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 »

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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 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:

A Miracle of Entertainment! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Maureen O'Hara first got the script, it was called "The Big Heart". See more »

Goofs

Kris says that Daniel D. Tompkins was the Vice President under John Quincy Adams. Daniel D. Tompkins was not Vice President under Adams. That position went to John C. Calhoun for all four years of Adam's presidency (1825-1829). Tompkins served under James Monroe from 1817-1825 (both of Monroe's terms). Tompkins was the last one to serve two terms until Woodrow Wilson. The confusion probably stems from the fact that Adams was the 6th President, and Daniel D. Tompkins was the 6th Vice President. See more »

Quotes

District Attorney: We now ask that Mr. Gailey present authoritative proof that Mr. Kringle is the one and only Santa Claus.
Judge Henry X. Harper: Your point is well taken, Mr. Mara; I'm afraid we must agree!
[Looks at Charles Halloran, who nods approvingly]
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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 »


Soundtracks

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


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

4 July 1947 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

It's Only Human See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$527
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)

Color:

Black and White | Black and White (B&W)| Black and White (Black & White)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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