Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street (12/28/11) TCM (1947 ****) Written and directed by George Seaton, based on a story by Valentine Davies, starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and a little newcomer named Natalie Wood. A delusional psychotic believing himself to be Santa Claus casts a spell over every innocent soul he meets, making them believe in GOODWILL, HOPE and CHRISTMAS MAGIC! Were I making a list of my top Christmas films, this one would go very close to the top, maybe even at position #1. Why? It not only provided an entertaining story with wonderful characters and performances, but it was very effective at making the “meaning of Christmas” (the belief that doing good is good for the bottom line) meaningful in the modern world. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that part of the human condition means occasionally believing in things that are a bit crazy. Though it’s been remade many times and even colorized, the original (and delightful) Miracle on 34th Street remains worthy of its status as a holiday tradition.

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