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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.
All Critics (47)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (45)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (3)
It is light, it is charming, it is delightfully funny and completely captivating. It is all that, and something more.
A Christmas season evergreen.
The original (and best) version of the cockle-warming tale of a man who claims to be the real-life Santa Claus.
A surefire, brightly cynical bit of whimsy.
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.
Miracle on 34th Street isn't great art or high comedy, but it is good entertainment.
The acting is superb all around. The script is lovely, good spirited and perfect viewing for the Christmas season.
[A] heartwarming piece of Hollywood comedy-fantasy.
After It's A Wonderful Life, there really is no better flick to curl up with over the festive season.
Children may prefer the newer, more obvious version, but parents will warm to this utterly beguiling original.
One of the few perfect and genuinely emotional Christmas movies that will live on forever...
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.
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?
Wholeheartedly smart, funny and hopeful, it never ceased to bring smiles for one must agree, even the most grounded sort, the age old truth and wisdom that belies it's wonderfully crafted and surprisingly complex, intriguing and delightful story and dialogue. To captivate the generations of the true of heart, it succeeds in its purity, depth, charms and all that sentimentality that everyone needs.
After being subjected to the remake in elementary school, I did not have high hopes for this classic, but when I stumbled upon it this holiday season I was simply blown away. Stop and think for a second: this is one of the most original films ever made. The conceit in itself is what makes this film stand the test of time, and its charm can make a believer of anyone. Take the workaday New York of the late forties, and through Santa Claus - no, really, that's him! - into it. Genius. What may have surprised me most was how soon after the Second World War this film came; I wouldn't expect this indictment of materialism on the heels of victory. A masterpiece fit for the whole family, one I may just watch every year from now on.
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