7.9/10
39,231
184 user 109 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 2 October 1947 (Argentina)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

The Man behind the Miracle is bringing you laughter, tenderness, joy such as you heart has never known before! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kris prints he is "as old as my tongue, and a little older than my teeth", he meant he didn't have teeth as a baby. See more »

Goofs

Kris' license lists one of his reindeer as Donder (Dutch for thunder), yet whenever that is spoken, the DVD captions (made 50 years after the film) show it as Donner (German translation). Both names are commonly used in popular culture. See more »

Quotes

District Attorney: What is your name?
Kris Kringle: Kris Kringle.
District Attorney: Where do you live?
Kris Kringle: That's what this hearing will decide.
Judge Henry X. Harper: A very sound answer, Mister Kringle.
District Attorney: Do you really believe that you're Santa Claus?
Kris Kringle: Of course.
District Attorney: [long pause] The state rests, your honor.
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

Featured in Life with Louie: Family Portrait (1997) 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
See more »

User Reviews

Holiday Combination That Works Well
8 December 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Still among the most worthwhile of the familiar holiday movies, this classic version of "Miracle on 34th Street" has a combination of cast, story, and production that works well. Maureen O'Hara, young Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn would probably have carried it pretty well by themselves, and they are joined by a very good supporting cast. The screenplay is nicely done, bringing out the fantasy elements of the story without letting it become trite.

Gwenn, who played many solid character roles, gets the chance here to play a role for which he was ideally suited, and it works very well. O'Hara and Wood make a good pair to balance him out. The supporting cast gets some very good moments of their own, especially Gene Lockhart and William Frawley, whose scenes are entertaining while also offering some occasionally pointed commentary.

The style of the production is well-suited to the material, offering an innocently upbeat story without overdoing it on sentimentality. For all that this style of the production and acting are out of fashion, they are able to capture a theme like this in a worthwhile way that is simply not possible with the kind of false "sophistication" that permeates so many present-day movies.

That's not to say that this is some kind of masterpiece, which it is not and did not try to be. Instead, it's a light, enjoyable, positive movie that does make a worthwhile point or two. That kind of feature will always find an appreciative audience somewhere.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 184 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

It's Only Human See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,650,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed