Run out and buy a film that has been enjoyed by everyone who has seen it for almost 60 years. It's a can't miss gift! The film is sweet, innocent, warm-hearted, and is a perfect reminder of the childlike wonder we all had about Christmas – especially about old Kris Kringle.
Edmund Gwenn, who plays Kris Kringle, is such a perfect choice and does such a convincing job that I'm sure many an adult will believe in Santa Claus again once they have watched the film.
It is the type of Christmas classic that you will find yourself watching every year at this time and never tire of it. Soon you will not be able to celebrate the holidays without a viewing of director George Seaton's (Airport) film. There have been remakes (two) of the film, but neither is as good as the original.
When it is discovered that the Macy's Thanksgiving parade Santa Claus is a little inebriated, parade director Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara – Only the Lonely, The Quiet Man) goes into a panic. Her day and the parade are rescued when the perfect candidate to play Santa Claus appears. Sporting a real beard, a plump belly and a twinkle in his blue eyes he needs just the red suit to complete the look. The gentleman does a marvelous job and the crowd loves him. The head of Macy's even wants Doris to hire him to play Santa Claus in the store. Once again due to his jolly nature and honesty about where to find gifts at the cheapest prices kids and their parents love him.
Everything seems swell except for the fact that the gentleman insists that he is really Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn – Pride and Prejudice – 1940, The Keys of the Kingdom). This upsets Doris as she is a single mother who is raising her little daughter, Susan (Nathalie Wood – Peeper, West Side Story), not to believe in such nonsense. Despite his popularity with the public, Kringle is declared insane and put on trial after attacking a psychologist. During the trial everyone involved has their faith put to the test and they all begin to question whether they believe in Santa or not.
-AMC Backstory: Miracle on 34th Street
-Movietone News: Hollywood Spotlight
-The 20th Century Fox Hour of Stars – Miracle on 34th Street
-Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Floating in History