Miracle on 34th Street

( 17 )

Overview

Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Serving as a last-minute replacement for the drunken Santa who was to have led Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Kringle is offered a job as a Macy's toy-department Santa. Supervisor Maureen O'Hara soon begins having second thoughts about hiring Kris: it's bad enough that he is laboring under the delusion that he's the genuine Saint Nick; but when he begins advising customers to shop elsewhere for toys that they can't find at ...
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Overview

Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Serving as a last-minute replacement for the drunken Santa who was to have led Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Kringle is offered a job as a Macy's toy-department Santa. Supervisor Maureen O'Hara soon begins having second thoughts about hiring Kris: it's bad enough that he is laboring under the delusion that he's the genuine Saint Nick; but when he begins advising customers to shop elsewhere for toys that they can't find at Macy's, he's gone too far! Amazingly, Mr. Macy Harry Antrim considers Kris' shopping tips to be an excellent customer-service "gimmick," and insists that the old fellow keep his job. A resident of a Long Island retirement home, Kris agrees to take a room with lawyer John Payne during the Christmas season. It happens that Payne is sweet on O'Hara, and Kris subliminally hopes he can bring the two together. Kris is also desirous of winning over the divorced O'Hara's little daughter Natalie Wood, who in her few years on earth has lost a lot of the Christmas spirit. Complications ensue when Porter Hall, Macy's nasty in-house psychologist, arranges to have Kris locked up in Bellevue as a lunatic. Payne represents Kris at his sanity hearing, rocking the New York judicial system to its foundations by endeavoring to prove in court that Kris is, indeed, the real Santa Claus! We won't tell you how he does it: suffice to say that there's a joyous ending for Payne and O'Hara, as well as a wonderful faith-affirming denouement for little Natalie Wood. 72-year-old Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the "jolly old elf" Kringle; the rest of the cast is populated by such never-fail pros as Gene Lockhart as the beleaguered sanity-hearing judge, William Frawley as a crafty political boss, and an unbilled Thelma Ritter and Jack Albertson. Based on the novel by Valentine Davies, Miracle on 34th Street was remade twice: once for TV in 1973, and a second time for a 1994 theatrical release, with Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle.
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Special Features

All-new colorized version, original version in black & white; Feature audio commentary by Maureen O'Hara; AMC Backstory®: Miracle on 34th Street; Fox Movietone News footage: Hollywood Spotlight; Miracle on 34th Street TV version; Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floating in History featurette; Promotional short; Poster gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Miracle on 34th Street has been a favorite holiday movie since its release in 1947, and sharp-eyed observers may or may not have noticed that the film essentially retells the New Testament's story of the life of Jesus Christ. The movie was set in New York City in 1947 and utilized a large amount of location shooting (courtesy of Fox's Movietone News Studios, located in Manhattan) to give it a realistic texture; while screenwriter Valentine Davies' original story seems, superficially, to be the height of whimsy, about Santa Claus's appearance in the midst of that realistic setting, it becomes clear on closer examination that Davies borrowed liberally from the New Testament. Edmund Gwenn's Kris Kringle is almost more a substitute for Jesus than a screen-bound Santa. He enters a big city with his message of generosity and foresaking commercialism; he meets some doubters and some interested onlookers, and soon they're listening to him and starting to believe in him. Then he's betrayed and put on trial, not for his life but for his identity: he must prove he is who he says he is, or be imprisoned and labeled a madman and a pretender. The New York locations and use of New York "types," including Thelma Ritter's portrayal of a harried mother, Jack Albertson's postal worker, and Alvin Greenman as the simple, trusting Alfred (Greenman also appeared in the 1994 remake), only heightened the realism of this modified retelling of the trial of Jesus. And all of it was done so subtly--as opposed to, say, Frank Capra's more obvious retelling in Meet John Doe--that it was scarcely noticed by most viewers. However, the film adds a happy ending, reflecting a postwar feeling of confidence and helping to ensure its endurance across the decades.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/21/2006
  • UPC: 024543381723
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Full Frame
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,379

