Excellent and warm-hearted Christmas Movie, if a bit dated.
- Miracle on 34th Street review by PV
Little known fact? Edmund Gwenn became the first Welsh actor to win an Oscar for his role as Kris Kringle here.
OK, so this has dated quite a bit since 1947 (there is a newer version from the 80s with Richard Attenborough in the Santa role). I can imagine feminists spitting feathers at the portrayal of women and their aspirations - one wife wishes at one point she'd married a baker or a butcher and not an overcomplicated publisher.
And it's amusing (and sad) to see how much better society used to be in terms of manners, courtesy and people trusting their neighbours. These days the little girl here would be wrapped in cotton wool, never allowed to talk to strangers or go out, and would be sat for hours in her room staring at her screen (and probably obese too).
The legal scenes are funny and intelligent - well-paced too.
Anyway, this is still a fine Christmas film - the ending is weak and unrealistic. But apart from that I enjoyed it all. Not as good as It's a Wonderful Life or Alistair Sim in A Christmas Carol. But a top 10 Christmas movie.
4.5 stars rounded down.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
One of The Best Christmas Films
- Miracle on 34th Street review by GI
Along with It's A Wonderful Life (1946) Miracle on 34th Street is the Christmas film that should be watched every year. It remains a constant delight, a comedy with real heart and enchantment that captures the magic of the holiday and its attack on the commercialism of Christmas resonates today. Winning an Oscar for his performance Edmund Gwenn plays a kindly old man who calls himself Kris Kringle who gets hired by Doris (Maureen O'Hara), a manager at a big Manhattan Department Store, to be their Santa Claus. He's marvellously good with the children but when he begins declaring he is the real Santa he finds himself facing an insanity hearing. It's up to Doris' lawyer boyfriend (John Payne) to prove that Kris really is Santa. The story is just lovely and it attempts to recall the imagination and innocence of childhood for adults not only in the film but for viewers too. This is exemplified in the character of Susan, Doris' daughter, who has been schooled by her mother not to believe in fantasy, played by Natalie Wood, who is an utter delight in the film. This is a Christmas classic, a story about keeping hold of your dreams and imagination however old you get. It's one to seek out for family viewing and it will leave a warm feeling for everyone. (a 1994 remake isn't bad either but this, the first version, is the one to see)
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.