7.9/10
34,626
169 user 102 critic

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 2 October 1947 (Argentina)
Trailer
2:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Director: Les Mayfield
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Movie 1965)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Doris Walker
... Fred Gailey
... Kris Kringle
... Judge Henry X. Harper
... Susan Walker
... Granville Sawyer
... Charlie Halloran
... Dist. Atty. Thomas Mara
... Julian Shellhammer
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 October 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Miracle on 34th Street  »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,650,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Maureen O'Hara was ultimately forced into her role against her will, as she had just returned to Ireland before being called back to America for the film. However, she immediately changed her sentiments upon reading the script. See more »

Goofs

The woman tells Santa that all the department stores are out of the toy fire truck her son wants. Kris directs her to a store that has them. A few scenes later Mr. Shellhammer's secretary goes in to his office to talk to him. Behind her is a toy fire truck, perhaps the one they are supposedly out of. See more »

Quotes

Fred Gailey: Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Barry Norman's Christmas Movie Quiz (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark The Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Felix Mendelssohn)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Genuine Article, Still A Miracle
25 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

There's a "legend" connected with this film, one which has recently gained new life via AMC: Supposedly, upon completion of principle filmmaking, 1947's "Miracle On 34th Street" then had to be submitted to the heads of Macy's and Gimble's department stores who -- had either man withheld approval -- could have cost 20th Century Fox a small fortune in rewrites and reshootings.

Frankly, in view of the fact that much of "Miracle" had already been shot on location in Macy's New York City store (to say nothing of the fact that studio heads of that era -- or any era, for that matter -- were notoriously prone not to take such financial risks), this "legend" is likely just so much "hype," otherwise known as "nonsense."

Thankfully, this is the only trace of phoniness attached to this jewel of a movie. "Miracle On 34th Street" is just that, in every sense of the word: a miracle.

Take a perfectly-crafted, thoughtful screenplay. Add an impeccable cast (from top-to-bottom, by the way; catch, just as one example, Thelma Ritter's uncredited turn as "Peter's Mother"). Throw into this mix an on-location "shoot" (along with Macy's, there's the store's actual 1946 Thanksgiving Parade, footage in a post office facility and a courthouse) which gives this film a nice sense of verisimilitude . . . just in case you're not already prepared (courtesy of Edmund Gwenn, in a totally-deserved Oscar-winning performance) to recapture your belief in Santa Claus.

"Miracle On 34th Street" is many things: a celebration of the Christmas spirit, a heartfelt plea against the "over-commercialism" (even in 1947)of Christmas, an examination of faith itself . . . just to name a few.

It works on every level. Every bit as well today, 54 years after its initial release, as then. Don't waste your time with the remakes -- both on TV as well as theatrical productions (and the less said about an abortive 1963 Broadway musical adaptation, "Here's Love," the better.)

Go for the original film. Go for the genuine article. Again and again and again.


35 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 169 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial