This a Christmas classic made in 1947 by director George Seaton. The movie revolves around a man named Kris Kringle who claims to be the real Santa Claus.
It starts when the annual Macy’s Santa Claus parade is ready to begin in New York City and the star of the parade; the Santa Claus is intoxicated. There in enters Kris Kringle played by Edmund Gwen who approaches the event organizer Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) to apprise her about the intoxicated Santa and when the drunken Santa is fired, Kringle takes his place.
Good response from the public and his perfect Santa image gets him the opportunity to be the Santa for the children’s visit at the Macy’s Department store.
When Kringle claims to be the real Santa, he scares Dorris as she has raised her young daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) not to believe in such nonsense as fairy tales and Santa. Meanwhile suave bachelor lawyer Fred Gailey (John Payne), a neighbor of Doris', befriends her daughter Susan, he questions mom's judgment and brings Susan to Macy's to meet Kris Kringle.
Kringle’s jolly behavior with the kids wins over the little girl. Seeing the department stores competing for the commercial success, Kringle tries his best to put the spirit of altruism above the gross mercantilism of his corporate bosses and brings a revolution, before he runs in with a fussy, incompetent store psychologist who finds him insane and schemes against him.
His friend and lawyer Gailey takes up his case to prove that he really is the Santa Claus. It takes a formal court proceeding to prove if Kris is sane for believing he's Santa Claus, where Gailey is able to actually prove that he's Santa by some cunning ploys.
What makes the movie enchanting is the pitch-perfect blend of social cynicism and human generosity. The real miracle in the movie is however breaking through the logical shell of a skeptical little girl and making her believe in fairy tales and Santa.
Edmund Gwenn gives the most outstanding, naturally engaging performance as, strangely, the only character that isn’t mundane. The movie takes consumerism and condemns it thoroughly. Miracle on 34th street is a delightful and heart-warming movie which instills the real spirit of Christmas in its viewers.
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