Miracle on 34th Street (1947) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Holidays

A fantastic Christmas film – it’s been remade and updated, but for me there’s nothing like the original 1947 version for a good feel-good film.

Look… it’s Santa, I mean Saint Nick, no I mean Kris Kringle

Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) turns up to the Macy’s Christmas parade only to be hired by Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) as a stand-in Santa (for UK audiences; Kris Kringle is our Saint Nick/Santa Claus). The current Kris Kringle is far too intoxicated and inebriation to be allowed near children. Doris Walker is a no-nonsense sales executive and single parent to a daughter and she’s brought her up to be intelligent and professional. She wants to give her daughter a head start in life by bypassing all the things that children do and believe in, so having imagination is not necessary. The new Santa goes down a hit at the parade and is hired to work at the store over the festive period. Rather than just act as a sales person for the Macy’s, he points people to the best presents and the best value all across the city, even at competing stores. The sales executives at Macy’s don’t like this at first, but because customers are raving about it they start to consider it as acceptable practice. Because customers are expressing their compliments to the store owner, they decide to adopt the policy across the entire sales force. Even competing stores start to take notice and soon stores all across the city are pointing customers to the best thing for them, not the best thing for profits. Unfortunately the Christmas love isn’t being felt by everybody everywhere, and soon Kris Kringle is jailed, institutionalized, and sent to a court hearing where his sanity is being questioned. Is it possible to prove that somebody really is Kris Kringle? Well one man believes he can in prove the identity of the mysterious man who is making people feel good about themselves and the festive season. In fact its Doris Walker’s neighbor, Fred Gailey (John Payne) who thinks he can prove Kris Kringle is who he says he is. Fred is also trying to win over Doris and her nay-saying daughter that Christmas, is real.

This is a clever film with lots of social commentaries contained within it. These commentaries and ideas are as relevant today as they were 70+ years ago when this film came out. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why this film is almost timeless and has been updated a few times, but never drastically altered. This is also a film with a heart which makes it even better than just your run-of-the-mill Christmas film. There is no need for lots of fancy action scenes or a massively complex plot. The film is as poignant and compelling today as it was when it was released, and promises to give you a warm heart and a festive cheer.

This is a true great of cinema, and undoubtedly one of the best Christmas themed films there is. It achieves its warm emotions and cinematic prowess intelligently with class, good characters, clever writing, and good acting. I love this film and will probably watch it every December for evermore.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (8/10)

(Left to right) John Payne, Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn, and young Natalie Wood.

3 thoughts on “Miracle on 34th Street (1947) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

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