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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 2 October 1947 (Argentina)
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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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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

The entire cast enjoyed a special bond, according to Maureen O'Hara, and always got along beautifully throughout the production. "Each evening, when we were not working," recalled O'Hara, "Edmund Gwenn, John and I went for a walk up Fifth Avenue. Natalie had to go to bed, but we didn't. We stopped and window-shopped at all the stores, which were beautifully decorated for the holidays. Edmund especially loved those nights and acted more like the kid who might be getting the presents instead of the Santa who would be giving them. I got such a big kick out of seeing the expressions of window dressers when they saw Edmund peering in at them--I knew then that he was going to make a big splash as Santa Claus." 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: Oh, Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind... and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here, maybe I can do something about it.
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Miracle on Evergreen Terrace (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sabre and Spurs
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played when Doris is in her apartment and at other times during the parade
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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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