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 34 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Miracle on 34th Street -- The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentlemen with twinkling eyes, and ample belly, and a snowy beard is hired as Macy's department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle, and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit - except for his boss, Doris Walker, who's raising her daughter Susan to not believe in Santa but when Kris is declared insane and put on trail everyone's faith is put to the test as old and young alike face the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus? (content is black & white)
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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   27,468 votes »
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Up 16% 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:
Sweet movie not without social comment See more (146 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)

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 
Richard Irvine 
 
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 director
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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Big Heart" - UK (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Runtime:
96 min | USA:101 min (DVD)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | 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 | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:TV-G | USA:Approved (PCA #12122)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When Dr. Pierce explains Kris' belief that he is Santa Claus, he offers for comparative purposes a Hollywood restaurant owner who believes himself to be a Russian prince despite evidence to the contrary, but rather conveniently fails to recall the man's name. This was a reference to Michael Romanoff, owner of Romanoff's in Hollywood, a popular hangout for movie stars at the time.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Susan Walker:You mean it's like, 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'
Doris Walker:Yes.
Susan Walker:I thought so.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Castle: Secret Santa (#5.9)" (2012)See more »
Soundtrack:
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little StarSee more »

FAQ

Is 'Miracle on 34th Street' based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Who is the 'Russian Prince' referred to in the movie?
See more »
99 out of 99 people found the following review useful.
Sweet movie not without social comment, 15 September 2004
Author: whitey54 from San Jose, CA

This is certainly a lovely warmhearted movie, but since other reviewers have described the plot in detail, I'll move on to other topics.

I love movies like this for the insight they provide into the customs of a lost era. Watch the clothing - everybody is so dressed up! - women in dresses, gloves, and hats, men in hats and suits. Notice that when O'Hara enters a room filled with Macy's executives, even though they are the bosses and she is lower management, they all stand up instantly.

The social satire, most on display in the courtroom scenes, also is very 1940s. Apparently audiences of that era took a kind of genial corruption in the judicial system in stride. Business leaders, like "Mr. Macy" were expected to be sharp and profit-oriented, but also decent people like the rest of us. It's a much more nuanced view than the "businessman as criminal villain" so common in today's movies.

The character played by Maureen O'Hara probably needs explanation for modern viewers. Late 1940s audiences knew that the social and economic situation of a divorced working woman with a child was much more precarious than it is now. Divorce was still somewhat shocking - this is brought out neatly in the movie when her would-be lover does a double take when he learns from her daughter about the divorce - he probably had assumed she was a war widow. Divorced moms were still rare in the middle classes. Society universally agreed that women should stay home to raise their children. Economically, women in management positions were still very rare, couldn't expect promotion, and were last hired, first fired. I think O'Hara's performance brings out these qualities in a way that the audience of the 1940s would have understood easily. The character's stiffness, fear of losing control, and anxiety about her job make a great deal of sense. It would have been nice to see a few scenes showing her loosening up, perhaps at dinner with her boyfriend; no doubt those got left on the cutting room floor.

I really like the scene where Santa talks to the little Dutch orphan. First, this scene also must have resonated with the audience; in 1947 the western European countries had only started to recover from World War II, and probably many Americans were familiar with the idea of adopting a war orphan, just as many sent CARE packages. Second, by making Santa fluent in Dutch, the writer cleverly left the viewer thinking that hey, he might really be Santa Claus (isn't Santa Claus fluent in all languages)?

Some reviewers don't like the acting and think that modern actors are "better". I think the older actors aren't better or worse, just different. The audiences of the 1940s expected a certain style of acting, and the directors and actors gave that to them. Then as now, Hollywood paid top dollar and got very talented people, but like all of us they were shaped by their own time and place, more particularly the requirement to make movies that audiences would like. Move Maureen O'Hara to 2004, or Tom Cruise to 1947, and you'd see them acting in the style of that decade.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (146 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Big Heart valis1984
Was a sequel ever planned? joannabaroncelli
Susie's father joannabaroncelli
Where is the real "Brooks Memorial Home" building? bigdave311
Favorite scene/quotes? RetroDoll
It's sad how times have changed andiam-1
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