36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 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!
54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified 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.
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!!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 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!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Format: DVDVerified 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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
Wonderful story of christmas that the whole family can watch year after year.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
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!
20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2000
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
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...
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2001
You'll fall in love with the magic of Christmas all over again with "Miracle on 34th Street," the modern day remake of the 1947 classic film about a young girl who gets the ultimate Christmas wish when she meets the real Santa Claus. With an extremely likeable cast, a faithful adaptation of the original material, and holiday spirit and cheerful execution to boot, this is one holiday film you won't want to miss.
Set in our time, the film opens with the Cole's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) comes upon a severely drunken actor who has been employed to play Santa Claus in the parade's send-off. Her problems are solved when she runs across the delightful Kris (Richard Attenborough), who bears a striking resemblance to the real deal. She convinces him to replace the now-inept actor, and the parade goes off with nary a fault.
Kris's authenticity touches many of those who come in contact with him, including Dorey's young daughter, Susan (Mara Wilson), who is a non-believer. Kris, along with family friend Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott), sets out to make a believer out of Susan, all the while charming the children who sit in his lap at the department store, and causing a buzz of good publicity for the department store.
All of this is done with a great deal of charm and holiday spirit. The movie is one of the better modern Christmas films I've had the pleasure of seeing. The fact that it is based on a classic is of no importance, because it keeps the spirit and wisdom of that previous film and instills into a setting we can better relate to.
It keeps in touch with the original's many touching moments. One that comes to mind is Kris's conversation with a deaf little girl, a truly touching moment that rides the movie's emotional carriage home. It's scenes like this that give the movie such an uplifting sense of direction and spirit, along with the central message, as Kris so magnificently puts it, that "if you can't accept anything on faith, then you're doomed to a life dominated by doubt."
The real delights come from the cast, a perfect addition to the movie's already wonderful story execution. Richard Attenborough is a marvelous actor, and bleeds of good cheer and high spirits; he is the ideal Santa Claus, and his performance is very touching. Equally touching is the acting of little Mara Wilson, who plays Susan with a wit beyond her years, but also provides her with the same childhood skepticism that captivating young minds are so capable of. McDermott and Perkins can't hold a candle to their two costars, but their acting is nonetheless superb, and very believable.
There's nothing to find fault with in this beautifully crafted holiday film, and however you look at it, "Miracle on 34th Street" measures up to the standards of the original. Destined to become a classic, it develops a warmth and charm found in so little modern movies, and its intentions are nothing less than grand.