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Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Richard Attenborough , Elizabeth Perkins , Les Mayfield  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J.T. Walsh, James Remar
  • Directors: Les Mayfield
  • Writers: John Hughes, George Seaton, Valentine Davies
  • Producers: Bill Ryan, John Hughes, William S. Beasley
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TS0E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,878 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Miracle on 34th Street" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Six year old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle Santa Claus. Her mother told her the "secret" about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn't expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all something to believe in.

Anyone skeptical of updated retreads of Christmas movie classics may be genuinely surprised by this 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street. Based on the 1947 holiday classic, this new Miracle sticks close to the original's story, though it offers more contemporary, crisper pacing and a tone curiously more reflective--even sorrowful--than before. Richard Attenborough is charming and twinkly as Kris Kringle, the part that won Edmund Gwenn an Oscar. Mara Wilson is the little New York City girl who doesn't believe in Santa Claus until Kris persuades her otherwise. Elizabeth Perkins is her hardened mother, and Dylan McDermott plays the handsome lawyer next door who defends Kris during an insanity hearing. While screenwriter John Hughes has toughened up the dialogue a bit, and McDermott's intensity looks like a dry run for his then- future role on television's The Practice, this Miracle is as persuasively sweet as the one previous. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miraculous! December 31, 1998
Format:VHS Tape
Few remakes do justice to the original classic and even fewer improve on it. This one does both. Mara Wilson is wonderful and gives a once in a lifetime performance. In an effort to put a twist on the original they changed the scene where Santa speaks a foreign language to a child come to sit on his lap and instead he uses sign language to speak to a hearing impaired child. The result is a very touching scene. John Hughes has done it again!
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as good as the original in my opinion December 10, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love that this remake didn't sell out very much, and put in too much modern stuff. It is very successful in keeping a "traditional" feel, with only a few exceptions. Mara Wilson is absolutely delightful and classic in her performance, and I really like Elizabeth Perkins' reproduction of the original role. And Dylan McDermott, whom I typically find very flat and dull, is sweet and charming as the sincere bachelor attorney with an eye for Perkins.
Richard Attenborough is amazing as Santa, at least as good as the formidable original. The scene in the original featuring Santa visiting with the Dutch war refugee girl is replaced in this remake with Santa visiting with a little deaf girl. The scene in the original is about as sweet as any scene in any movie ever, and the remake is even sweeter! The deaf girl's face, when Santa talks to her in sign language, is absolutely worth the price of this DVD.
The only real weakness for me was the John DeLancie and Jane Leeves part of the movie, as two "evil" agents for the "enemy" department store (where all the upper management wears all black). They reminded me of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern from "Home Alone" -- sort of bumbling bad guys in a bad cartoon sort of way.
So all in all, I really think that this version is as good or better than the original, which is simply too dated in a few respects for me to be able to enjoy unconditionally. I think both of them are definitely worth owning.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine remake December 3, 2003
Let me say two things.
1. I love old movies.
2. I mistrust remakes.
However, I loved this remake. It has become a regular part of our Christmas for the past 10 years. My wife loves it and I do as well. Get it now!!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Kid's Review
I love the original Miracle on 34th Street movie and this remake has it's moments and has a very good cast, Richard Attenborough, Dylan McDermott, Elizabeth Perkins and Mara Wilson but it can't hold a candle to the original black and white version and lacks the warmth of that old classic. The actors were fine, it was the atmosphere of the movie that I found kind of cold and lacking of charm compared to the original version!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miracle on 34th Street November 18, 2012
By Kat
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hands down, the best holiday movie ever. This version is even better than the original. I watch it all year. I promise you'll love it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Classics Are Best ... December 4, 2006
The 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street does not bear comparisons or accolades to the original 1947 classic. The film had already been remade prior to this version, and one asks, why? And also, why change a bit of the storyline? John Hughes should be praised for his attempt at producing a holiday film, but it may be an attempt to compete with other films that came out in the early to mid 1990s, the Home Alone movies, Jingle All The Way, and the Santa Clause.

The unique trait about this version is its comic book-like quality. The film is fiction, and is based on Valentine Davies' book of the same name. Indeed, Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) saves the day by substituting as Santa Claus for Cole's Thanksgiving Parade. However, there is a villainous quality to the film with the appearance of the antagonist character of the film, rival retail store president of Express Superstore, Shellhammer (Simon Jones III), who wants to engage in a Cole's department store takeover. Unfortunately, this is the unnecessary part of the film. For a moment, one may think this may be a period film, which takes place about the same time as the original -- the costumes of the characters, and the all too familiar New York City scenes.

However, that is not the case. This is a present day version, which emphasizes quite loudly the meaning of Christmas; look closely at the concluding courtroom scene. The main premise of the storyline is intact, but with minor changes. Yes, the store name has changed from Macy's to Cole's, Fred Gaily (John Payne) has changed to Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott), and the courtroom scene where Judge Harper (Robert Prosky) determines if Kris Kringle is exactly Santa Claus has slightly changed as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwarming christmas story for the whole family. December 13, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Wonderful story of christmas that the whole family can watch year after year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Cast, Story and Script January 13, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of the original Miracle on 34th Street, I worried a bit about how much I would like this version. It does not disappoint. The story is different, yet familliar to the original.The writers made it fresh, yet maintained much of the sweetness and sentiment of the 1947 version. Mara Wilson is adorable, yet precocious as Susan. Richard Attenborough is perfect as St. Nick. The rest of the cast from Dylan McDermott as Santa's lawyer, to Elizabeth Perkins as Dorrie (Susan's mom) were also well cast. The only part I think is a bit over the top is the former "Cole's" (not Macy's) Santa. He gets a bit crude at times. The other "bad guys" are pretty harmless, just grouchy and conniving. Honestly, this is one of the Christmas movies I look forward to watching each year. Great for the whole family.
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