Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Dir. George Seaton
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is a tried and true Christmas movie from head to toe, right down to the miracle. Its a classic film on many levels, including: the story, performances, themes, and presentation. Set in New York City during the holidays, the events of the story are sandwiched between the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (filmed during the actual 1946 parade) and Christmas morning. The story is a modern day fairy tale that finds Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn) smack in the middle of a consumer driven metropolis. Upon arriving in New York, Santa Claus (aka: Kris Kringle) quickly becomes involved with the department store, Macy's, located at the corner of 34th Street and Broadway, performing as their in-store Santa. His mission is to spread holiday cheer and re-invigorate those around him with the waning spirit of Christmas. Kringle meets his match in his employer, Doris (Maureen O'Hara) and her eight-year-old daughter, Susie (Natalie Wood), who both don't believe in Santa Claus. The film is notorious for it's uplifting message of good will and basic human consideration. It was nominated for Best Picture at the 20th annual Academy Awards and took home both writing awards for Best Original Story and Best Screenplay. Gwenn also won an Oscar for his supporting role as Kris Kringle.