Miracle On 34th Street (1947) Parent Guide
With a twinkle of hope and a dash of faith, this warm and fuzzy film has become a Christmas tradition for many families.
Parent Movie Review
Just as classic as Virginia’s question “Is there really a Santa Claus?” is the 1947 black and white movie, Miracle On 34th Street. If, like Virginia, your children have asked this question, then this delightful tale may capture the essence of the jolly old man whose appearance is so eagerly anticipated each December.
Mrs. Walker (Maureen O’Hare) is anxious to find a new Santa when she discovers the man she hired to play the part in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is too intoxicated to even get on the float. Noticing an elderly gentleman (Edmund Gwenn) with a genuine set of whiskers in the crowd, she promptly offers him the job. He proves so convincing that she asks him to continue in the role and be the department store’s Santa. But she regrets her hasty decision when she learns that her new employee calls himself (and really believes he is) Kris Kringle.
Since the day she was divorced by her own prince charming, Mrs. Walker has not believed in fairy tales and has carefully taught her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) to be just as skeptical. But when their neighbor Mr. Gailey (John Payne) takes Susan to meet Santa while they are waiting for her mother to finish work, Mr. Kringle’s charm catches the young girl completely off guard.
Susan is not the only one who is confused about Mr. Kringle’s true identity. The fact is, a little of his sparkle seems to be wearing off on almost everyone he associates with—except for Macy’s staff psychologist who believes the old man is delusional, and has him thrown into a mental institution. With his sanity in question, Mr. Kringle must face a court hearing, where the state of New York will decide if there really is a Santa Claus.
With a twinkle of hope and a dash of faith, this warm and fuzzy film has become a Christmas tradition for many families. But, if you have not yet had to answer those awkward queries regarding the authenticity of that midnight visitor, you may want to wait a few years before sharing it with your little ones.Starring Maureen O'Hare, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release May 2, 1947. Updated July 25, 2016
Miracle On 34th Street (1947) Parents' Guide
Mrs. Walker feels very strongly that her daughter should not believe in fairy tales or myths. If you enjoyed this movie, it is a safe bet that you don’t completely agree with her. What purpose or role do you feel these stories or characters should play?
This film (like many fairy tales) may imply that wishing for something, and believing hard enough, is all that is required to make dreams come true. Why isn’t that true in real life?
The most recent home video release of Miracle On 34th Street (1947) movie is October 6, 2009. Here are some details…
Miracle On 34th Street (1947): Blu-Ray Edition
Release Date: 6 October 2009
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases on Blu-ray the 1947 classic, Miracle On 34th Street. The Disc is presented in full screen, with: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (English) and Mono audio tracks (Spanish and French). Subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Bonus extras included with this Blu-ray edition include:
- Audio commentary by Maureen OHara
- AMC Back Story: Miracle On 34th Street
- Movietone News: Hollywood Spotlight
- Promotional Spot
- Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floating in History
- Poster Gallery
DVD Notes: Miracle on 34th Street: Special Edition
DVD Release Date: 21 November 2006
If your family is good this year, perhaps Santa will bring you this DVD special edition of Miracle on 34th Street. The two-disc set provides both the black & white movie (in its original full screen format) and a colorized version. For extra trimmings the package includes a commentary by Maureen OHara, a poster gallery and the featurettes: Hollywood Backstory, Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floating In History, Movietone News: Hollywood Spotlight, and a one-hour “TV remake” broadcast in 1955 on The 20th Century Fox Hour of Stars program. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Surround 5.1 Sound (English) and Dolby Mono (English, Spanish and French) with subtitles in English and Spanish.
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Child actor Natalie Wood went on to have a long Hollywood career. Look for her as Maria in the musical West Side Story. Maureen O’Hara who plays Mrs. Walker also took on the role of a mother in the Disney classic The Parent Trap. A remake of Miracle on 34th Street was done in 1994, staring Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, and Mara Wilson.