Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Description[from Freebase]

Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written by George Seaton from a story by Valentine Davies, directed by George Seaton and starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. It is the story of what takes place in New York City following Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as people are left wondering whether or not a department store Santa might be the real thing. Because of its Christmas theme, the film has become a perennial Christmas favorite. The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to Gentleman's Agreement. Davies also penned a short novella version of the tale, which was published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the film's release. The film has become a number one critic's choice over the years; many of them title the film the best Christmas film ever. Kris Kringle, AKA Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn), is indignant to find that the person (Percy Helton) assigned to play Santa in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is intoxicated.

Review

Santa on trial! This Christmas classic has the inimitable Edmund Gwenn (who won an Oscar for his role) in full Santa regalia, wandering through Manhattan and telling a storefront setup guy he’s got the reindeer out of order in the window display. The lighthearted comedy continues as Kris Kringle gets a job at Macy’s department store… where he promptly begins sending customers elsewhere. This in turn lands him in a shrink’s office and en route to a sanitarium. That’s right: Good customer service is completely insane! The third act of the film gives it its rousing core, as Kringle is seated before a judge to prove he isn’t crazy. The outpouring of support for him (including nonbeliever Maureen O’Hara and daughter Natalie Wood) makes the movie utterly priceless and unforgettable. You want the spirit of Christmas? It’s all right here.

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