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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:

You've got them mixed up! You're making a mistake. You're making a mistake with the reindeer. Tsk tsk tsk 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

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

Kris enters the curbside back door of the cab taking him to Bellevue before another gentleman enters, but once inside the cab Kris is seated on the curbside. See more »

Quotes

Fred Gailey: Is it true that you're the owner of one of the biggest department stores in New York City?
Mr. R. H. Macy: THE biggest!
See more »

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 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.49 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

To Market, to Market, to Buy a Fat Pig
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Edmund Gwenn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It makes you want belive that Santa Claus really exists
8 December 2003 | by meggs212See all my reviews

Miracle On 34Th Street was a great Christmas movie. The major conflict of the movie was whether or not Santa Claus really existed.

The movie begins with Kris Cringle (Edmund Gwen) walking by a store with a man setting up a display of reindeer and notices that they are not in order. Kris tells the man politely how to fix them in the right positions, but the man gives him a strange look and goes back to work. Kris Cringle believes himself to be Santa Claus although most everyone else thinks he is crazy. Even little Susan (Natalie Wood) thinks he is a fake and doesn't believe in any ‘fairytales'. Her mother, Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), taught her that to believe in ‘fairytales' is childish and impractical. Kris is later made a part of the Macy's parade when the Santa Claus that was supposed to be in the parade is found drunk. When asked if he had ever had any experience, Kris replied, `Many times.' Doris makes him the department store Santa Claus at Macy's where he tells many people that he is the real Santa Claus.

As more people find out about Kris Cringle calling himself ‘Santa Claus', they get upset saying that no such person really exists. Many people took it more literally and said that it would be impossible for reindeer to fly or for anyone to live in the North Pole. He is forced to take a mental examination and the doctor convinces Doris that Kris is mentally ill after he gets in a fight. Kris is arrested and taken to court and his lawyer is Mr. Gailey who starts to believe, along with Doris and Susan, the he actually is Santa Claus.

I thought that this was a really good holiday movie that focus on something that all of us as little kids went through- believing or not believing in Santa Claus. It even feels like I should believe in Santa after watching it. I thought that Edmund Gwen was a really good actor and perfect for his part. He played his role very innocently, which made him very believable as Santa Claus. Natalie Wood was a great actress who played very well the typical role of the cynical child. The acting and the plot was very well written. It was a very innocent movie that is entertaining for all types of audiences.


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