Miracle on 34th street
(1947, George Seaton)
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
Miracle on 34th street, now this is a Christmas classic! Full of Christmas-y spirit! I am watching the original from 1947, not that 1994 garbage, (j/k, I am sure it is a wonderful version).
The movie opens with Edmund Gwenn, who plays Kris Kringle, critiquing everyone’s holiday activities. Bit of a dick, I must admit. But, boy does he look like Santa Clause! Or at least what Coca Cola tells me he looks like.
Kris rats the drunken Santa in the parade out to Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara). Doris is in charge of the parade and asks Kris to sub in for the ol’ drunko. She then goes home to her maid trussing the biggest turkey I have ever seen! That damn bird could be in the Macy’s parade!
Doris’ daughter, Susan, is played by a young Natalie Wood. She is a very cute kid. She is over at her neighbour’s place, Fred Gailey (John Payne), watching the parade.
Susan is woke! She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, or Santa. In my house growing up the minute you stop believing in Santa he doesn’t bring any gifts. Therefore, I believe in Santa. Susan is kind of a bummer.
I am suspicious of this Kris Kringle. He seems to be rather obsessed with Santa and Christmas. This guy needs a hobby. Also, he does not seem to be into capitalism. He doesn’t like the commercialism of Christmas. Sounds like a communist to me!
If you absolutely hate your life and feel like torturing yourself, then give ‘My Santa‘ a watch! Now, I gotta admit that I only got through the first 15 minutes. It was pretty awful, but it follows the same plot as ‘Miracle on 34th street’. Matthew Lawerence, the hottie from ‘Mrs. Doubtfire‘ plays “Santa”, or sorry, Chris.
It seems that Doris has read too many psychology articles on how to raise a logical child who does not believe in fairy tales. I think I see where the conflict in this movie will be! Doris and Kris get together, but Susan is not happy. Yep, classic romance between a delusional old man and an uptight bitchy mom. So typical.
Kris Kringle is very zen. Doris sends him to see Mr. Sawyer, the psychologist that works at Macy’s (??). Kris flips the script on Sawyer and psychologizes him. Sawyer says that Kris should be fired because eventually he will show his “latent maniacal” or violent tendencies. Doris et al. decided to find a place for Kris to stay in the city. Freud would have agreed with Sawyer’s theories about men who dress up like Santa Clause.
Maybe Kris is trying to start a cult? He seems to be working Susan over pretty hard. Trying to get her to join him in “imagine-nation”. Yikes! Stranger danger, Susie! Next up is Doris. I think she will a tough cookie to crack.
Susan confides in Kris that she wants a house for Christmas. He must pony up a house if he is going to prove to her that he is indeed Santa Clause. No biggie. Kris decides he will play matchmaker and get Doris and Fred together. That shoots my ideas about the plot all to hell.
Kris’ unconventional views on Christmas not being a commercial holiday gives Macy’s an edge on the market. He tells shoppers where to find items that Macy’s does not have in stock. The other stores in New York get on board. Kris decides to take on Sawyer while he is at it. He accuses Sawyer of being a fake psychologist. Kris hits him on the head with his cane because he won’t listen. Therefore proving Sawyer’s theories, but whatever. Sawyer is the worst, but violence is never the answer. Bad Santa!
Santa goes to Bellevue! Poor Kris gets committed. Mr. Macy is not happy and wants Kris out of there. In order for Kris to be fully committed and deemed mentally ill it has to go through court.
The people vs. Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Clause begins and it also begins a media circus. Well, some newspapers write stories using all k’s in the titles. That is pretty crazy, I guess.
Can you imagine if you had to prove you are not crazy in court? I would be committed.
Okay, so maybe he is Santa Clause, it doesn’t actually means he flies around giving out gifts. He could just be named Kris Kringle. Maybe I should have a kid and name it Kris Kringle just to prove my theory.
In the end, everyone trying to prove or disprove that Kris is Santa decides that is best to agree that he is Santa. It is best for the children, publicity, and most importantly Macy’s.
I really enjoyed this movie! I think Natalie Wood was my favourite part! She was adorable. I really think that everyone should give this movie a watch.
‘Miracle on 34th street’ receives 5 delusional old men with guilt complexes out of a possible 5!