Miracle on 34th Street

  • U
  • George Seaton (1947)
  • US
  • 96 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This isn't the benign remake with Richard Attenborough, but the marvellous original first shown in the UK as The Big Heart. Natalie Wood plays a jaded youngster who knows there's no such thing as Father Christmas because her mother, Maureen O'Hara, organises a New York department store's yearly parade, and Wood has always seen Santa played by drunken old men. Then along comes Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) to work some Christmas magic. The great plot was rightly awarded Oscars for best screenplay and original story, while Gwenn also won as best supporting actor. Indeed, Gwenn became so identified with this role that every holiday he found himself hired to hand out presents at the houses of such Hollywood notables as Louis B Mayer. Children may prefer the newer, more obvious version, but parents will warm to this utterly beguiling original.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning Christmas fantasy starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne and Edmund Gwenn. Department store executive Doris Walker is horrified when the Santa Claus she hires turns up for work drunk. But a mysterious elderly gentleman calling himself Kris Kringle steps in to offer his services and soon becomes a popular attraction at the store.

Cast and crew


Doris Walker
Maureen O'Hara
Fred Gailey
John Payne
Kris Kringle
Edmund Gwenn
Susan Walker
Natalie Wood
Judge Henry X Harper
Gene Lockhart
Mr Sawyer
Porter Hall
Charles Halloran
William Frawley
Thomas Mara
Jerome Cowan
Mr Shellhammer
Philip Tonge
Dr Pierce
James Seay
Mr Macy
Harry Antrim


George Seaton

Other Information

Black and White
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U
Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent