7.9/10
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169 user 102 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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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)
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Popularity
4,094 ( 1,643)
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 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

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,650,000
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)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that the film is set during Christmas, studio head Darryl F. Zanuck insisted that it be released in May because he argued that more people went to the movies during the summer. So the studio began scrambling to promote it while keeping the fact that it was a Christmas movie a secret. 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

Kris Kringle: You see, Mrs. Walker, this is quite an opportunity for me. For the past 50 years or so I've been getting more and more worried about Christmas. Seems we're all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier and cost less that Christmas and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle.
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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

Featured in Millennium: The Well-Worn Lock (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played at the announcement of the parade
Played occasionally in the score
Sung a cappella a bit by Percy Helton and later by Jack Albertson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Feel Good Movie
11 December 2003 | by stardust106See all my reviews

It's amazing to me when one single movie can brighten your spirits, Miracle On 34th Street is one such movie that has the ability to do just that. A viewer can't help but to wear a smile after watching, which is what makes for a great film. There was nothing bad about this film at all. The acting and the sets were very good. And the whole spirit of Christmas shone throughout the entire movie.

Like I said above, that acting in this movie was superb. Edmund Gwenn playing the role of Kris Kringle was marvelous. He seemed to be happy and jolly throughout the whole movie, all the qualities one thinks of when thinking about Santa, Edmund Gwenn embodied. He even made a believer out of me, well, not really, but close. Natalie Wood as Susan Walker had so much talent for someone her age. The emotion that she put into her role was so great that I kept forgetting that she was only a child. As for the sets, all of them were well done, but the set that stood out the most was definitely the courtroom scene. The detail that went into the making of that set was so good, it surpassed all the other sets in the movie by far.

Personally, I love Christmas movies and am really critical of what ones are good and what ones I'd have rather gouged my eyes out than have to watch. Luckily, Miracle On 34th Street was not one of those movies. The spirit of Christmas was portrayed really well, this was one movie that one couldn't help but feel warm and toasty after viewing. What is probably one of the greatest things about this movie is that it is one that the whole family can enjoy, and more importantly enjoy together. On a scale of 1- 10, Miracle On 34th Street is undeniably a 9, one movie that I wouldn't mind watching over and over again.


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