Miracle on 34th Street (1947)



Critic Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.

Movie Info

Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Serving as a last-minute replacement for the drunken Santa who was to have led Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Kringle is offered a job as a Macy's toy-department Santa. Supervisor Maureen O'Hara soon begins having second thoughts about hiring Kris: it's bad enough that he is laboring under the delusion that he's the genuine Saint Nick; but when he begins advising customers to shop elsewhere for toys that … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Romance, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Valentine Davies, George Seaton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 16, 2001
20th Century Fox


as Kris Kringle

as Fred Gailey

as Doris Walker

as Susan Walker

as Mr. Sawyer

as Judge Henry X. Harpe...

as Charles Halloran

as District Attorney Th...

as Mr. Shellhammer

as Post Office Employee

as Mr. Macy

as Mrs. Shellhammer

as Peter's Mother

as Dr. Pierce

as Mother

as Mrs. Mara

as Thomas Mara Jr.

as Reporter

as Secretary

as Dr. Rogers

as Mara's Assistant

as Drum Majorette

as Santa Claus

as Mrs. Harper

as Dutch Girl

as Post Office Employee

as Macy's Salesman

as Mail-Bearing Court O...

as Secretary

as Mail-Bearing Court O...

as Intern

as Mr. Gimbel

as Window Dresser

as Alice
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Miracle on 34th Street

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Critic Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (9)

It is light, it is charming, it is delightfully funny and completely captivating. It is all that, and something more.

Full Review… | May 11, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A Christmas season evergreen.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The original (and best) version of the cockle-warming tale of a man who claims to be the real-life Santa Claus.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

A surefire, brightly cynical bit of whimsy.

Full Review… | December 4, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Yes, Miracle On 34th Street is pure Hollywood hokum... But the film is pretty savvy too, getting a jump on mounting anxieties about the post-war cult of consumerism.

Full Review… | December 3, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Miracle on 34th Street isn't great art or high comedy, but it is good entertainment.

Full Review… | January 23, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

Fred Gailey: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.

"Capture the spirit of Christmas with this timeless classic!"

Miracle on 34th Street is every bit the timeless holiday classic I had heard it was, and is now easily my second favorite Christmas film behind only It's a Wonderful Life. This is a heartwarming and smart film that stays away from all the normal cliches that most holiday films get wrapped up in. It's original in every way, but what you have to love about it is the way it makes you feel. It makes me want to believe in Santa Clause.

A man arrives in New York sporting a long white beard and claims his name is Kris Kringle. He is hired on as Macy's Santa Clause when he successfully replaces a drunk Santa Clause for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. A few people begin to think that Kris is insane because of his belief that he is Santa Clause and he is soon brought to trial for commitment to a insane asylum. 

The cast is fabulous in this one. Maureen O'Hara is terrific as a mother who doesn't want her daughter believing in any fantasies such as Santa Clause. John Payne gives a good performance as the neighbor of O'Hara's character and Kris's lawyer. Natalie Wood plays Susan, the daughter who doesn't believe in Santa Clause in one of her first roles and her first major role. And Edmund Gwenn is delightful, embodying the very essence of what we would think Santa Clause to be in an Oscar winning role. 

Miracle on 34th Street is definitely going to be a new tradition for me around the Christmas season. I'm just a little disappointed that this wasn't always a holiday tradition for me. My parents screwed up there I guess. It's a must see movie, that has wonderful heart and beautiful and witty sense of humor. This is definitely a movie to put on your must see list. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Some old fat guy shows up in New York and claims, now get this for yer holiday giggles, that he's Santa Claus! No. Really? Yer kiddin' me! Would I lie? Santa Claus. Can you believe the nerve of some people? And right around Christmas too. They oughtta lock that fruitcake up is what they should do. Where's the sensitivity? Where's the humanity? Where is the spirit of Christmas?!? I mean, c'mon, I don't believe in Santa Claus or nuthin', but why mess wit th' minds o' dem little kids is all? I mean, who but a kid would believe?
Santa Claus!

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

It's a Wonderful Life is often regarded as the greatest Christmas film of all time but for me the original Miracle on 34th Street just beats it. Edmund Gwenn is the perfect Santa and the young Natalie Wood was perfectly cast. It's not stupid of schmaltzy either unlike many contemporary Christmas films and even It's a Wonderful Life for that matter. Not just my favourite Christmas film of all time but one of my overall favourites of all time.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Miracle on 34th Street Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Dann M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Dann M (3 years ago)

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