Miracle on 34th Streetby Valentine Davies
A white-bearded gentleman who appears at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade fills in for an unfit Santa Claus-and is asked to become the store's resident Santa. This Kris Kringle believes he is Santa, as do children from all over the city, and reindeer at the zoo nearby. A few skeptical souls try to have him declared insane, but miraculously, the State of New York, with the help of the U. S. Postal Service, come to the gent's rescue by declaring that he is indeed Santa Claus. Since its first publication in 1947, this tale has been treasured by generations of believers, making this Academy Award-winning story part of holiday traditions all across America. This facsimile edition faithfully re-creates the first hardcover publication, inviting new families or readers to celebrate both the story and the charm of the original design. A brief historical note, new in this edition, details the simultaneous development of the book and film.
Author Biography:Valentine Davies was born on August 25, 1905, in New York City. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1927 and attended drama school at Yale University. His work as a playwright was noticed by filmmakers; the proposed film adaptation of his Broadway musical Blow Ye the Winds brought him to Hollywood in the early 1940s. After writing the story Miracle on 34th Street, Davies wrote screenplays for the films It Happens Every Spring (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1949), The Glenn Miller Story (Universal, 1954), and Strategic Air Command (Paramount, 1955). He directed and wrote The Benny Goodman Story (Universal-International, 1956). Davies won an Academy Award for his original story for the film Miracle on 34th Street, andreceived several Academy Award nominations for subsequent films. He was nominated for Best Motion Picture Story for It Happens Every Spring; for Best Story and Screenplay for The Glenn Miller Story; and for Best Short Subjects Documentary for The House Without a Name (1956), which he produced.
Davies was a member of the Writers Guild of America, which since 1962 has presented the prestigious Valentine Davies Award to the member "whose contributions to the entertainment industry and the community-at-large [bring] dignity and honor to writers everywhere. " Honorees have included Norman Lear, Ray Bradbury, and Alan Alda.
At the time of his death in July 1961, at his home in Malibu, California, Davies was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“A good-hearted story about an enduring Christmas vision that never fails to fill the most jaded child with wonder.”—Newsweek
“This charming fairy tale for children of all ages centers around an old man who thinks he is Santa Claus. It makes a lot more sense than most of us would like to admit.”—Newsweek
“Reading the funny, touching fantasy may become a Yuletide habit like watching the movie.”—Publishers Weekly
“A highly recommended family or classroom read-aloud, this should quickly claim, as the film has, its own well-deserved niche for many holiday celebrations ahead.”—Booklist (boxed review)
“A splendid story.”—The New York Times Book Review
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.28(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.47(d)
Meet the Author
VALENTINE DAVIES (1905–1961) was a prominent Hollywood screenwriter. He was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a member of the Writers Guild of America, which now presents the Valentine Davies Award as one of its highest honors.
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I read this book as a child and have kept on reading it ever since. It is truely a Christmas Classic!
One of the best Holiday classics ever. The book follows the 1947 movie plot. A thoroughly enjoyable read that will appeal to young and old alike. Well written. Well edited. Recommend to anyone who enjoys Christmas stories. It will make you believe in Santa Clause again.
Store p .r . perhaps book based on script reads like one rather than a book that a movie was based on
Everyone who has ever seen the original 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street (we don’t like the remakes) knows the basic plot of this book. Kris Kringle is an elderly gentleman who lives at the Maplewood Home for the Aged in New York City, NY. When the Santa hired for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade shows up drunk, Doris Walker, the somewhat frosty, divorced Personnel Director at Macy’s, hires Kris to take his place, and Mr. Shellhammer, Head of the Toy Department, suggests that she keep Kris for the permanent job of Santa at Macy’s Department Store on 34th St., where he creates a lot of good will which even owner R. H. Macy notices. Kris even affects Doris’s daughter, six-year-old Susan, who has been brought up by her disillusioned mother to be as matter-of-fact as herself, and their neighbor and Doris’s would-be boyfriend Fred Gailey, a lawyer with whom Kris moves in. Everything is going well until people begin to find out that Kris actually believes that he is the real Santa Claus. So the Macy’s company psychologist, Albert Sawyer, who dislikes Santa Claus anyway, decides to have Kris committed to Bellevue insane asylum and does so secretly without Doris’s knowledge. When he learns about it, Fred petitions for a court hearing to decide Kris’s sanity and determines to have him declared sane. What will happen in court? And how will Susan react? Of course, those who have watched the film know the answer to those questions. Some people have complained that this is a mere “novelization” of the movie. Sometimes an existing book is made into a movie, and sometimes an existing movie is “novelized” into a book. What happened in the case of Miracle on 34th Street is not so clear. Author Valentine Davies (1905-1961) was a Hollywood screenwriter, but if I understand it correctly, he first wrote it in story form around 1944, then later submitted it to Twentieth Century-Fox, where it was turned into a film. It was decided to publish a book to coincide with the release of the film, so Davies reworked his story, fleshing it out with material from the screenplay. There are some noticeable differences between the movie and the book, but the basic plot is the same. The only objectionable items in the novel are one use of the “d” word, one appearance of the term “Good Lord” as an interjection, and the fact that Fred smokes a pipe. Otherwise, it is a really cute story.