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.

Director:

George Seaton

Writers:

George Seaton (written for the screen by), Valentine Davies (story)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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
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Storyline

At the Macy's 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 him to take his place. He proves to be a sensation and is quickly recruited to be the store Santa at the main store. While he is successful, Doris learns that he calls himself Kris Kringle and he claims to be the actual Santa Claus. Despite reassurances by his 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 among the rampant commercialism around him and succeeding in improbable ways. When a raucous conflict with the store's cruelly incompetent therapist, Granville Sawyer, erupts, he finds himself held at Bellevue where, in ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Macy's and Gimbel's were approached by the producers for permission to have them depicted in the film. Both wanted to see the finished film first before they gave approval. If either had refused, the film would have had to been extensively edited and re-shot to eliminate the references. Fortunately, at the test viewing both were pleased with the film and gave their permission. See more »

Goofs

When Kris is in Granville Sawyer's office, Granville is alternately drumming his fingers on his desk and twiddling his eyebrow between shots. See more »

Quotes

Susan: [watching the Macy's parade from the window, sings] There goes Santa Claus!
Doris Walker: [groans, rolls eyes] Oh, don't even mention the name!
Susan: He's much better than last year's.
[sneers]
Susan: At least this one doesn't wear glasses.
Doris Walker: This one was a last minute substitute. The one I hired, I fired.
Susan: Why?
Doris Walker: You remember the way the janitor was last New Years?
Susan: Ohhhh yes.
Doris Walker: Well, this one was much worse!
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Alternate Versions

Also available in two computer colorized versions. The film was first colorized in 1985 by Color Systems Technology, Inc. and again in 2006 by Legend Films using much-improved technology. Prints came with a disclaimer: "It has been altered without the participation of the principal director, screenwriter and other creators of the original film." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rifftrax: Santa's Summer House (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
(uncredited)
From the French melody "Ah ! vous dirai-je, Maman" (published 1761)
Played when the boy is sitting on Kringle's lap
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User Reviews

 
A Visit From St. Nicholas
14 November 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

The great Edmund Gwenn shines as Kris Kringle, an elderly, eccentric man who may or may not be the real Santa Claus. Little Natalie Wood thinks he is, though, and that's all that matters. This movie, written by Valentine Davies, has become, along with It's a Wonderful Life, a Christmas classic, and deservedly so. It is not, I imagine, in the same league as the Capra film (what is?), but it's an awfully good little movie in its own right; and while it presents its characters and issues pleasingly it does not push the envelope too much in any one direction, as one can respond to its whimsical little story any way one pleases.

Like so many films of the immediate postwar period it stresses the faith and wisdom of small children (as,--literally--opposed to adults); and its message is that children are perhaps wiser than we think. Considering the mess that grownups had made of the world in the previous two decades it must have been difficult for movie audiences of the time to disagree. Indeed, much of the mood of the postwar era was based at least partly on this premise, as children became central to our culture as never before. Their whims and wishes became paramount. Perhaps, in the end, too much so. One can see the start of all this in Miracle On 34th Street, whose gentle message still rings true today, every year, in the waning days of December.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

4 July 1947 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

It's Only Human See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$527
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Black and White | Black and White (B&W)| Black and White (Black & White)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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