Christmas Movie #2
Synopsis: Jaded mom and daughter learn to believe a kindly old man can solve all of their problems.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “This year, Macy’s has hired the perfect department store Santa (Edmund Gwenn): he has an abundant belly, a snowy beard, twinkly eyes, and he claims his name is Kris Kringle! Despite his popularity, Kringle’s boss (Maureen O’Hara) is sceptical, and her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) believes that Santa is a myth. But when Kris is declared insane and put on trial, Susan and her mother begin to question their lack of faith, as it becomes clear that there is something special about this ‘Santa’”.
What Did I Learn?: Santa can always count on the cynicism and raw political posturing of judges and other elected officials to keep him out of the loony bin.
You Might Like This Movie If: You know that Santa Claus is just the guy to stand up to the over-commercialization of Christmas.
Really?: Maureen O’Hara’s character is surprisingly ok with the idea of her daughter hanging out with the nice man in the next apartment, but then, 1947 was a more innocent time. Parents hadn’t yet become convinced there are pedophiles lurking on every street corner.
Rating: Ed Gwenn provides a magical performance (I’d say he deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar), although most of the other actors come across as rigid and overly formal, and the dialogue often doesn’t sound like real speech. Miracle on 34th Street is a nice, heartwarming movie, but it does have a 1947 feel to it. 7.5/10 stars.