Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street poster.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed byLes Mayfield
Screenplay byJohn Hughes
George Seaton
Story byValentine Davies
Based onMiracle on 34th Street original screenplay by George Seaton
Produced by
  • John Hughes
  • William Ryan
  • William S. Beasley
Starring
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byRaja Gosnell
Music byBruce Broughton
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 18, 1994 (1994-11-18) (United States)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$46.3 million[2]

Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film co-written and co-produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield. The film stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, and Dylan McDermott, and is the first theatrical remake of the original 1947 film. Like the original, this film was released by 20th Century Fox.

The New York City based Macy's department store declined any involvement with this remake, saying “we feel the original stands on its own and could not be improved upon.” The fictitious "Cole's" became its replacement.[3] Gimbels had gone out of business in 1987; hence it was replaced by the fictional "Shopper's Express".

Plot

Cole's Department Store's special events director Dorey Walker fires Tony Falacchi from being the Cole's Department Store's Santa Claus after he gets drunk before taking part in the Thanksgiving parade. Immediately trying to find a replacement, she spots an elderly man who was berating the inebriated Santa before the parade. When Dorey begs him to take over, he introduces himself as Kris Kringle. Kris does so well during the parade that he is immediately hired to be Cole's main Santa for the holiday period.

All the children in New York begin to believe that he is the real Santa, with the exception of Dorey's six-year-old daughter Susan. Dorey's boyfriend, attorney Bryan Bedford does his best to convince Susan to believe. While being babysat one night by Kris, Susan shares with him her Christmas wish: she would like a dad, a house used every year for the Cole's catalogue photoshoot and a baby brother. Kris asks if she would begin to believe in Santa if she got all those things. Susan agrees that she would.

Kris is credited with bringing in increasingly more sales to Cole's than previous years. One night, he is arrested for assaulting a man on the street, later revealed to be the original drunk Santa, Tony Falacchi. Falacchi had taken revenge by means of setting up Kris to be arrested, with the help of members of staff from a rival department store of Cole's, Shopper's Express. With the help of Bryan, Dorey takes Kris's case to court, and drums up support for him from the public. It soon becomes clear that to get Kris acquitted and freed, Bryan must somehow prove that not only does Santa exist, but that Kris is the real one. It is a seemingly impossible task until Bryan comes up with a plan that requires some help from Susan.

Just as the judge is about to make his decision – and it seems he was going to rule against Kris – Susan walks up to the judge with a Christmas card containing a $1 bill. On the back, the words In God We Trust are circled. The judge realizes that, since the US Department of Treasury can put its official faith in God on US currency with no hard evidence, then the people of New York can believe in Santa Claus in the same way. Left with no choice, the elated judge dismisses the case and declares that Santa is real, existing in the person of Kris Kringle.

Following the court case, Dorey and Bryan are maneuvered by Kris into realizing their true feelings for each other, and are married in a very small ceremony right after the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. On Christmas morning, Susan wakes to the news of the marriage (via the bright reflections of Dorey's engagement ring on the Christmas tree) and is elated to see that she has part one of her Christmas wish, Bryan as her new step-dad. Together, Susan, Dorey and Bryan drive out to the catalogue house and upon arrival, find that Kris has arranged for them to purchase the house, which they can now afford due to the size of the Christmas bonus Dorey has received as a result of Kris's work at Cole's.

Susan, now having got two out of three of her wishes, excitedly runs upstairs in the house to look at her bedroom. Dorey and Bryan are about to kiss when Dorey ask her what the last part of her Christmas wish was, and she triumphantly announces that it was a baby brother. Dorey and Bryan both look at each other, shocked, before glancing down at Dorey's stomach and sharing a kiss. The film ends with the belief that Susan has now received all she asked for in her wish.

It is mentioned that Kris has gone overseas.

Cast

Release

The film had its premiere at Radio City Music Hall on November 15, 1994 with a 30-minute stage show with scenes from The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes as well as a performance from Kenny G.[4] The Dreamstone 27th episode "The Return" accompanied the film's theatrical release.

Reception

At the box office, the film opened at #8 with $2,753,208 and eventually finished with $17,320,146 in North America and $46,264,384 worldwide.[5][2]

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 60% based on reviews from 35 critics.[6] TV Guide called the film "curiously depressing",[7] while Desson Howe of The Washington Post said, in contrast to the 1947 version, "[it] will not be found on television (or its computer equivalent) half a century from now."[8] Its supporters included Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert, who gave the film "two thumbs up" on their show. Michael Medved of Sneak Previews said "This is the new holiday classic America has been waiting for."

Soundtrack

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)PerformerLength
1."Overture"Bruce BroughtonBruce Broughton2:40
2."Jingle Bells"James PierpontNatalie Cole3:35
3."It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"Meredith WillsonDionne Warwick2:23
4."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Kenny G3:56
5."Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"Ray Charles3:04
6."Joy to the World"Aretha Franklin & Members of the FAME Freedom Choir3:04
7."Santa Claus Is Back in Town"Elvis Presley2:26
8."Signing"Bruce BroughtonBruce Broughton2:05
9."Bellevue Carol"Bruce BroughtonBruce Broughton2:15
10."Song for a Winter's Night"Gordon LightfootSarah McLachlan3:47
Total length:29:15

See also

References

  1. ^ Petrikin, Chris (February 18, 1998). "Fox renamed that toon". Variety. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Miracle on 34th Street at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Galbraith, Jane (April 17, 1994). "Reluctant Macy's Rains on New 'Miracle on 34th Street's' Parade". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Laski, Beth (October 27, 1994). "Gala bow for Fox's 'Miracle'". Variety. p. 16.
  5. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (November 22, 1994). "Weekend Box Office: Appealing to All 'Generations'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "Miracle on 34th Street". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 5, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  7. ^ "Miracle On 34th Street". TV Guide.
  8. ^ "Miracle on 34th Street (PG)". The Washington Post. November 18, 1994.
  9. ^ Miracle on 34th Street (liner notes). Bruce Broughton. Arista. 1994. 75517449802.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)