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Miracle on 34th Street (50th Anniversary) (1947)

Maureen O'Hara , John Payne  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,146 customer reviews)

Price: $2.98
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Miracle on 34th Street (50th Anniversary) + It's a Wonderful Life (Colorized Version) [VHS] + White Christmas [VHS]
Price for all three: $16.86

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Product Details

  • Actors: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Run Time: 97.0 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQ552K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This 50th Anniversary edition features the original theatrical trailer and a digitally restored THX-mastered soundtrack for superb clarity. It is packaged in a modified clamshell case which is beautifully enhanced in sepia, red and hunter green. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET is the delightful Christmas fantasy of a charming old man named Kris Kringle who believes he is Santa Claus and the wonderful change he brings to the people around him. This perennial holiday classic is on many short-lists of the all time great Christmas movies. The film just oozes with warm-hearted humor. Very young Natalie Wood sparkles as Susan, who learns to stop being so grown up, and enjoy childhood, with all its wide-eyed wonder. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle and it is hard to imagine any actor, living or dead, who could fill the role better. Mr. Gwenn won the academy award for best actor for this role. As Kris Kringle, he totally connects with the kiddies who visit Santa at Macy's department store. The brief scene with the little Dutch refugee girl is a definite emotional high point in this movie. The combined reaction of relief and wonder in the child's face as she visits Santa and finds he speaks her language is memorable. Gene Lockhart as the harried judge, and William Frawley as his street-wise political advisor provide the needed comic relief to keep the court-room segments from becoming too overwhelmed by lawyers and their tactics. Even Jack Albertson pops up as an ingenious postal clerk who helps Kringle solve his legal problem. An enthusiastic cast, crisp direction by George Seaton, a sentimental holiday message, and great humor make this movie a solid holiday treat for the entire family. One can nearly smell the turkey roasting in Doris Walker's apartment as Susan and Mr Gailey enjoy the Thanksgiving Day parade at the start of this film. Subsequent releases have never matched the magic of the original here. Multiple viewings only enrich the rewards.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
501 of 514 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
It's not until you are well and truly wading through the wealth of special features on the 2-disc special edition DVD of the 1947 Christmas favorite "The Miracle on 34th Street" that one realizes that the release features not just two versions of the movie, but three.
For not only does the release feature the original black & white version shown in theaters and the circa 1980s colorized version of the same feature film, but also hidden away on the second disc is the curiously titled "20th Century Fox Hour of the Stars: The Miracle on 34th Street," which turns out to be a 46 minute 1950s remake for television that is surprisingly in incredibly good quality.
The inclusion of this feature is indicative of Fox's loving tribute to this family movie gem that is this 2-disc release. Prior to its release the studio had no idea how to market what it considered to be an "unimportant program picture" and stuck it in the middle of its summer schedule with a trailer (shown here as a 5-minute promotional short) that did not feature one single clip from the movie and went at lengths to conceal it's Yuletide theme.
The story is so well known that it hardly bears relating in this review. Suffice to say that it charts the efforts of a man (played in an Academy Award winning performance by British actor Edmund Gwenn) to be legally recognized as Santa Claus, which in fact he is and to persuade a doubting young girl (played by Natalie Wood in a star-turning performance) and a practical realist (played by Maureen O'Hara) that he is indeed Father Christmas. Picked to replace a liquor induced Santa as the Macy's Parade Santa he is a smashing success and indeed Gwenn's performance is so incredible that Natalie Wood really did believe that she was acting opposite Santa Claus.
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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Susie, there is a Santa Claus. November 28, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Delightful Christmas fantasy of a charming old man who believes he is Santa Claus, and the wonderful change he brings to the people around him. This perennial holiday classic is on many short-lists of the all time great Christmas movies. The film just oozes with warm-hearted humor. Very young Natalie Wood sparkles as Susan, who learns to stop being so grown up, and enjoy childhood, with all its wide-eyed wonder. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, and lives the role. He totally connects with the kiddies who visit "Santa" at Macy's department store. The brief scene with the little Dutch refugee girl is a definite emotional high point in this movie. The combined reaction of relief and wonder in the child's face as she visits Santa and finds he speaks her language is memorable. Gene Lockhart as the harried judge, and William Frawley as his street-wise political advisor provide the needed comic relief to keep the court-room segments from becoming too overwhelmed by lawyers and their tactics. Even Jack Albertson shows up as an ingenious postal clerk who helps Kringle solve his legal problem. The on-location scenes filmed on the streets of New York assist the viewer in suspending disbelief. An enthusiastic cast, crisp direction by George Seaton, a sentimental holiday message, and great humor make this movie a solid holiday treat for the entire family. Multiple viewing only enriches the rewards. Beware remakes! ;-)
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie to watch every Thanksgiving weekend November 24, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Since "Miracle on 34th Street" begins with the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving Day, it is the obvious movie to watch on Turkey Day to begin the Christmas season (when you watch "White Christmas," "A Christmas Carol," and "It's a Wonderful Life" is up to you). I know am not alone in my belief that Edmund Gwenn IS Kris Kringle, which means he IS Santa Claus. Of course they gave Gwenn the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1948, but the film also won Oscars for Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay (George Seaton). Maureen O'Hara plays Doris Walker, a single mom who insists on bringing her daughter Susan, played by adorable Natalie Wood in one of the great childhood performances of all time, in a no-nonsense manner, which means no fantasy, no fairy tales and certainly no Santa Claus. Boy, is she ever wrong.
This version of this classic holiday film offers up the long trailer in which the publicity department tries to figure out how to market the film to the masses. A nice added bonus. However, the point of owning "Miracle on 34th Street" is to be able to watch it when it fits our holiday schedule and cry over our favorites scenes. The best times to cry during this movie are as follows: (1) When Susan overhears Kris talking Dutch to the little refugee girl; (2) When Mr. Macy admits under oath on the witness stand that he believes Kris to be Santa Claus; (3) When Susan writes "I believe in you too" on Susan's letter to Kris; (4) When Susan yells, "Stop, Uncle Fred! Stop!" and (5) when Fred sees the cane in the corner. Please feel free to add others to this list as you see fit. Now, excuse me, as I have to go dry my eyes and remember that some films have become holiday classics for good reasons and that remaking something in color does not mean just because it is new it is improved. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic family Christmas movie!! September 16, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie itself is one of the all time classic family Christmas movies and should not be missed.

I am, however, very disappointed that Amazon has not seen fit to tell the buyer whether or not this film is restored or remastered. They continue to list these movies with minimal information, even after repeated complaints to their "help" center. Come on Amazon....provide the proper information so we can decide if this really is a "new" version or simply one that has been "repackaged".........we DESERVE more info if you expect us to spend our money.....!!!
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