24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 22nd - Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street Poster

Year : 1947

Director: George Seaton

Starring: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood..

Miracle on 34th Street

 

I will leave you to decide whether the 1947 or 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street is the best. (It's the 1947 version obviously).

This is a real Christmas classic. In fact what could be more Christmassy than a court room tussle over the vagaries of judicial process - well quite a lot I suppose when you think about it.

The film tells the story of Kris Kringle, an old man, who through circumstances, luck and knowledge of Santa Claus he gets a job at Macy's department store on 34th street as their Santa. Kris excels at his job and is a sensation - with everyone having good word to say for him. But when Kris contends that he is the real Santa the department store ask their inhouse physician to make sure Kris is mentally suitably equipped to be an employee for the firm. Upset by his inquirers previous behaviour Kris deliberately fails a sanity test so that he may be permanently remanded in a mental institution. Buoyed by the warmth of feeling he has passed onto others a legal challenge is made to attempt to get him out of the institution. When the case gets to court the case for the defence is that Kris Kringle is not mad on the ground that Kris Kringle is actually Santa. Good luck with that then.

Much like It's A Wonderful life form the previous year Miracle on 34th Street manages to infuse within its story a certain ideal about Christmas itself, with its suggestion that even if Kringle is not the real Santa, the faith and belief that people have in Mr Kringle means the question is of whether he is Santa is irrelevant and further that the belief is all that matters. You cant argue with that I suppose. With its great story line it is one of those, precious few, constantly repeated films that you never tire of.

An interesting aside about this film - it was originally released in the cinema during the summer as studio bosses were of the opinion that movies only do "business" during the summer. Due to it being a summer release the advance publicity deliberately made no mention of the fact that the film is about Christmas.

Miracle on 34th Street is at December 22nd on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition).

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