Miracle on 34th Street
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 1998
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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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 10, 2000
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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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2005
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
on November 18, 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 25, 2010
In New York City, a stranger named Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborugh) who claims to be Saint Nick steps in as a new Santa Claus for the department store after the old Santa got drunk. He seems to be a celebrity around 34th street thanks to giving advice to other people if the store doesn't have it to go to other stores, skeptical mother Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Parker) and child Susan (Mara Wilson) both befriend him yet have a hard time to believe he actually is Santa Claus. Dorey's lawyer boyfriend Bryan (Dylan McDermott) begins to defend Kris in court after him being accused of beating up a former department store Santa.

Unneeded but surprisingly good remake of the timeless 1947 masterpiece! John Hughes who co-wrote and produced this remake did a good yet dark job of bringing the fable once again. It's different but fresh from the original even though the court-room sequence in this one isn't as well made as the original's, this one co-stars William Windom, Robert Prosky and J.T. Walsh as i do believe it does respect the original in a good manner.

This DVD has good picture and decent sound with trailers to other fox releases.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 1998
Wonderful story of christmas that the whole family can watch year after year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 10, 2013
While this is an enjoyable version of this classic Christmas story, it does not fare well in comparison to the original movie.

First, it is not a scene by scene remake, so while many themes of the plot are the same or similar, some of the events are presented differently. For the most part, these changes in plotting are inferior to the tone set by the plot points in the original. For example, instead of the court action being the result of a provocation by a wrong-headed company psychologist, it is the plot of an unscrupulous investor. To me, it just doesn't bring the same personality to the story. Neither is this plot's deciding point of logic in Kris's favor nearly as effective as the stream of mailbags delivered in the original.

There are other plot differences with similar unflattering comparisons to the original.

Sadly, the actress who played Susan does not deliver nearly as good a performance as Natalie Wood's in 1947. That kind of surprised me, as commonly directors get much more natural performances out of child actors in recent decades than we saw in the earlier days of film. Neither does Elizabeth Perkins compare well with Maureen O'Hara. She just doesn't have the same fire in the role that O'Hara brought to every role.

Attenborough does a great job as Kris Kringle, and Dylan McDermott is excellent as the neighbor and lawyer who befriends Kris and defends him in court. They are the saving graces of this version.

While this is worth watching for a change of pace, if you are familiar with the original, don't expect this film to take over as the one you'll want to watch annually.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
We have watched this heartwarming movie countless times through the years. It has become a tradition in my family, and every time we watch it, we enjoy it more-and-more. The intriguing story warms the heart, and is filled with Christmas spirit. Of all the Christmas movies I have viewed in the last 20 years, this is my old time favorite.

The story reminds us of holiday spirit, and the true meaning of Christmas. The children in the movie warm the heart as much as Santa. The story portrays love, happiness, sharing, and friendship. My daughter can watch this movie 3 times in one day, and still not be bored. It makes us think of what Christmas is really all about, and the rewards of giving from the heart.

This movie will always be part of our family tradition, and my daughter will indeed pass on the tradition for years to come. There are scenes that make you laugh, and scenes where tissues are needed. Romantic sparks also fly across the screen, which is an added bonus. We will enjoy it this holiday season as we have in the past. Heartfelt, joyous, and thought-provoking. Highly recommended!
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2000
Attenborough is a very satisfactory replacement for Gwynn in this remake, and the little girl is better than Natalie Wood (my biggest complaint about the original is Wood's performance; she's annoyingly precious). The romance is a little flat, but it was in the original, too. Perkins just isn't as good as O'Hara, (hardly anyone is), but McDermott is better than the telephone pole that played the lawyer in the original (it's no accident that John Payne wasn't a big star). And the "trial" makes a little more sense than in the original, although I sure missed William Frawley (aka Fred Mertz) as the judge's political advisor.
Overall, I think that this is a very satisfactory remake. It doesn't quite reach some of the high points of the original, but it avoids enough of the lows to make it just fine. And my kids like it better, probably because it's in color and has a more modern feel. It's become a family tradition to watch it on Christmas Eve, and I rather look forward to it every year...
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