The Classic “Miracle on 34th Street,” 1947
If you’re looking for the perfect holiday film, look no further than the original “Miracle on 34th Street.” Released in 1947 and directed by George Seaton, this timeless classic features Edmund Gwenn as the lovable Kris Kringle. Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Natalie Wood also deliver unforgettable performances.
The film became a huge success, winning three Oscars, including one for Gwenn’s portrayal of Kringle. It was also nominated for Best Picture. One of the most memorable scenes captures the iconic Macy’s Day parade, with Gwenn actually playing Santa Claus during the real-life event.
You can stream this holiday gem on Disney+ or Hulu.
“The Miracle on 34th Street,” 1955
Just eight years after the original film, a TV remake of “Miracle on 34th Street” was made as part of “The 20th Century Fox Hour” series in 1955. Starring Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle, this shorter version of the beloved tale runs for just 46 minutes.
“Miracle on 34th Street,” 1959
In 1959, a second TV version of “Miracle on 34th Street” aired as part of the NBC Friday Night Special Presentation. This hour-long adaptation features real-life married couple Mary Healy and Peter Lind Hayes as Doris and Fred Gaily, with Ed Wynn taking on the role of Kris Kringle.
“Miracle on 34th Street,” 1973
If you’re in the mood for a full-length made-for-TV movie, look no further than the 1973 version of “Miracle on 34th Street.” Directed by Fielder Cook, this heartwarming film stars Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle, Jane Alexander as Karen Walker, and Suzanne Davidson as Susan Walker. Prepare to be captivated for one hour and 40 minutes.
The Official “Miracle on 34th Street” Remake, 1994
In 1994, the first “official” remake of “Miracle on 34th Street” hit the big screen. Richard Attenborough takes on the role of Kris Kringle, alongside Elizabeth Perkins as Dorey Walker, Dylan McDermott as Bryan Bedford, and the talented Mara Wilson as Susan Walker.
This version introduces a modern twist, with Perkins playing a skeptical department store employee who learns to believe in Santa Claus thanks to her daughter, portrayed by Wilson. Attenborough’s performance earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards in 1995.
While the 1947 original featured Macy’s as the store where Kris Kringle worked, the 1994 film had to use the fictional department store Cole’s instead, as Macy’s did not grant permission for their name to be used.
Whichever version you choose, “Miracle on 34th Street” is sure to fill your heart with holiday magic.