One Kris Kringle, a department-store Santa Claus, causes quite a commotion by suggesting customers go to a rival store for their purchases. But this is nothing to the stir he causes by ...
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One Kris Kringle, a department-store Santa Claus, causes quite a commotion by suggesting customers go to a rival store for their purchases. But this is nothing to the stir he causes by announcing that he is not merely a make-believe St. Nick, but the real McCoy. The production is followed by a preview of scenes from the Fox feature film The Rains of Ranchipur, starring Lana Turner, Richard Burton, Fred MacMurray, and Michael Rennie. This behind-the-scenes portion was produced and directed by Joe Parker. Written by
THE MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (TV) (Robert Stevenson, 1955) **1/2
Frankly, I had never even heard of this condensed TV version (the first of four remakes!) of the original 1947 Oscar-winning classic when I chanced upon it at my local DVD rental shop.
While understandably not up to the standards of the earlier film, a capable director leads a rather remarkable cast: Thomas Mitchell, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey, Hans Conried, Dick Foran, Ray Collins, Don Beddoe and Whit Bissell. The child actress playing the little girl seemed awfully familiar to me even though her name Sandy Descher didn't ring any bells; it eventually transpired that she had been the girl dumb-struck by the giant ants' attack at the beginning of the sci-fi classic THEM! (1954) which, ironically, starred the original Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn)!
Although I quite liked this made-for-TV version overall, I think the brief 45-minute running time ultimately worked against it as the narrative seemed awfully rushed in spots! Besides, the cast while commendably entering into the spirit of the thing seemed somewhat less sympathetic than the performers of the previous version (Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, etc.) had been.
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