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|Miracle on 34th Street|
|Based on||The screenplay by George Seaton |
From a story by Valentine Davies
|Written by||Jeb Rosebrook|
|Directed by||Fielder Cook|
|Starring|| Sebastian Cabot |
|Theme music composer||Sid Ramin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Editors|| Gene Milford |
Robert A. Daniels
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production companies||Norman Rosemont Enterprises, Inc.|
20th Century Fox Television
|Followed by||Miracle on 34th Street (1994 film)|
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1973 American made-for-television Christmas comedy-drama fantasy film directed by Fielder Cook. It is the third remake of the original 1947 film. Like the original, this film was produced by 20th Century Fox. Additionally, the New York City-based Macy's department store allowed their name to be used in this film, unlike later versions.
When an old man (Sebastian Cabot) spies the department store Santa Claus getting drunk before taking part in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, he immediately locates and complains to Karen Walker (Jane Alexander), the parade director. She promptly fires her Santa Claus and the old man, who turns out to be named Kris Kringle, volunteers to take his place for the sake of the children. Kris does so well during the parade that he is immediately hired to be the store's main Santa for the holiday period. At the same time, Karen's daughter, Susan (Suzanne Davidson), an intelligent but cynical six-year-old, meets her new neighbor, Bill Schafner (David Hartman), a lawyer, and decides to try and hook him up with her mother.
Kris, out of goodwill and to the horror of Mr. Schillhammer (Jim Backus), begins to send customers of Macy's to other stores if they can't find what they're looking for. In spite of Schillhammer's initial fear, the public embraces his actions as a goodwill marketing campaign and sales skyrocket, leading the profit obsessed Mr. Macy (David Doyle) to pursue the campaign in earnest. However, Karen and Shellhammer learn that Kris believes himself to actually be Santa Claus, a fact they frantically try to hide from their boss.
The store's psychiatrist, Dr. Sawyer, (Roddy McDowall) initially takes Kris on as a fascinating case study, but Kris' belief that it is Sawyer who has the problem leads to him becoming an enemy instead. Kris finds a kindred spirit in the janitor, Alfred (Barry Greenburg), who gets joy out of dressing as Santa at the local YMCA every year. He also learns that Susan has been raised not to believe in Santa Claus or possess an imagination, two things he intends to correct. Susan herself is further convinced of his authenticity because he possesses a real beard and in particular when he speaks Spanish to a young girl who doesn't speak English.
Through their friendship with Kris, who becomes Bill's roommate, Bill becomes closer to Karen, who is overworked and looking for companionship, and Susan begins to learn the value of imagination. She eventually asks Kris to get her a new house for Christmas to prove that he's Santa Claus, and later for help in ensuring Bill becomes her new father. Kris eventually passes the word on to Bill, who arranges for a real estate contract for Karen for a similar house and insists she buy the house for Susan's sake.
Sawyer's anger with Kris leads him to antagonize him and Alfred to the point that Kris throws a pie in his face during an encounter in the lunchroom. Reluctantly, Karen agrees to allow Sawyer to evaluate him again. After Kris helps Alfred with his yearly Santa Claus routine, Dr. Sawyer confronts him and lies to Kris and tells him that Karen believes him to be a menace. In light of this, Kris deliberately fails every one of his tests at Bellevue, leading to the hospital to recommend his commitment.
Kris reveals to Bill that he intends for Bill to get him off, making Bill realize that Kris wants the confrontation for the sake of proving to the world that he is the one and only Santa Claus. An angered Bill agrees, and a commitment hearing begins in which Judge Henry Harper (Tom Bosley) and D.A. Thomas Mara (James Gregory) reluctantly move forward with the case despite the terrible press it's giving their political ambitions.
