claiming. He makes his appearance at the Thanksgiving Day Parade as sponsored by R.H. Macy's Department Store and finds the Santa hired for the occasion, Percy Helton, full of a little too much Christmas cheer already. In charge of the parade is one of Macy's middle level executives, Maureen O'Hara, who fires Helton and hires Gwenn right then and there.

Gwenn's obvious sincerity makes him an ideal Santa Claus for Macy's and for us. He spreads the real meaning of Christmas around even has Macy's declaring a holiday truce with its rival Gimbel's. That's a part of Miracle on 34th Street that might be lost to viewers today. Gimbel's was Macy's big department store rival and it's flagship store in New York stood across 34th Street at the time. Gives a meaning to the title that is lost on today's audience.

But wiser and more sophisticated folks like the majority of us know there ain't no such thing as Santa Claus. Even Maureen O'Hara knows that and imparts it to her daughter Natalie Wood. Gwenn's just a kind old man in a white beard. But when his sanity is questioned, Gwenn's belief becomes a matter for the courts where Gwenn is ably defended by O'Hara's boyfriend, lawyer John Payne.

Like that other holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life, Christmas is never complete without seeing Miracle on 34th Street. Though New York has changed considerably since 1947 the year I made my earthly debut, the film has lost absolutely none of its charm.

Edmund Gwenn won the Best Supporting Actor of 1947 and in doing so, beat out his best friend, Finlay Currie, who was up that year for playing Magwitch in Great Expectations. The two had met in stock companies in their native Scotland and were friends right up to when Gwenn passed away in 1959. The Oscar was the high point of his career.

Maureen O'Hara in her memoirs says that Miracle on 34th Street holds a special place in her affections. In fact until Gwenn died, she had hopes of doing some kind of sequel. She bonded on stage with young Natalie Wood who later played her daughter in Father Was A Fullback also and kept in contact with her right up to her death in 1981.

Maureen also had a deep affection for John Payne who she made four films with and says was one of the nicest men in the world. One story she related was on the set of another film they made, Payne was served with divorce papers right on the set from his then wife, Anne Shirley. She said he broke down and cried like a baby. If it weren't for the fact she was married, she said she definitely could have gotten something going with Payne.

In the supporting cast note the presence of one grinch in the person of Porter Hall who played one of his patented nasty little meanies. His meddling and general misanthropy cause Gwenn to have that trial in the first place. Look for a bit role from Jack Albertson as the postal employee who inadvertently saves the day. Also making her film debut is Thelma Ritter as the mother of a child looking to meet Santa Claus, the one official Santa Claus, courtesy of Macy's Department Store.

Although Miracle on 34th Street has been remade several times over the years, this one is the genuine article. As genuine as the fact that Macy's has the official Santa Claus as certified by a higher authority.

One thing has always puzzled me though. How long did it take Edmund Gwenn to grow that beard for the part?

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
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Was Doris Walker stepperry2010
The Ending Jeremy6100
Is this a most cynical film? irvberg2002
Would a mother like Doris Walker have done that? dmnemaine
Why do ppl diss the colorized version? nikao86
Just brought this movie horrorfansuper11
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