Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
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The original 1947 version of this Valentine Davies story follows the misadventures of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) as he gets a job playing Santa Claus at Macy's department store in New York City. Natalie Wood is the little girl who tells him she doesn't believe in Santa, and Maureen O'Hara and John Payne are the couple who help Kris through a trial in which he must prove he's the jolly fellow from the North Pole. A sweet movie and perennial Christmas favorite, this is one of those movies that gets under your skin and must be revisited every so often. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as the scorned woman (isn't it funny how a female character in a romantic comedy from the 1940's is so strong and independant, while nowadays the romatic leads are usually scatterbrained flaky blondes?), and Natalie Wood steals the show as the perfectly well brought up little girl who confuses imagination with schitzophrenia ("it's when you think you see something that isn't there" she tells Kris Kringle).
I remember loving this movie as a child, but it is actually a grown-up movie. Politics, pop psychology, and commercialism all take a wicked beating... if you are looking for treakly magical endings, you might be surprised at the motives behind what finally 'saves the day.'
If you've never seen it, or if you've only seen the 1994 sacharine-sticky-sweet remake, then you must see this movie. It is great for all ages: the kids will see the heartwarming plot, and the teenagers and adults will understand the delightful cynisism that crops up in the most surprising places.
A very spunky 8-year-old Natalie Wood helps to make this movie an even bigger treat. Natalie shows an acting talent in this film that belies her tender age. She gives one of the best performances by a child actor in a film I've ever come across. "34th Street" was Natalie's 4th screen appearance, in a successful career that would eventually span 52 films before her sudden and tragic death at the age of only 43.
Miss Wood seems well-suited for her good-sized role as "Susan Walker" in this movie. She blends perfectly with the other actors, and her scenes with Gwenn (who, of course, plays the part of "Kris Kringle" to utter perfection) are highly memorable.
Could the studio have possibly found a better choice for the part of "Kris" (Santa) in this motion picture? Well, perhaps. But ONLY if the REAL Santa Claus were to have taken a break from his duties at the North Poll and played the part himself. Oh...wait...Gwenn turns out to BE the REAL Santa, doesn't he? LOL! :)
Yes, Edmund Gwenn actually DOES become "Santa Claus" for the 97-minute running time of this movie. He's *that* believable in the role. Gwenn was so good here that he won an Oscar for his memorable performance (Best Supporting Actor).
This is a perfect movie to show your children. It must be a lot of fun watching a child's reaction to seeing Mr. Gwenn's very realistic portrayal of the portly fur-clad Christmas-time gift-giver. To a child that still does believe that Mr.Read more ›
Kris Kringle (Edmond Gwenn) is appalled to find a Santa preparing to be in the Thanks Giving Day parade is intoxicated. Kris is hired to play the part of him self. He befriends a child Susan (Natalie Wood) who does not believe in Santa or the tooth fairy or giants. His employer Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara) is dubious of her decision to hire him after learning that he believes he is Santa. In the spirit of Christmas he brings two rival stores together and is in the process of bringing the girl around to believing. Naturally I left out many other controversial questions and fun scenes. Among them is one where a Dutch girl recognizes him as Santa and he speaks Dutch to her.
Through a few misunderstandings he is put on trial and must prove he is Santa. Can his friend, who happens to be a lawyer, prove this? If not what will happen to him? What effect will this have on Susan? Or you?
With an all-star cast of Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood, this movie shows what good acting and plot are all about. Oh sure, there's been a remake of this classic like many others, which I haven't seen, but I hear it's not even worth watching because the story is so convoluted.
For starters, the acting is great and each actor/actress portrays his/her character extremely well. The writing is great also in that the lines are never corny and every situation in the movie is meaningful. But what makes this movie a classic is its acting. All of the actors/actresses got along very well while filming this movie and it is evident in their performance. The chemistry between the characters is genuine and really makes the movie come to life.
I truly pitty all those who dare say that the remake of this film is just as good or better than the original. NO REMAKE ever beats classic movies. I still scratch my head in confusion when directors try to do so.
If you're contemplating whether you should buy this movie, don't. BUY it as soon as you can. It's a classic and you can preserve it in DVD format.
Most recent customer reviews
Doesn't work in our Blue Ray player. Had to buy another blue ray for this to work, : (Published 2 months ago by A. Lee
just love this movie and now I can watch it when ever I want to :)Published 5 months ago by Yvette St-Laurent