During the course of the hearing, Mr. Macy is placed on the stand and upon contemplating the terrible press and lost sales if he declared his own Santa a fraud, he declares he believes in Kris and fires Sawyer before he leaves the courtroom. Similarly, Harper and Mara are eventually pressed to declare that Santa Claus is real when Bill points out the terrible press, but the D.A. demands that Bill prove Kris is the one and only Santa Claus.
Bill and Karen are about to give up on the case as hopeless when Susan gives Bill a letter to pass on to Kris, and Bill realizes that hundreds of children write to him every year. He quickly manipulates the court to recognize the authority of the Postal Service, and arranges the post office to deliver all of Santa's mail to the court. As Bill papers the court room in Kris' mail, Judge Harper dismisses the case in Kris' favor (as he quietly slips a letter of his own into the pile).
At the celebration at the memorial home, Susan loses faith in Kris when she doesn't get her house. However, on the way back into New York, Bill and Karen drive her past the house she asked for, leading Susan to rush inside and find it even has the swing she asked for. As Karen and Bill discover Kris's distinct cane, they realize he made the arrangements and declare their love for each other.
Though Sebastian Cabot was known for having a beard at the time the film was made, he instead shaved it off and wore a false beard for this role due to the make-up artists failing at whitening his natural beard. Notably, the dialog in which Susan discovers his beard is real is still kept.
Natalie Wood, who played Susan in the original film, was originally offered the role of Karen Walker, with the idea that her real life daughter would play Susan and Robert Wagner, her husband at the time, would play Bill Schaffer. Wood declined due to concerns over her daughter being too young to start acting.
The film was very clearly shot during the summer as many outdoor shots depict lush, green trees.
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 American Christmas comedy-drama film released by 20th Century Fox, written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. The film has become a perennial Christmas favorite.
Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot was a British actor. He is best remembered as the gentleman's gentleman, Giles French, opposite Brian Keith's character, William "Uncle Bill" Davis, in the CBS-TV sitcom Family Affair (1966–1971). He was also known for playing the Wazir in the film Kismet (1955) and Dr. Carl Hyatt in the CBS-TV series Checkmate (1960–1962).
Edmund Gwenn was an English actor. On film, he is best remembered for his role as Kris Kringle in the Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street (1947), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the corresponding Golden Globe Award. He received a second Golden Globe and another Academy Award nomination for the comedy film Mister 880 (1950). He is also remembered for being in four films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Mrs. Claus is the legendary wife of Santa Claus, the Christmas gift-bringer in Western Christmas tradition. She is known for making cookies with the elves, caring for the reindeer, and preparing toys with her husband.
Robert Emmet Hannegan was a St. Louis, Missouri politician who served as Commissioner of Internal Revenue from October 1943 to January 1944. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1944 to 1947 and United States Postmaster General from 1945 to 1947. After his political career, in 1947, Hannegan and partner Fred Saigh purchased the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. But Hannegan, ill with heart disease, sold his share in the team to Saigh a few months before his death.
Motion pictures featuring Santa Claus constitute their own subgenre of the Christmas film genre. Early films of Santa revolve around similar simple plots of Santa's Christmas Eve visit to children. In 1897, in a short film called Santa Claus Filling Stockings, Santa Claus is simply filling stockings from his pack of toys. Another film called Santa Claus and the Children was made in 1898. A year later, a film directed by George Albert Smith titled Santa Claus was created. In this picture, Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and proceeds to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. Santa Claus' Visit in 1900 featured a scene with two little children kneeling at the feet of their mother and saying their prayers. The mother tucks the children snugly in bed and leaves the room. Santa Claus suddenly appears on the roof, just outside the children's bedroom window, and proceeds to enter the chimney, taking with him his bag of presents and a little hand sled for one of the children. He goes down the chimney and suddenly appears in the children's room through the fireplace. He distributes the presents and mysteriously causes the appearance of a Christmas tree laden with gifts. The scene closes with the children waking up and running to the fireplace just too late to catch him by the legs. A 1909 film by D. W. Griffith titled A Trap for Santa Claus shows children setting a trap to capture Santa Claus as he descends the chimney, but instead capture their father who abandoned them and their mother but tries to burglarize the house after he discovers that she inherited a fortune. A 29-minute 1925 silent film production titled Santa Claus, by explorer/documentarian Frank E. Kleinschmidt, filmed partly in northern Alaska, feature Santa in his workshop, visiting his Eskimo neighbors, and tending his reindeer. A year later, another movie titled Santa Claus was produced with sound on De Forest Phonofilm. Over the years, various actors have donned the red suit, including Leedham Bantock in Santa Claus (1912), Monty Woolley in Life Begins at Eight-thirty (1942), Alberto Rabagliati in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966), Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places (1983), Jan Rubes in One Magic Christmas (1985), David Huddleston in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), Jonathan Taylor Thomas in I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998), and Ed Asner in Elf (2003). Later films about Santa vary, but can be divided into the following themes shown below.
