Customer Reviews: Miracle on 34th Street
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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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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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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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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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on June 15, 2016
I purchased this movie and previously purchased a Vizio television with an AMAZON VIDEO App that includes an "Amazon" BUTTON on the remote control - PURCHASED not rented - in reliance on the availability of this AND MANY OTHER MOVIES for viewing by my PERMANENTLY DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED 26 YEAR OLD daughter on the AMAZON Video App on the remote because she is not, as a consequence of her disability, able to maneuver screens and log-ins on a television. In fact, I have purchased over 140 (ONE HUNDRED FORTY) movies on Amazon Video in reliance on her ability to view them on her television, which she is not able to do on other televisions we own, such as Sony televisions, having complex menu systems. Now, TODAY, JUNE 15, 2016, Amazon has decided to discontinue support of Amazon Video on her Vizio television and instead wants me to buy a Firestick for $50, which she will undoubtedly be unable to use! This is fraud. This is likely also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and just bad business!!!!!! Do not BUY ANY AMAZON VIDEOS unless you intend to purchase a new television every year to keep up with Amazon's unscrupulous and fraudulent business practices.
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on March 3, 2016
I've seen Miracle on 34th Street with Richard Attenborough many times but couldn't resist replacing my old VHS tape with a new DVD. This movie is a must at Christmas with the whole family watching. The acting is great and it shows great Christmas spirit. I'd recommend it any time. So don't forget to buy it, but be sure to get out that large bag of buttery popcorn first. You won't want to get up in the middle of the picture for a snack.
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on January 6, 2014
While the 1940s version with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood is considered the classic version, this is one of those rare instances where I much prefer the newer version! Mara Wilson as Susan is precocious, but endearing, whereas I find Natalie Wood to be somewhat annoying in the original version. Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Attenborough and Dylan McDermott all are wonderful in their roles. This is a wonderfully uplifting tale that is a "must see" for me every holiday season!
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on June 25, 2016
This is one of a set of classic Christmas movies that everyone should own. All versions of this movie are great!! I ordered this movie with a number of other Christmas movies. They arrived in ones and twos and all arrived in good shape.
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on December 12, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised by this remake. I've been thinking about getting it for the last several Christmas seasons, but I'd heard so many negative things about it that I never bothered. So this year I finally picked it up and I'm happy to say it's a lot better than I expected. They made a few changes in the story, some were nice - like when Santa uses sign language to speak to a deaf girl (in the original, Santa spoke to a little Dutch girl in her native language). I was saddened that the character of Alfred was removed from the story, as well as Mr. Sawyer, the nervous in-store "psychiatrist". And the ending, well they should have just left the ending from the original movie alone - it was a great way to wrap up the court case and it made sense. The way they chose to decide the courtroom battle in the remake is nowhere near as dramatic. All in all though, it is a decent remake even though it has it's flaws it does at times manage to recapture some of the magic of the original movie.
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on December 28, 2014
Having grown up with both the original film and this remake, I don't really have a preference as I am able to enjoy them both. I will say that both of them have their own strengths and, if I'm being picky, this remake has a slight advantage over the original.

Again, the original is a classic and will forever remain immortal. But, if I was to say what advantage this remake had over the original, in my opinion, it would be the remake is a little more whimsicle. This version of the story has a stronger visual language and has a stronger feeling of the magical aspects and presents it so in a way that is still, for lack of a better word, ambiguous.

This film touches upon the notions of curiosity, faith, ambiguity and taking risks in life a bit better in my opinion. The scene in which Kris Kringle gives his monologue about what he, as Santa Claus, really represents is my favorite part of the film.

So, while I still say that both this version and the original version are equally enjoyable and equally well made, I personally say that this version handles the mystery and magical presence of the Santa Claus mythology a little better.

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