Christmas Movies: Miracle on 34th Street

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Miracle on 34th Street is another Christmas classic.

The film was based on a story by Valentine Davies. George Seaton, wrote and directed the movie.

The story is about Kris Kringle who is indignant to find the Santa at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade intoxicated. He complains to event director Doris Walker and soon takes drunk Santa’s place and is hired for the Macy’s flagship store. He then sends customers to the store with the best deal. Through Doris, he meets her daughter Susan and neighbor and attorney, Fred Gailey. After their friendship grows, others at Macy’s has him declared unstable and he goes to court where he is determined to be the “one and only” Santa. In the end, he softens Doris and Susan’s heart to find love and a new home.

The original film, from 1947, starred Maureen O’Hara as Doris; Natalie Wood as Susan; John Payne as fred Gailey; and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle.

Studio head Darryl F. Zanuck decided to release the film in May instead of December.

Miracle on 34th Street received mostly positive reviews from critics.”

Miracle on 34th Street for Best Actor in a Support Role, Best Writing Original Story and Best Writing Screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost.

1994 Remake

A radio adaptation was made in 1947; a Broadway musical version in 1963; and several TV specials. The best known adaptation is the 1994 feature film. Parts of this version were rewritten and changed, although the heart of the story remained the same.

In 1985, it became one of the first full-length black and white films to be colorized.

In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. The Academy Film Archive preserved Miracle on 34th Street in 2009.

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