According to traditional festive legend in some parts of the world, Santa Claus's reindeer are said to pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The commonly cited names of the nine reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph, although Donner is sometimes called Donder and Blitzen is sometimes called Blixem.
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion Christmas television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in New York, New York. The film stars the voices of Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Robie Lester, Joan Gardner and Paul Frees, as well as an assistant song performance by the Westminster Children's Choir. The film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. It is based on the hit Christmas song "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town", which was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie for Leo Feist, Inc. and introduced on radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934, and the story of Saint Nicholas.
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Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary character originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy to well-behaved children, and either coal or nothing to naughty children. He is said to accomplish this with the aid of Christmas elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and flying reindeer who pull his sleigh through the air.
A Flintstone Christmas is a 1977 animated Christmas television special featuring characters from The Flintstones franchise. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and is the second Christmas-themed animated work in the franchise, after the 1964 episode "Christmas Flintstone." Both feature the character Fred Flintstone taking on the role of Santa Claus. The special first aired on NBC on December 7, 1977.
"Night of the Meek" is the first segment of the thirteenth episode from the first season (1985–86) from the television series The Twilight Zone. It is a remake of the original The Twilight Zone series episode, "The Night of the Meek", about a drunken department store Santa who finds a magical sack that can create presents and becomes a real-life Santa Claus. The title is almost unchanged from the original episode, even though the monologue from which the title was derived was replaced.
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas comedy drama fantasy film written and produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield. It stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, and Dylan McDermott, and is the first theatrical remake of the original 1947 film. Like the original, this film was released by 20th Century Fox.
Jonathan Meath is an American TV producer based in Boston who is notable for children's television production. He was Senior Producer of the TV game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? He produced Zoom (1999) and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. He co-founded a production company called Andanzura. In addition, he is notable for having a dual career as a professional Santa Claus. He made numerous appearances in various media as Santa, including ABC's Good Morning America show, and at New York's Radio City Music Hall with The Rockettes. He appeared on the cover of Boston Magazine as Father Christmas. He was described by National Public Radio and Time Magazine as a "top Santa", and appeared as Santa in a Delta Airline's in-flight safety video.
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"The Miracle on 34th Street" is the Christmas episode of the American anthology television series The 20th Century Fox Hour. Broadcast on December 14, 1955, it was directed by Robert Stevenson, with stars Macdonald Carey, Teresa Wright and Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle. This version, now digitally remastered, has been included in several home video releases of the original 1947 film version as a bonus feature.
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Kringle is an American children's novel by author Tony Abbott. The story chronicles the origins of Kris Kringle, also known as Santa Claus. The book was released in 2005.
Noelle is a 2019 American Christmas film written and directed by Marc Lawrence, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film stars Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, the daughter of Kris Kringle. It also stars Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty, and Shirley MacLaine. In the film, when Noelle's brother Nick is stressed from all the pressure of taking over for their father, he leaves and doesn't come back. Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas. It was released on November 12, 2019 on Disney+, receiving mixed reviews from critics.