‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ nearly 60 years old, stays fresh

Miracle on 34th Street, nearly 60 years old, stays fresh

Brett Stover

First released in 1947, Miracle on 34th Street is a touching and heartwarming tale of faith and belief. Centered around young Susan Walker (Natalie Wood), an old man claiming to be Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn) is eventually put on trial and the court is forced to rule on whether or not there is a Santa Claus.
While the original version was filmed in black and white, a recently released colorized version may appeal to those with an aversion to ‘old’ movies without taking away from its charm. One of the few Christmas movies to make it to the Oscars, Miracle managed to win three including Best Writing – Original Story and Best Writing – Screenplay. Gwenn won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his masterful performance as Kris Kringle.
Gwenn, to me, is who makes this show a classic. His cheery smile and earnest demeanor elicit that

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same holiday cheer from me. He jumps around like a monkey with Walker when he teaches her how to use her imagination, although her mother Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) disagrees. Doris, who is divorced and has seemingly lost the Christmas spirit, insists on telling Susan that Santa isn’t real. Throughout the movie, both the young and old Walker women rediscover the joy that comes when the calendar flips to December and the snow begins to fall.
Doris’s boyfriend Fred Gailey (John Payne) quits his job at a law firm to defend Kris Kringle in court, and seems to be the only other person in Miracle for much of the film that hasn’t lost faith. The trial and Christmas, at the end of the movie, put a star-shaped topper at the tip of this tree of childhood dreams and adult regret.
Miracle on 34th Street is is a ridiculously underrated Christmas movie. Some time over break, turn off Netflix and your phone to spend an hour and a half believing in Santa Claus.
This the the seventh installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them. Check out the other movies of Christmas here!  
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiypbCFV7Ao”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By Brett Stover