Miracle on 34th Street (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The 1947 holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street is transplanted to the 1990s with few changes in this family-oriented remake. The screenplay by the prolific John Hughes sticks close to the original outline, centering on Macy's executive Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) and her young daughter Susan (Mara Wilson), neither of whom much believes in the spirit of Christmas. Dorey is in charge of hiring Macy's Santas, including an old man named Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough). He does a remarkably convincing job, and he soon reveals that he actually believes himself to be Santa Claus. The authorities threaten to place the old man in an insane asylum, but a young lawyer comes to his defense. Meanwhile, Dorey and Susan find their own defenses melting and become reacquainted with the power of faith. Hughes and director Les Mayfield add a few modern touches, making Susan slightly more cynical and adding the requisite soulless corporate villains. Viewers familiar with the original may still prefer Edmund Gwenn's original Kris Kringle and consider the remake unnecessary, although the newer version reflects enough of the earlier film's spirit to prove entertaining to modern family audiences. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
PG (Rated PG for some mild language.)
Drama , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox

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Mara Wilson
as Susan
Richard Attenborough
as Kriss Kringle
Robert Prosky
as Judge Harper
J.T. Walsh
as Collins
Jane Leeves
as Alberta
Simon Jones
as Shellhammer
William Windom
as C.F. Cole
Jack McGee
as Tony Falacchi
Joss Ackland
as Victor Landbergh
Joe Pentangelo
as Bailiff
Horatio Sanz
as Orderly
Lisa Sparrman
as Mrs. Collins
Kimberly Smith
as Court Clerk
Harve Kolzow
as Businessman
Bianca Rose Pucci
as Little Girl
Jimmy Joseph Meglio
as Little Boy
Bill Buell
as Band Director
Ron Beattie
as Priest
Rosanna Scotto
as News Anchor
Michele Marsh
as News Anchor
Joe Moskowitz
as News Anchor
Lester Holt
as Newscaster
Susie Park
as Newscaster
Janet Kauss
as Newscaster
Mary McCormack
as Myrna Foy
Alvin Greenman
as The Doorman
Allison Janney
as The Woman
Greg Noonan
as Cmdr. Coulson
Byrne Piven
as Dr. Hunter
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Critic Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

If this doesn't get you into the holiday spirit, may all of your presents be fruitcakes. (published 12-2-94)

January 4, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

The best version.

January 5, 2004
Reno Gazette-Journal

While [this] version of the Christmas spirit on trial as written by John Hughes isn't awful, it's also more disappointing than Seaton's take nearly half a century earlier.

Full Review… | December 12, 2003
Movie Views

Was this absolutely necessary?

July 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A palid remake that misses the point of the story. Stick with the original!

April 3, 2003
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Decent remake that goes on far too long.

April 1, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Audience Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

"Miracle on 34th Street" has one of the greatest christmas tales of all time at it's fingertips, and it dazzles with humour, sadness, and too many heartfelt moments to count. This film knows what it is trying to be, and therefore, it is one of my favourite christmas films of all time. As one girl is told that santa clause does not exist, she comes into contact with a white bearded man who claims to be the real thing. When he convinces her, she asks him for a new house, a dad, and a baby brother. If she doesn't receive this, then santa clause will not be real to her. There is so much christmas spirit in this film, and every touching moment will bring a tear to your eye. The conclusion will have even adults believing in christmas again. If you have not seen this amazing holiday film, I suggest it be the next one you watch. "Miracle on 34th Street" is a miracle on it's own!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Uplifting and sweet but verging on twee throughout. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer


A pretty darn awesome remake. It may bring some extra 90's cheese, mostly due to the needlessly dramatic music, and it may be overlong in places, but this certainly works. Attenborough is the only person I could imagine taking over this role. He comes across as a genuinely kind and considerate man, with nothing but kindness in his heart. Like the original, it keeps silent as to whether he is Santa or not. The court scene is particularly funny, with a few fist pumping moments. I'd still pick the original, but if you can't sit your whole family down in front of a black and white film, this certainly doesn't offend the original.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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