It takes a lot for me to fall for a sentimental Christmas movie, but this one has excellent balance, charming actors and an original angle that still remains pertinent seventy years after the fact. It all thrives on Edmund Gwenn's definitive performance as Kris Kringle, of course, the man who professes to be the true St. Nick despite the protests of his bosses and coworkers at a busy New York Macy's. His warmth is enveloping and genuine, from the twinkle in his eye to the snug connection he shares with the children. The film's cornerstone moment is an unexpectedly touching little interaction between Gwenn's Santa and a freshly-adopted little Dutch girl who blossoms when he speaks her native tongue. It's stuffed with such surprising bits of whimsy, even as the drama ratchets and we find ourselves in the midst of a courtroom drama, which keeps things from feeling excessively heavy. In short, a heartwarming bit of holiday cheer that nails the spirit of the season without feeling too cheesy, preachy or religious. Well worth its reputation as a classic.