HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Miracle on 34th Street Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Year: 1947
Director: George Seaton
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, Porter Hall, William Frawley, Jerome Cowan, Philip Tonge, Alvin Greenman, Thelma Ritter, Percy Helton, Jeff Corey, Theresa Harris
Genre: Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is a jolly fat man with a bushy white beard, but if there's one thing sure to put him in a bad mood, it's people getting Christmas wrong. He is walking the streets of New York on the day of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, pausing briefly to correct a shop window display that has Santa's reindeer in the wrong order, when he notices that the Father Christmas who has been hired for the occasion is drunk. Outraged, he seeks out the organiser, Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), to complain, but this leads him to playing the famed role himself, and all sorts of complications...

This delightful little film somehow became one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time, mainly thanks to its faith in the improving power of the festive season and a very clever script to back this up. Make no mistake, this was no movie for cynical pragmatists, although if they did settle down to watch this they might find their hearts melting just a little, but from the start we are meant to be in no doubt that there is such a person as Santa Claus, and that Kris is the man himself. This became Edmund Gwenn's signature role, garnering him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his trouble, and the Santa performance to judge all others by.

It may be corny, but there's enough of the bite of the real world in the film to make it all the more imperative that all that "Goodwill to All Men" stuff is taken seriously. Kris's main task is to win over divorcée Doris's little daughter Susan, played with endearing literal-mindedness by Natalie Wood, for as Doris's lawyer boyfriend Fred Gailey (John Payne) discovers, the girl is not allowed any fantasy in her life thanks to her mother who frowns upon such misuse of imagination in her eyes. Naturally, before the story is over Doris must be won over too, but making a modern family out of these three souls is Kris's real gift to them.

For what is regarded as twinkly, benevolent entertainment, which make no mistake it assuredly is, Miracle on 34th Street has a lot on its plate, and if you like to chew over the movies you watch then there's plenty of food for thought here. Take the commercialisation of Christmas, often thought of as a modern concern yet here is proof 'twas ever thus, as Kris is most upset about having the profit of the companies involved taking precedent over the more emotional side. He admits that getting those gifts is important, but also wants it acknowledged that there is genuine affection behind that action: basically he wants everyone to be happy, as shown by the lovely scene where, having taken the Santa position at Macy's department store, he talks to a little Dutch orphan in her own language, making her Christmas.

But what everyone recalls from this is that last act development where Kris is put on trial to prove that he is insane for believing he is Santa Claus. This comes about because he objects to one of those cynical pragmatists, psychiatrist Porter Hall, giving Kris's new friend Alfred (Alvin Greenman) unnecessary headshrinking sessions which make him miserable, and the psychiatrist is clonked on the head for his meddling. The little old man is promptly sent to a mental institution where he grows depressed until Fred hits upon the idea of proving he is who he says he is to release him. Interestingly, the story visits all of the main players in this drama for their own vignettes just to offer us the idea of how you shouldn't try to put nice old gentlemen (or anyone, really) on trial for something so harmless - and of course bolster our faith in the spirit of the season. Director George Seaton hinted both that Kris may or may not be the real Santa, but by the end of this you'll be on Santa's side all the way. Music by Cyril Mockridge.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3842 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: