Thursday, November 17, 2016

Miracle on 34th Street Movie Review

I've never doubted that Santa Claus is real, possibly because when I was a little girl I watched the movie Miracle on 34th Street. Here's my movie review.

Classic Movie Proves Santa Claus is Real

I've never doubted that Santa Claus is real, possibly because many years ago when I was little I watched the movie Miracle on 34th Street. In the movie, proof is offered - and upheld in a court of law - that indeed, Kris Kringle does exist and he is Santa Claus!

Oh, I get excited writing those words and just thinking of the movie that I watch at least once a year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this movie and absolutely adore the characters. And of course the outcome, while maybe somewhat predictable, is exactly the way I would have written it.

In case you're not familiar with the story, Miracle on 34th Street stars a very young Natalie Wood as Susan, a little girl who believes that Santa Claus isn't real because her very well-meaning but pragmatic mother told her so. The movie opens as Susan's mother (played by Maureen O'Hara), who works at Macy's, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances must enlist the help of a very Santa-looking gentleman to portray Santa Claus on the store's float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. This last-minute Santa, who goes by the name of Kris Kringle, does such a perfect job and goes over so well with the crowd that Macy's hires him to work as Santa during the Christmas shopping season.

As more circumstances unfold (I don't want to reveal too much information) Kris Kringle's true identity is questioned. Susan's new friends, Kris and an attorney neighbor (John Payne), give the little girl reason to question her mother's claim that there's no such thing as Santa Claus. In the end, the truth is played out in an unforgettable courtroom scene and Kris Kringle's true identity is confirmed.

While the movie credits claim that Edmund Gwenn plays Santa aka Kris in the movie, I have to believe that the real Santa Claus was certainly on the scene as coach and wardrobe consultant as no one could have done a better job in that role.

Black and White or Colorized Miracle on 34th Street? Old Version or New?

Personally, I prefer the original black and white version of the movie. Happily, the DVD package linked above includes one disc with B&W, another with color along with other special features.

I also absolutely recommend the original 1947 version with Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. I've watched the 1994 version and was very disappointed in the changes, particularly omissions, made from the original. The original movie is upbeat and magical; the new one is totally uninspired and uninspiring.

The clip below is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, one that brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. In it, Santa's interaction with a little Dutch girl causes Susan to start questioning her belief that Santa isn't real.

Is Santa Claus real? You know what I believe. How about you? If you're not sure, then you probably should watch the movie and review the legal facts for yourself. The link takes you to the DVD version as well as a rental option so you can stream and watch the movie right this minute!

~ Susan

P.S. This ornament features a Kris Kringle Quote from Miracle on 34th Street.
You might have heard it in the trailer above.

~Susan Deppner
Read more of my reviews.

Posted by Susan Deppner

Susan Deppner

About the Author

Susan Deppner is a baby boomer, a cancer survivor, and a Southerner who believes in the Golden Rule. She enjoys writing about food, faith, and fitness; health, home, and holidays; people, places, pets, and patriotism, and more. Follow Susan on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Susan, I start my morning with tears remembering how wonderful this movie is. What a classic tale and one I think all children young and old should see. Thanks for a wonderful review.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the movie, Grammie O. I absolutely agree with you that all children young and old should watch it every year. Glad your tears were happy tears!

  2. It has been way too long since I watched this movie! Your review has reminded me of some of my own favorite scenes from the movie. Now, I want to take the day off, kick up my feet and lose myself in the magical world of Kris Kringle and the Miracle on 34th Street!

    1. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours, Cynthia, I agree. Glad you like the movie, too!

  3. One of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. A classic for sure! I've never seen (and have no interest in) the 'new' version and definitely watch the original 1947 version in black & white. It's magical just that way.

    1. Again, I totally agree. Definitely magical in the original version, even in black and white. Thanks, Elf!

  4. A true classic - I like the original better too!

    1. Glad you agree, Savvy. Hope you get a chance to watch the movie this year!

  5. We love this film and watch the original version every Thanksgiving. There is no other "real" Santa than Edmund Gwenn. :)

  6. Fay, as much as I love this movie and have it practically memorized, "real" Santa Edmund Gwenn never fails to delight me all over again each time I watch the movie. Glad to know you enjoy him, too!

  7. Add me to the list of people who love the original version best but Miracle on 34th Street will probably continue to be remade as it is so classic. Great review!

    1. You're probably right about that, Heather. I can't imagine a single thing they could do to improve it, though. Glad we're sticking with the original.

  8. Susan, I'm hooked on the original version as well - but have to say I do enjoy the others too - but there's something about the innocence of life back then (although that's merely perception I'm sure) that makes the black and white version appealing - Great review.

    1. Well said about the innocence perceived from black and white movies. I agree - and I'll take it! Thanks so much!


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