Miracle on 34th Street
Never underestimate the intelligence of children. Today’s kids are tougher and smarter due to a wider access to the Internet. So if they try think about things more logically, then how will they take the idea of Santa Claus. Do we tell them that he’s a guy in a red suit who delivers toys, or do we say that Santa is bigger symbol. I’m a man of fantasy and joy. I’m very content to having a child hold on their imagination. I’m also encouraged to teach them the true heart of the holiday; the idea of giving.
What’s more magical then to give someone faith? If you can make just one more person better simply by inspiration, then you’re Santa Claus.
Miracle on 34th Street is perfect for anyone in your family that’s a cynic. It’s easy to understand that they act that way because of their desire to not look out of place in society. They have no time to declare anything magical and just live life like they think they should. The story here concerns two skeptics; a mother and her daughter. They encounter a man who claims to be the real Santa Claus. Will they find some magic?
It’s the opening of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. An older gentleman who goes by Kris Kringle (played by Edmund Gwenn) finds that the parades Santa is drunk. Not wanting to tolerate the tainting of such a magical image, he tells event director Doris Walker (played by Maureen O’Hara). She hires Kris to take his place and become the new Santa Claus of the Macy’s department store in New York. He becomes the talk of corporate when shoppers claim that Kris is sending them to other stores where the toys they’re looking for are too expensive. Seeing that this makes loyal customers, they start a new advertising campaign that creates a bigger buzz.
It may feel like a magical Christmas for those Macy shoppers, but not for Doris. She’s worried that Kris may be dangerous when he claims to be the real deal. Her daughter Susan (played by Natalie Wood) is even more of a skeptic, as her mother told her that there was no Santa. This go awry when Kris is committed to a mental institution by the stores psychologist. Not wanting to taint the image, Doris’s neighbor Fred Gailey (played by John Payne) takes the case to court to prove that there is a Santa Claus, and Kris is that man.
What makes this movie magical is Kris Kringle. He plays a very gentle man who’s committed to keeping the image of Santa, never wanting to disappoint children. Edmund Gwenn plays a man who is both kind and powerful. He is powerful with his wise personality and his no nonsense idea towards disbelief. If I wouldn’t have known better, I would have sworn that he was the real thing. Gwenn won an academy award for his portrayal, and it’s very obvious why he won.
Natalie Wood is surprisingly affective as a young lady whos both a child and a skeptic. She’s more natural then most children are on screen and knows how to be cold to imagination, yet warm to accepting possible ideas. Miracle on 34th Street teaches us that we should never be afraid to believe in an idea that makes us better, even if it seems impossible. Santa Claus makes the perfect case as a test for faith with many children. If a child should ask how can he do all of this work, just tell them that, “I’m not sure, but he’s as real as you and me”.
I’ll give this five black and white Santa Hats out of five. This classic remains a classic for the right reasons.