Miracle on 34th Street ()

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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.

  • Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination.
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Cast verified as complete

Doris Walker
Fred Gailey
Kris Kringle
Judge Henry X. Harper
Susan Walker
Granville Sawyer
Charlie Halloran
Dist. Atty. Thomas Mara
Julian Shellhammer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Post Office Mail Sorter Next to Lou (uncredited)
Harry Antrim ...
Mr. R.H. Macy (uncredited)
Mrs. Shellhammer (uncredited)
Walden Boyle ...
Judge's Clerk (uncredited)
Kevin Burke ...
Child on Santa's Lap (uncredited)
Secretary (uncredited)
Department Store Head (uncredited)
Reporter (uncredited)
Double for Natalie Wood (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ...
Court Bailiff (uncredited)
Teddy Driver ...
Terry (uncredited)
Dutch Girl's Adopted Mother (uncredited)
Doctor Rogers at Bellevue (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ...
Chauffeur (uncredited)
Department Store Window Dresser (uncredited)
Jane Green ...
Mrs. Harper (uncredited)
Alfred (uncredited)
George (uncredited)
Cleo (uncredited)
Drunken Santa Claus (uncredited)
Mr. Gimbel (uncredited)
Patron in Macy's Lunchroom (uncredited)
Thomas Mara Jr. (uncredited)
Richard Irving ...
Reporter (uncredited)
Second Bellevue Interne (uncredited)
Fran Lee ...
Customer (uncredited)
Marlene Lyden ...
Dutch Girl (uncredited)
Robert Lynn ...
Macy Salesman (uncredited)
Woman in Santa Line (uncredited)
Ida McGuire ...
Drum Majorette (uncredited)
Joseph McInerney ...
Bailiff (uncredited)
Jean O'Donnell ...
Miss Adams (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ...
Secretary to Mr. Sawyer (uncredited)
Mail-Bearing Court Officer (uncredited)
Lorin Raker ...
Macy Salesman (uncredited)
Court Officer Bearing Mail (uncredited)
Peter's Mother (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts ...
Security Guard (uncredited)
Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Dr. Pierce (uncredited)
Irene Shirley ...
R.H. Macy's Secretary (uncredited)
Patty Smith ...
Alice (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ...
Court Officer Bearing Mail (uncredited)
Ann Staunton ...
Mrs. Mara (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ...
Guard (uncredited)
Anthony Sydes ...
Peter (uncredited)
Lou (uncredited)
Basil Walker ...
Bellevue Intern (uncredited)

Directed by

George Seaton

Written by

George Seaton ... (written for the screen by)
Valentine Davies ... (story)

Produced by

William Perlberg ... producer

Music by

Cyril J. Mockridge ... (music) (as Cyril Mockridge)

Cinematography by

Lloyd Ahern Sr. ... director of photography (as Lloyd Ahern)
Charles G. Clarke ... director of photography (as Charles Clarke)

Film Editing by

Robert L. Simpson ... film editor (as Robert Simpson)

Editorial Department

Lyman Hallowell ... apprentice editor (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Richard Day
Richard Irvine

Set Decoration by

Ernest Lansing ... (set decorations)
Thomas Little ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

Kay Nelson ... (costumes designed by)

Makeup Department

Ben Nye ... makeup artist

Sound Department

Roger Heman Sr. ... sound (as Roger Heman)
Arthur von Kirbach ... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)

Visual Effects by

Fred Sersen ... special photographic effects

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Charles Le Maire ... wardrobe director
Sam Benson ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Location Management

Charlie Hall ... location manager (uncredited)

Music Department

Alfred Newman ... musical director
Edward B. Powell ... orchestral arrangements (as Edward Powell)
Maurice De Packh ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Earle Hagen ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

John C. Eagan ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Dirk Van H. Labberton ... technical advisor (uncredited)
May E. Romm ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 finds himself held at Bellevue where, in despair, he deliberately fails a mental examination to ensure his commitment. All seems lost until Doris' friend, Fred Gaily, reassures Kris of his worth and agrees to represent him in the fight to secure his release. To achieve that, Fred arranges a formal hearing in which he argues that Kris is sane because he is in fact Santa Claus. What ensues is a bizarre hearing in which people's beliefs are reexamined and put to the test, but even so, it's going to take a miracle for Kris to win. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Keywords
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 »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Christmas Miracle on 34th Street (United States)
  • The Big Heart (United States)
  • It's Only Human (United States)
  • The Big Heart (United Kingdom)
  • Le Miracle sur la 34ème rue (France)
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  • 96 min
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Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia In the untranslated dialogue with the Dutch girl, Santa Claus asks the child what she wants for Christmas. She says she wants nothing, telling Santa she got her gift by being adopted by her new mother. 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in The Screen Writer (1950). See more »
Soundtracks Jingle Bells See more »
Quotes Mr. Shellhammer: But... but maybe he's only a little crazy like painters or composers or... or some of those men in Washington.
See more »

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