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maureen O'Hara Doris Walker
John Payne Fred Gailey
Edmund Gwenn Kris Kringle
Natalie Wood Susan Walker
Harry Antrim R.H. Macy
Jerome Cowan D.A. Thomas Mara
William Forrest Dr. Rogers
Herbert Heyes Mr. Gimbel
Gene Lockhart Judge Henry X. Harper
Jack Albertson Postal Worker
Lela Bliss Mrs. Shellhammer
Jeff Corey Reporter
Teddy Driver Terry
Mary Field Mother
William Frawley Charles Halloran
Robert Gist Window Dresser
Jane Green Mrs. Harper
Alvin Greenman Alfred
Porter Hall Mr. Sawyer
Alvin Hammer Mara's Assistant
Theresa Harris Cleo
Percy Helton Santa Claus
Robert Hyatt Thomas Mara, Jr.
Richard Irving Reporters
Robert Karnes
Robert Lynn Macy's Salesman
Anne O'Neal Secretary
Harry "Snub" Pollard Mail-Bearing Court Officer
Thelma Ritter Peter's Mother
Steve Roberts Guard
James Seay Dr. Pierce
Anthony Sydes Peter
Guy Thomajan Post Office Employee
Philip Tonge Mr. Shellhammer
Basil Walker Intern
Technical Credits
George Seaton Director, Screenwriter
Lloyd Ahern Jr. Cinematographer
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Valentine Davies Original Story, Screenwriter
Richard Day Art Director
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Irvine Art Director
Arthur L. Kirbach Sound/Sound Designer
Ernest Lansing Set Decoration/Design
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Kay Nelson Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
William Perlberg Producer
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Robert L. Simpson Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Miracle on 34th Street [Colorized]
1. Main Titles [1:28]
2. A Mistake With the Reindeer [1:27]
3. Replacement Santa [3:29]
4. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade [1:32]
5. The 50-Yard Line [5:44]
6. Christmas Commercialism [2:35]
7. A New Sales Tactic [3:16]
8. Susan Meets Kris Kringle [6:41]
9. A Store With a Heart [5:36]
10. Mental Examination [6:05]
11. A Lesson in Pretending [5:06]
12. Susan's Christmas Wish [3:42]
13. The Christmas Spirit Grows [4:02]
14. Alfred's Guilt Complex [2:33]
15. Sawyer's Bump [2:36]
16. Kris Gets Committed [5:49]
17. Anything but Routine [4:41]
18. Kringle's Kourt Kase [3:57]
19. Differences of Opinion [3:35]
20. Is There or Is There Not a Santa Claus? [8:14]
21. Susan's Letter [3:49]
22. Many Pieces of Evidence [4:58]
23. Christmas Morning [2:37]
24. Believe and Receive [2:32]
Disc #2 -- Miracle on 34th Street
1. Main Titles [1:28]
2. A Mistake With the Reindeer [1:27]
3. Replacement Santa [3:29]
4. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade [1:32]
5. The 50-Yard Line [5:44]
6. Christmas Commercialism [2:35]
7. A New Sales Tactic [3:16]
8. Susan Meets Kris Kringle [6:41]
9. A Store With a Heart [5:36]
10. Mental Examination [6:05]
11. A Lesson in Pretending [5:06]
12. Susan's Christmas Wish [3:42]
13. The Christmas Spirit Grows [4:02]
14. Alfred's Guilt Complex [2:33]
15. Sawyer's Bump [2:36]
16. Kris Gets Committed [5:49]
17. Anything but Routine [4:41]
18. Kringle's Kourt Kase [3:57]
19. Differences of Opinion [3:35]
20. Is There or Is There Not a Santa Claus? [8:14]
21. Susan's Letter [3:49]
22. Many Pieces of Evidence [4:58]
23. Christmas Morning [2:37]
24. Believe and Receive [2:32]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Miracle on 34th Street [Colorized]
   Play Movie
   Language Selection
      Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
      Audio: English Mono
      Audio: French Mono
      Audio: Spanish Mono
      Audio: Commentary by Maureen O'Hara
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Feature Audio Commentary by Maureen O'Hara: On
      Feature Audio Commentary by Maureen O'Hara: Off
Disc #2 -- Miracle on 34th Street
   Play Movie
   Language Selection
      Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
      Audio: English Mono
      Audio: French Mono
      Audio: Spanish Mono
      Audio: Commentary by Maureen O'Hara
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Feature Audio Commentary by Maureen O'Hara: On
      Feature Audio Commentary by Maureen O'Hara: Off
      AMC Backstory: Miracle on 34th Street
      Movietone News: Hollywood Spotlight
      Promotional Short
      The 20th Century Fox Hour of Stars - Miracle on 34th Street
      Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floating in History
      Poster Gallery
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Miracle on 34th Street

    We know Miracle on 34th Street is one of the most beloved films of all time and is a true cinema treasure. It is one of those films that simply becomes a part of your life and the next generation. With so many perfectly cast players, Edmund Gwynn (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance), John Payne, Natalie Wood and Thelma Ritter in her first film, I love it most for Maureen O'Hara. In terms of film history, she was one American cinema's great beauty's which may be why she was a bit underrated as an actress. O'Hara's red hair and green eye's were made for technicolor and her own naturally spunky nature crossed over into her film roles to the point that she was never window dressing for the male lead but always his equal partner. She was always a outstanding addition to any film she appeared in and in this wonderful little story of Christmas, I believe the O'Hara character is the heart and soul of the film even though we logically assume it is the Kris Kringle character. But the film is so expertly directed that we look at it as a nearly perfect ensemble piece. I've loved her work my entire life, obviously, and believe her to be Ireland's great gift to film. Shockingly, she was never 'Oscar'd, nor even nominated'. Here Esmeralda, in her first American film THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, is one of my favorite films of Miss O'Hara's. She was superb it the film but it had the misfortune of being released in that golden year of 1939 which was a rich, competitive year for classic performance on film. She was overlooked for major awards from HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY through THE QUIET MAN and OUR MAN IN HAVANA right up until ONLY THE LONELY. But we still have her and on several DVD'S in which now into her 90's she has gifted us with a few facinating oral history's concerning her work in MIRACLE and on the wonderful John Ford film, THE QUIET MAN. O'Hara worked for Ford five times in all and that say's alot about the actress. That brings me to her skillfully transformational role of Doris, mother to Natalie Wood's Susan character in MIRACLE on 34th STREET. To me the film seems to be centered around O'Hara going from Chistmas cynic to wide-eyed believer at the close of the film along with the daughter she has with all of the best intentions, made to see the world in black and white only with no gray tones. The journey begins with Edmund Gwynn's opening jaunt down an Avenue in NYC in which we learn right away from his first scene with the window dresser he encounters that he believes he is the real Santa Clause. We, the viewer's, like Doris are skeptical because we are adults and we are of course logical. My first viewing of the film was as a child so my opinion was that he was Santa. The film makes that very clear to the young viewer. But one of the great charms of the film is that later in adulthood it is still a joy to travel through the rich tableau of this Christmas classic and enjoy the story and wonderful characters all over agan. O'Hara's oral history of working on the film begins with the circumstances surrounding her being cast in the film and like her wonderful anecdotes on THE QUIET MAN, it was enough for me to buy the film for the third time. The first was on VHS in it's black and white version, then later the VHS colorized version and now it's better than ever on Blue Ray, with all the enhancements that provides, but mainly for the wonderful gift of Maureen O'Hara's priceless commentary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    As good if not better than the original!

    I loved the original 34th street and didn't expect much from a "new" version. But I thoroughly enjoy this movie and watch it at least 2 or 3 times every Christmas as well as a couple of times through the year. If you-deep down in your heart-believe in the magic of Santa and Christmas, you will love this movie too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Original Version Is The Best Version! Magnificent!

    This is a superb Thanksgiving/Christmas movie and the whole cast is wonderful, especially Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwenn and John Payne. I highly recommend buying this magnificent black and white classic on DVD! The remake starring Mara Wilson was okay but not great and lacked the charm and warmth of this version!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best fiction christmas story ever.

    A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS STORY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cute Movie

    ''Miracle on 34th Street'' really is a Christmas classic. Starring Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood, the film brings holiday cheer and warmth to the family. The plot line begins with and elderly man meandering down a busy street who pauses to correct a store decorator's arrangement of Santa's reindeer. He moves on to court to try to prove to the world that he is, in fact, Santa Clause; and in the process wins over the critical Susan (Natalie Wood), and her mother Mrs. Walker, portrayed by Maureen O'Hara.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A True classic

    This is my all time Favorite Chastmas Movie the remake just doesn't have the charm that this one does, A True classic, I hightly recommend it.

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